“My first experience with leather was while I was working as an industrial nurse. There, they gave leather chiseling classes, and I worked as hard as I could for my education.
“In a week, I was able to attain great skill. It was then that my parents and my grandmother told me about my paternal great-grandfather, who had a very big workshop where they made saddles, chairs, and footwear. Nobody had inherited the desire to continue this work, and this is how I learned that I carried leatherworking in my blood.
“I love being able to experiment with various techniques, seeing what I can achieve. Adding a little more detail to each design is a challenge that strengthens me, and I enjoy it.
“I believe that my greatest teacher, more than having taken courses and workshops, has been practicing every day. I believe that practice is how you realize which parts you can improve; observing yourself is how to know your weak points, thus acquiring the tools to correct them.
“I really like the smell of leather, and working with different designs each day. I love tapping into my imagination, adding more details to each one of my designs. I always try to draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me, from walks in the park where nature is present to my travels and the chats I have with my mother.
“At the beginning, learning to tool leather was challenging, but more challenging than anything was the constant and disciplined practice. At first, I said that I could not do it; it was too difficult. Today, I do it skillfully. I believe that the greatest challenge was overcoming the fear of failing. I learned that mistakes are the best teachers, and that marvelous things come from them. One has to take a chance.
“Today, I work hand-in-hand with my mother, who helps me sew the leather. I believe that my mission is to rescue these beautiful artisanal handicrafts, which, unfortunately, have been disappearing due to technology. Our primary focus is on creating a workshop where we can give jobs to older adults, furthering the creation of our designs while providing a beautiful activity for grandparents.”