On a quiet and cold Monday around 7 p.m., I got a phone call from a Peruvian reporter, Gino Tassara from a TV station based in Peru, and he wanted to interview me and other notable Peruvian entrepreneurs living the American dream and doing business in the United States.
The very next day, we got everything set up at our studio in Alexandria, Virginia and started filming the interview at around 5 p.m. I got all of the instructions, while the cameraman Guillermo Montano and Gino worked on the lights and set everything in place. It was simply a conversation with specific questions.
When Gino told me he was going to let me listen to the presentation of this interview, I didn’t show it, but I wanted to cry when I heard the description of the interview:
“Peru is living an extraordinary moment, exporting to the world its many products; but without a doubt, its best raw material are its own people. These men & women live the American dream, making and bringing their hometown Peruvian-inspired products; these Peruvians are Heiresses of a Nation.”
I honestly got goose pumps and felt I needed a break to go to the bathroom to think silently about what I have accomplished as an entrepreneur since I began my business Evelyn Brooks Designs in 2004. Sometimes I think I am too demanding when it comes to my company and the goals we need to accomplish. I don’t think I have done enough. I constantly think about how we can do better. How can we continue growing? How can we improve our services? How can we better service our accounts? I think we still have A LOT to do. and I think it has been harder for me and my company to make things possible because we had to start it ALL from zero. It’s well known that without the right connections, business growth would be much more challenging. If I started my own business in Peru, I would have known where to go or who to ask. So I got connections in Peru…LOL :), not in the United States. Regardless, in my almost ten years in the United States, I can now say that I have met a great group of friends and supporters throughout that time who have helped my business grow.
If I had ‘’CONNECTIONS” in DC, we probably could have done it faster. However, we learned the hard way and little by little found different organizations to help us with the tools we needed. Among them have included:
- Empowered Women International
- Latina Style Magazine
- National Hispana Leadership Institute
- Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators
- Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce
- The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Dialogue on Diversity
- An a special thanks to the Cultural Offices of the Embassy of Peru in Washington DC for their support through out the last years and for making us part of one of the most attended exhibitions – PASSPORT DC (next edition May 2013)
- And many more…have helped us, too:)
Let me go back to the interview that actually ended up taking two days. I decided to write this special blog to express my feelings while recording it. Being recognized and considered for this interview as an ambassador of the brand PERU is a tremendous honor! and more so ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL PERUVIANS IN THE UNITED STATES.
The interview made by Gino Tassara for “Domingo al Día” of América TV has been a great opportunity to open doors to many Peruvians like me. It’s a privilege to show how we are bringing a little bit of our country to the United States through the businesses we have created over the years.
Domingo al Día Complete Interview
When I decided to create my jewelry line, I wanted to inspire men and women to wear jewelry designs with a mix of Peruvian culture and contemporary art, following the latest fashion trends and using Peruvian raw materials like huayruro seeds, silver and gold.
Some Peruvians (and I can include myself in that group) have said, “I am not wearing that necklace or t-shirt. It is too native, it is too much, everybody has it.” Right?
In my case, as much as I love huayruros (Peruvian tropical seeds) and believe in their mystical powers, I refuse to wear a simple strand of huayruros. So when I decided to create a jewelry line using them, I said to myself: OK, Evelyn we are going to do it. BUT it has to be different, and it has to be special so all people can wear it with pride, Peruvians and non-Peruvians alike.
We look forward to continue bringing Evelyn Brooks Designs to more boutiques and galleries in the United States. We have reached over 60 at this moment; among them The Harvard Museum of Natural History in Boston, The Museum of Art & Design in New York, The National Building Museum & the National Women Museum in Arts both in Washington DC and recently the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the U.S. Virgin Islands among others. View a complete list of all shops carrying Evelyn Brooks Designs.
For those of you who want to know more about my beautiful country, watch this awesome video called Peru-Nebraska!
Through this video, you can get to know a little bit more about Peru, its culture and its people. We offer amazing food, but we also have so many other things to be proud of!
Thanks to all of those who have supported us from the beginning. We promise to continue bringing more innovative jewelry designs inspired by my Peruvian culture with a touch of modern art and following the latest trends.