About the designer
As a little girl I can recall my overwhelming jealousy of those with quality footwear. As a child, my life was absent of many luxury items. For me this meant growing up in my sister’s old and heavily worn shoes. By the age of 10, I was well aware of the monetary struggles my parents were facing so I took it upon myself to become a business woman. I began with selling popcorn at school which was not very lucrative and was shut down by the principal. For my second venture, I started selling pre-cut veggies at my mother’s grocery stand – my first glimpse into my life as a business woman. I was able to turn a profit and pay for my high school graduation party. And finally – for the first time in my life – I was able to buy my very first pair of shoes. I always loved how shoes can say so much about a person’s personality and define her style. I always loved vibrant colors, and different patterns. I have always been attracted to shoes that were unique and eye catching as if they had a story all of their own. I can still smell the Italian leather of the oxford style shoes and I can still see the details of the intricate stitching, the bridleway and the shine of the buckles. The differing colors of the leather remains a vivid memory and I can still feel the excitement in the pit of my stomach. However, despite this moment, I knew I couldn’t stay working at the grocery stand so I pursued a secondary education.
For 3 years I attended a technical school where I earned a degree in production printing. For 10 years, I printed flyers, brochures and business cards. Life was good; I was finally comfortable and my life finally had some luxury. I was able to go to University and finish off a degree in communications; I bought land; I was able to pay for my mother’s medicine. But eventually, the company I worked for folded. Life is always full of surprises.
At age 28, I left life in Peru behind and found myself in the Bahamas working a long list of jobs which eventually led to teaching Spanish in the Bahamian public schools. It was here that I eventually met my husband and we set up our first home in Bermuda. After several happy years there, his job took us to Florida in the United States and eventually to the beginnings of what would become Killasumaq, LLC.
I was depressed after the birth of my son. It was important to me to be able to stay at home with him for his first few years so I began several fashion related startups with little success. Until one day, while on vacation in Peru with my family, we stopped at a tourist shop which had some locally made shoes. They were a cute little design but horribly made. Enraged, I shook one of those shoes as my husband and pronounced: “We have some of the best leather craftsmen in the world and this is what we are selling! I am going to make shoes”. It was in that moment that my shoe design dream became a reality. He quit his job. We sold our house and moved to Peru so I could take some design courses and put together the infrastructure needed to produce shoes. My world had finally felt colorful again and I felt nothing but motivation. Once the bones of the organization were in place, we were off to Wichita, Kansas to set up the retail side of the business. The girl with worn and tired shoes is almost an unrecognizable memory. And now I want to make my creations available for people with unique stories to tell from all over the world.