Hi! I am Hannah - thanks for making it here ;)
I travelled to Peru for 3 months at the end of 2019, fed up and burnt out from life in Los Angeles; working in an industry I didn't fully believe in and feeling like my creativity had been turned into a machine. I felt like my life wasn't my own, but had been moulded into something I did not connect with after nearly 9 years of being in the USA. I desperately needed to do things in my own way - which I just felt, sadly, was not possible in the States. At the time I really had no idea how things were going to pan out, but trusted that my desire to travel and open up life to possibilities was the next best step.
I arrived back in Cusco for the second time, in 2020, just 10 days before the Lockdown - planning for another 3 months, which quickly turned into 2 years. I am not saying that things were always smooth and easy, but so much came together for me and HJK in the incubation that was quarantine. Trying things out, doing things in new ways, and making connections here that meant I could grow from here. The connection to Peru and my own work, that was taught to me by my Grandmothers touched me deeply: the women knitting and spinning on street corners, the beautiful natural dyes, the native materials of Baby Alpaca and Cotton, the way people here don't seem to have lost the connection between themselves, the earth, and each other.
I absolutely believe in the power of fashion to change people’s lives for the better, where so often you hear the opposite about an industry I both love and hate. Peru holds all the keys for HJK to do things as a business in a way that aligns with me personally: 100% biodegradable materials, bringing work to local women, and creating super special and unique pieces that will bring coziness, pleasure and delight to those who decide to bring them into their worlds.
I learnt how to knit from my Grandmothers from age 5 and every time I pick up some needles or sketch a design I feel like I am tapping into our shared heritage the world over of how to make things with our hands. This precious knowledge, like our food and medicine, has been overshadowed with faster, cheaper and homogeneity. My path to Peru has certainly been a spiritual journey and I know I am here for a reason – the most obvious to support and lift women up one sweater at a time. I would love to make something for you that you love for years to come, and KNOW it has impacted others, and the earth, in a positive way.
☺ Let me know if you have any questions at all.