"Jewelry allowed me to give form to my own creations and designs. My family and friends were surprised when they saw my work and didn't believe I'd made them myself."
"I was born in the Peruvian highlands. My father and uncles — Novica-featured artisans, the Cardenas Brothers — were weavers and I'd help them spin the wool and weave tapestries while my grandparents raised livestock.
"When I was 16, I moved to the capital to attend university and majored in metallurgic engineering. Ever since I was young, I've loved Peruvian history and admired our ancestral metal artistry. One of my uncles worked in a refinery and I always liked listening to his experiences.
"While studying metallurgic engineering, I became interested in silverwork, but my class assignments focused on iron alloys and smelting iron. We didn't really work with silver, so I decided to take jewelry classes.
"Jewelry allowed me to give form to my own creations and designs. My family and friends were surprised when they saw my work and didn't believe I'd made them myself. Jewelry made me feel complete. My teachers would praise my silverwork and sometimes they'd spent extra time with me after class.
"After I graduated from university, I sought out work experiences to help me develop my skills. I applied to several mines until I got an interview. I mentioned my interest in jewelry to the mine director and he gave me a book by the Patronato Plata del Peru cultural association. I gave him a silver pendant depicting a lion's face, and he liked it a lot.
"In 2008, I got married and my husband was transferred to Australia, where our son was born. While taking care of my baby, I found time to craft jewelry and sold it to my neighbors and friends. I took a job in a metal workshop where I learned new techniques to improve the finishes of gold and silver.
"When my husband's contract ended in 2014, we decided to return to Peru. I missed having my own workshop and the time to focus on my own designs.
"Today, I devote all my time to my family and my jewelry. I worry about the details and the quality of my creations. I want shoppers to be happy with my work. This fills my soul."
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