Celebrating my Mom and Hero on International Women’s Day

Paola with Alessandra, Don and Pablo

Reflecting on the contribution of women leadership in our world, my hero while growing up and best role model of a strong, independent and super confident woman is definitely Paola Gattinoni, my mom.

"Her word was law. When a product or sample was urgently needed, it was enough that Paola asked for it, to have it made in no time." - Miriam, team member

In 1998 when we came up with the idea of introducing the finest Peruvian handcrafts to consumers in North America, I couldn’t come up with a better partner and right hand than her. Luckily Paola said yes. She had just retired and jumped at the opportunity to stay active and feel useful. For the next 16 years, her drive, sense of fairness and esthetics were instrumental in helping shape Lucuma Designs. She touched many lives and became a role model for many of our artists and team.

"She always reminded me that work is important, and scolded us when we didn’t deliver on the date promised; It’s true what she told us, that we were harming ourselves by not being responsible. She was attentive with us and always treated us with great care and affection. Thanks to Ms. Paola, we are working today. May God bless you and give you strength." - Ana Santiago, gourd artist leader
Paola with Miriam, Liliana and Patricia
"I have always admired Ms Paola’s practicality, enthusiasm, frankness and sense of justice. I miss many things about her and I consider her my favorite teacher. Thanks to her I became what I am now: head of the quality control department." - Marilu, team member

As an architect by training, she used her good eye for design, plus a hands-on and go-getter attitude, to get things done. If I mentioned an idea for a new line or product, before I knew it, she made it happen!

Paola with Emilio and family

"She gave me the opportunity and pushed me to study graphic design so I could contribute in the area of product development. We worked together for ten years and when Paola retired, I felt she left a great void. Today as team leader, I realize that her determination and self confidence in decision-making are to me the example I am trying to follow." - Miriam, team member
"As leader she was always on top of things, and attentive to her team. When she arrived at the office, I remember she used to tell us a funny anecdote and made us laugh. I also admire her good taste, creativity and generosity, all beautiful qualities." - Liliana, team member
“Mrs. Paola is always in my heart; she is like a mother and I always remember her words and recommendations. My health has always been a little delicate, but she gave me strength and encouragement to get through. She used to tell me: keep moving forward, if you are sick, do not think you are sick, think you are healthy and your health will improve... everything is in the mind.” - Tomasa, knitter artist leader

Paola with gourd carvers
"More than manager or team leader, Paola is my friend. We have shared many good times talking about common interests: travels, places, history, news, painting, music, etc. We touched on very personal topics and we even sang together many times." - Patricia, team member

Today March 8, 2017, is not only the International Women’s Day, but also her birthday! Thank you Paola from the bottom of my heart for your immense contribution to making the world a better and more beautiful place. I am also grateful to have had the opportunity and privilege of working together as a successful mother-daughter team! Cheers for a work well done! - Alessandra, co-founder of Lucuma Designs.