About Peruvian Link

Alpacas

Welcome to Peruvian Link!

Our story begins in my native Peru, where Alpaca products were a part of my life from childhood. As far back as second grade, I can remember my mother buying me pretty handmade gloves, carefully knitted by ladies from Cuzco, the ancient Incan Capital city. We found them on the streets of Lima, my home city. They spread their gloves on blankets spread out on the street. In order to make a living, those ladies had boarded a bus for a rugged 14 hour trip to Lima to sell the products of their hard labor. Because of their efforts, my brother and I could enjoy those products as schoolchildren in the city and grow up wearing Alpaca every day!

Years later, as a high school student, I took my first trip to Cuzco and it was then that I realized that those marvelous Alpaca products were not just pretty items, but rather precious treasures created by a whole industry of people who made a living from the hard work behind every item that I bought so easily in Lima. I was able to meet many of the ladies who made these beautiful items and experience firsthand the extraordinary quality of their work, and the superb quality of Alpaca fiber. The textiles were absolutely gorgeous and I became even prouder of my Peruvian ancestors who, from the time of the Incas, were able to develop and preserve such a successful and dynamic industry in my country.

Wandering through the streets of Cuzco and meeting all these wonderful knitters really inspired me that day to expose their beautiful creations to the world. I could not just let them continue to sell their work to a few tourists in Cuzco and then leave them having to travel that long road to Lima every other week to survive! I had to expose them to the world!

Upon returning to Lima, with many Alpaca products that I would cherish for many years, I began to start thinking about what was I going to do after high school. I had always wanted to be a lawyer, and that was my plan----until I went to Cuzco.

Cuzco changed my life. Instead of going to Law School, I decided to attend Business School and enrolled in the International Business Administration Program. After I was graduated, I specialized in International Marketing. At age 21, I got my first job working with an Alpaca company as their Marketing Assistant. This company exported Alpaca products to Europe, Japan, USA and everywhere else. It was at that company that I first experienced the abuse of power. Back then this company was thriving and the owners only cared about the money they were making, with little regard to their employees or knitters. I think the owners were simply arrogant, and I expressed this in discussions with the general manager. My nature is to speak what I see and feel, and I was not silent in the face of such exploitation. In short, working at that company taught me “what not to do”!

During this time I truly fell in love with Alpaca, the beautiful pieces that our Peruvians made, and with the extraordinary artisans making them.

While I was falling in love with Alpaca, Michael (now my husband) was falling in love with me :)!!! At age 25, we were married and I moved with him back to his native rural Maine. It was there in faraway Maine that we started our own Alpaca adventure together. We opened a retail store in Bangor, Maine and that is when Peruvian Link was born. I was featured on two of the local Television channels news and got a full page on the business section at the Bangor Daily News. It was a very good start, but my goal was to go beyond Maine. In an interview later for another newspaper I was asked: "where would you like your company to be in 5 years”? I, humbly responded "in Boston. At the end of our fifth year we were already wholesaling not just to Boston- but across the entire USA!

As the company grew, my husband, whom holds a Business Degree from the University of Maine, quit his job to help me with the business. He became our sales and marketing force while I focused on production. It wasn't an easy road. As we recruited more people, there was more teaching and training to do. We plowed the ground for many artisans groups in Peru. We worked for years with these same groups until they became proficient, and we financed them when new equipment was needed or new tools were necessary. We also did a lot of teaching in the US about Alpacas for the first 10 years. We plowed a lot of ground!

My goal was to always offer the best quality possible, so I became involved in every phase of the production process all the way from choosing and purchasing the yarns to designing and manufacturing our different products. This ensured that the composition of our products was of the highest quality.

Fast forward twenty years to 2019 and we now work with hundreds of ethical and ecological Peruvian artisans who are fairly compensated for their technical abilities and their hard work. Our mission at Peruvian Link is to help these artisans be recognized for their talent and abilities, and to serve as a venue for their economic development. From our warehouse in Maine, Peruvian Link now sells goods from those ladies in Cuzco, and others like them from all over my native Peru, to every State in the United States and in all the Provinces of Canada! We now have plans to start opening retail stores in the near future. From our offices in Lima we serve customers in Europe, Australia, Japan and the rest of the world. In 20 years we have literally served thousands of customers. We count among our many famous clients some very well known and successful catalog companies as well as many celebrities. Our collections are now created using the latest technology available in the industry, without losing the final touch details our many artisans add to the products. In every piece we emphasize quality and beauty, and transmit to you something very special—a piece well-made and the gratitude of the people that were behind it all!

Karina Pomroy
Peruvian Link Co