The Story Exchange, Mercedes Benavides, WayraYour Name: Mercedes Benavides

Business Name: Wayra, a maker of custom labels of handmade textiles

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories/Social Enterprise/Hand made home textiles

Business Location: Lima, Peru


Reason for starting
I want to promote sustainable development in mining communities. I want to give back society what gives me.

How do you define success?
Success is to achieve my goals and see how the knitters and artisans become enterprenures and increase their self estime.

Biggest Success
We have trained 1000 knitters and 500 loomers; and more than 50% have now their own companies.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
To Understand how artisans think and work successfully respecting their thinking (values and goals). I am always open to listen them, never forced them to work on a project.

Who is your most important role model?
There is no model to follow. We are creating a new model that works: a business that is profitable and multicultural. What I enjoy being a family business is to see two of my daughters following me but with new ideas!