"Life brought us together for the vocation we share. We were searching for something that would satisfy the soul, something that excited us and made our imagination soar."
"We're from the city of Lima. We're both extroverted and love to talk with folks. We strive to promote the things we... feel deeply about, like art and a love for nature. We try to reflect this in our everyday life and work," Santos says.
"As with all artists, we've had some moments that were complicated. When the economy is bad, we have to scramble to find ways to continue advancing and growing. Since we began in 2002, we've been experimenting with jewelry designs, exploring new methods and sharing ideas in events and places where we've shown our work.
"We evaluated whether eco-friendly handicrafts could perdure because we weren't sure we could make this project work. It seems like the more expensive industrialized products were ahead of the artisan's designs. We've always believed we shouldn't let this happen so with all our strength and effort, we believed we could get past this.
"We believed in ourselves and what we do. When we first began, we sold our designs from a tablecloth spread on the sidewalk. Our materials were those that Mother Nature gave us. It wasn't easy and often we couldn't afford a good breakfast or dinner but we made do with what we had at the time.
"Little by little, things began to change. I believe it was because we never stopped trying and we always had a positive attitude. Even when the circumstances seemed devastating, we were always able to smile despite it all.
"One day, we closed with a big sale. It was excellent. We sold everything we had and, with the money, we had a good breakfast the next morning. It was our first success at selling our jewelry from a cloth on the sidewalk. We felt so proud of having gotten through the tough times. It was a moment of pure happiness — we'd started from zero. We didn't have anything but, with hard work, we were able to find our way in the world of eco-friendly jewelry.
"Our art is a family heritage. Antuané's grandfather in Ayacucho crafted crosses in wood. He was an incredible artist who created ornamental work for churches and tombs throughout the province and his was an innate talent. Ayacucho is known for its art and some of Peru's finest artisans come from this small part of the Andes.
"Life brought us together for the vocation we share. Although we both studied different professional careers, they weren't what we really wanted to do. We were searching for something that would satisfy the soul, something that excited us and made our imagination soar.
"We began attending fairs and craft shows and the jewelry attracted us. But we didn't want to do the same things as other artisans. We decided to focus on eco-friendly designs. We both love nature and our philosophy is to craft accessories that help take care of the planet.
"We convey this message in many ways, from using a dried seed in a pendant or collecting wood scraps to recycle in our jewelry to including handwoven fabrics as an artisan expression.
"We learned a lot on our own as we exchanged our knowledge with other artisans and took short courses from master jewelry artists.
"I love how we can constantly discover new designs as we transform rustic materials that are often overlooked into a piece of jewelry that can be worn. Our greatest challenge is giving a second chance to discarded things and bringing them to life through our designs.
"Our inspiration comes from nature and the ecology. And also from the rich history of such a culturally rich country with its beautiful and exuberant landscapes. What could be better than to capture and convey the best of these blessings and share them with the world!
"Our dream is to develop more eco-friendly markets in the region — in the capital but also in the provinces. We want to share our art and hope to become known for the value we place on nature."