ALPAKA’s co-founder Kristjan Sillaots lives in Peru with his wife Paola and three children, Triinu (13) and twins Emilia and Oliver who were born last year. He takes care of production so that each and every piece of their line will be brought to you with love and care. “We believe that ultimate beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and so our designs cater for real people living real lives,” says Kristjan, who 15 years ago bought a one-way ticket to the complete unknown on a quest to learn Spanish. He arrived on the other side of the globe with just two hands in his pockets, to seek happiness and explore all the possibilities that life has to offer.
Kristjan travelled far and wide during his language studies trying to find business opportunities. He was looking into many other areas until the moment when he saw and touched a hand-made alpaca rug at a local handicraft fair. It was unusual and utterly soft. When a person touches it, his facial expression automatically changes. It was a unique experience and he had found his life’s mission.
“This was the day I decided to make my life an adventure.”
He started to sell them with his friend Are Kudeviita, whom he met when he was just 2 years old on his very first wandering. “I took my dog and went for a walk alone around the neighbourhood where I lived. I took quite a long walk until Are´s mother found me and found my panicked father who had been looking for me all over the neighbourhood. I don’t remember it in detail, but one thing became clear to me. This was the day I decided to make my life an adventure.”
Kristjan set up a small factory in Peru in collaboration with an experienced local artisan, which today has grown to be a successful lifestyle brand, with a mission to share his love for high quality natural fibres that customers can form an immediate emotional attachment with.
ALPAKA is venturous all around the world from Japan to Korea, China to Europe, and is planning to open up 10 stores in Canada this year. “The adventure does not stop here and the only way to think is forward,” says Kristjan as he sets his sights on the U.S market.