Featured Cooperative: Rumira

Our featured cooperative this season is Rumira, also known as the Asociación Virgen de Carmen! Over the past year, Rumira has formed an independent client relationship with Cocoliso, the owner of a wool and knit clothing store in Cusco of the same name. They have also almost completed their community artisan center. We are so proud of the group for completing these major stepping stones towards full independence!

When Awamaki heard that Cocoliso was looking for expert knitters to produce her designs, we immediately connected her with our Rumira group knowing they would be a great fit. We weren’t disappointed. Since meeting with the group to assess their skills and negotiate the details of their relationship, Cocoliso has now placed several orders of knit gloves, hats, and sweaters from Rumira, totaling S/. 10,000 in profit for the group.

Rumira’s rapid progress through Awamaki’s Impact Model is what has made their client relationship with Cocoliso so successful. The group has now completed 73 percent of the Impact Model, compared to last year’s 53 percent. Through the guidance of the Impact Model they have gained skills in tax management, customer service, and salesmanship. A visit to an alpaca fashion cooperative in Puno also enabled the group to learn directly from the best practices of already successful and independent groups.

Rumira’s hard work has been rewarded in more ways than one. In addition to their new client, they now have a space where they can work. The Rumira Artisan Center is almost fully completed, with only the windows and bathroom left to be installed. The completion of the weaving center is a significant moment in the growing independence of the cooperative, for the women finally have a place to call their own. They can now use the space to store their knitting and weaving equipment and take the time to improve their skills away from the distractions of home.

Over the next year, Rumira will work on bookkeeping, personal branding, and sales follow-up to carry out more orders successfully, build their client portfolio, and ultimately strengthen their relationship with Cocoliso. Together, the 24 members of our Rumira cooperative can also work to put their special touch on their weaving center, a place that will represent their identity as a successful, independent business once they graduate from the Awamaki Impact Model.

About Awamaki

Awamaki is a nonprofit fair trade social enterprise dedicated to connecting Andean artisan weavers with global markets. We collaborate with women artisans to support their efforts towards educational and financial independence by co-creating beautifully handcrafted knit and woven accessories using hertiage techniques.