Specialty: alpaca textiles
Technique: home knitting/weaving machine and by hand
Location: Sopocachi in downtown La Paz
Year established: 2004
Plusses: years of experience in design and producing export goods
Products for Caserita.com: Design Poncho, ponchos and accessories for children
Doña Carolina greets me with a warm hug and cheek full of coca leaves in her welcoming workshop in downtown La Paz. “After lunch we always get together around a bowl of dried coca leaves. We take time to chat for a bit and chew coca, which is our centuries-old tradition. This keeps us going after lunch," she laughs.
Four women and one male weaver/knitters work 8 hours a day on products designed by Carolina's husband, Omar. She navigates her husband's designs and makes exact patterns which indicate detailed procedure to the craftsmen.
Omar's extraordinary designs, Carolina's precision and quality material make a combination that leads to success.
In 2009, Coralia Textiles won the La Paz Mayor's competition when it was chosen from among 40 candidates as the best microenterprise. In subsequent years, they have won various prizes in different competitions.
“It looks like my original name brings me luck,“ says Doña Carolina with a smile. She tells us that her real name is Coralia. One supposes that her parents made a spelling error when she was a little girl. When she went to boarding school, they made her be called Carolina - that is the name on her high school diploma. Today her official I.D. shows her name as Carolina to avoid confusion.
At Coralia Textiles the weaver/knitters receive lunch and a fair salary, which is unusual in the Bolivian textile industry. Since Carolina knitted during the years she was a worker, she knows that it is important to offer benefits to her helpers. Eight people support the business from her house. It is a good opportunity for mothers with small children to have their own income.
Caserita.com is proud to work with Coralia Textiles, a small business with a large vision and social commitment.