"As a child, I was curious to learn and do as the others, ‘working' on my own pieces. Maybe my jewelry wasn't the prettiest, but my parents motivated me and applauded my efforts."
Latest Update “My mom and dad joined Novica in 2010 as the Jimenez Family. At that time, I was still studying and...Latest Update
“My mom and dad joined Novica in 2010 as the Jimenez Family. At that time, I was still studying and supported them as an apprentice in the workshop. When I had more knowledge and experience, I talked to the Novica regional team and asked if I could enter as an individual artisan because I already had several designs of my own that I wanted to show on the platform. And so, in 2015 I started working with Novica myself. I never stopped supporting my parents' work, but I was very happy to have creative independence and start my own business. Since that year my life has improved greatly, and I have acquired a lot of knowledge that has served me in the administrative, financial and labor areas. Novica has high and low seasons during the year, and I have learned to manage both financial resources and raw materials because there are seasons when certain supplies are scarce.
“I also feel proud because the quality of my work has improved a lot. In April 2022, within the framework of the celebration of Artisan's Day, I won the Novica Central America Award for Excellence in Quality because in 2021 97.5% of my products were approved by Quality Control. When I received that recognition, I felt the best, because I have made a great effort and I have dedicated myself to making the rule in the workshop that we work with quality from the beginning to the end of production. I am very happy that Novica saw that effort and that they recognized me. And for 2022 I set a goal, and I've been delivering 100% quality for half a year now.
“Thanks to my Novica sales, I have managed to acquire many things with the income that I receive. But it is important to have goals. And as I mentioned before, during the year I have seasonal ups and downs in sales, that's normal. But I take the opportunity to save a percentage of my sales from the high season because I know that I must also restock my inventory, acquire more materials, make payments to my assistants, etc.
“Another advantage of Novica is microcredit. With them, I have been able to invest in raw materials, pay assistants and make improvements in my workshop. My financial situation before I started working with Novica was not very good. In fact, I worked with my parents, and I didn't have the time to devote entirely to work because I was also studying. When I started working at Novica the financial part was not easy, because I had to invest, and all investments take a certain time to see returns. But when I started to generate sales, and payments were more frequent, everything began to flow much easier. Little by little I improved economically. Now 90% of my work is dedicated to Novica.
“To all the Novica family, thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me from the beginning until today. Because even though my designs weren't that pretty at first, they trusted me. Along the way, I have been learning and understanding more about the market. I am also grateful for the freedom they have given me to modify my catalog and improve it with more beautiful designs. And lastly, thank you for the opportunity you have given me to acquire funds to invest with microcredits because that is how I have been able to buy raw materials to increase my inventory at Novica.”
Estuardo Jiménez built his house and finished it this year. This is what he told us when we visited his new house: “The land on which my house is built today was given to me by my parents many years ago -- thanks to their sales at Novica they were able to buy it. However, I was insecure about starting to build what would become my own home. I spent several years looking for the best option for the construction of my house. During that time I gradually bought construction materials, such as ceramic flooring, pads, and wood, among other things. The microcredits that Novica gave me to expand my sales inventory were of great help, because with this I was able to buy more raw materials for my business, and thus produce sufficient sales and achieve my goal of building my home.
“The pandemic helped me to continue saving. Because of Covid regulations, we had to completely isolate ourselves. So I did not have the opportunity to go out as I normally did with my friends or family. During those years I totally limited my unnecessary purchases. It seems funny now, but I spent three years wearing the same pair of shoes. On the few occasions that I went out with my friends and we took a picture that literally looked like the same portrait. The same shirt, the same jeans, and shoes. Now it's something that makes me laugh a lot, but I know it was completely worth it.
“Today I see my house and I thank God, my parents and the Novica family who have always supported me. God because he has given me the gift of being an artist, my parents for their tireless work, for their effort and dedication so that my family has gotten ahead, and to the Novica family for trusting in my art, in my talent as an individual, and for always encouraging me to give my best, to improve day by day. And for all the tools, both economic and professional, that Novica has given me.”
Original Artist Story
"My name is Estuardo Jimenez and my hometown is near Antigua, Guatemala. I was born into a very close-knit and hardworking family. My parents have always been role models for me and my sisters. I'm a jeweler and I've been interested in this art because I have memories of it as far back as I can remember.
"There's always been jewelry work in my house. I've been lucky to see my father working when I was growing up. I learned to appreciate and value it when I was young because I'd help out in my family's workshop. Although I admit, sometimes I would only goof off and joke around. I've been asked a lot from whom I learned and it's odd that I can't name anyone in particular, although I'm clearly my dad's number one fan.
"Since I was young I liked to work with my uncles and other artisans in the workshop, watching the way they handled jade and silver until they finished a piece. As a child, I was curious to learn and do as the others, ‘working' on my own pieces. Maybe my jewelry wasn't the prettiest, but my parents motivated me and applauded my efforts.
"When I was a teenager, I started to design and work on my own pieces of jewelry after coming home from school. Little by little, I started experimenting and becoming a perfectionist. That's how I earned my parents' trust and they gave me more responsibilities in the workshop.
"We began working with you in 2010 as the Jimenez Family. Then one day we decided — as a family— that I should start to sell my own designs. Now, I work on my own jewelry, designing and crafting alone. I also help and support my parents in the workshop like I've always done.
"This new journey where I present my designs to the world alone as Estuardo and not as a family is an important undertaking for me because my work has to speak for me about where I'm from, my skills and my roots.
"I dream about making my and my parents' workshops grow, to take this family legacy to the next level so that my family is known for what they have achieved. I want us to keep supporting each other to improve our lives and the lives of our community by teaching more people so they have a job and income for their families."