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When my husband Bryan Brooks and I decided to launched Evelyn Brooks Designs in June of 2004;  I knew it was not going to be easy. I knew there was a lot of work and commitment to make the company work and make it profitable.

Evelyn Brooks -Runway to Peru - Fashion for Conservation

Evelyn Brooks -Runway to Peru – Fashion for Conservation

Perhaps my husband like many husbands out there thought OK, I will support her but who knows if this will work out. All my husband wanted was to make me happy. He always supported ALL my ventures. Even if he disagrees, he knew I would do it anyways. Even when we had our first child seven years ago; he said you will be able to manage and YES we did. When hard times came he was also there. There were months when he had to put money into my business because of many reasons, maybe no sales, because it was slow season, or simply the economy hit so badly that people weren’t buying. But I always stayed positive, contrary to my husband he was always realistic as he said to me, he wasn’t trying to hurt me, he was just realistic.

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Tyler & Stella are the engine of our everyday life.

Years passed by,  growing little by little our company. Those years have given us so much knowledge on regards to how the industry works, knowing my buyers so well that I learned that toughest buyers are tough because they don’t have time to mess around, and all they want to do is business with you (just so you know don’t take it personal, it is just business). I have had some of the most amazing buyers and mentors like the buyer from the National Building Museum in DC, or former founder of Empowered Women International Marga Fripp. I have met great people like my dear Peruvian professionals from the World Bank who invited us to be in charge of the Peru Handcraft Pavillion for three years during the Annual meetings.  Press and media who have come to events specifically to interview me, like Armand Hugon, or invite me to do a TV segment with Silvana Quiroz & Nestor Bravo from the number one morning show of Univision Buenos Dias DC.  My list will be long of all the support we have received. Seating with personalities that I could only dream of, it was at times surreal.  At times I thought how could someone so powerful actually be giving so much help, like Christine Brooks – Cropper founder of the DC Fashion Foundation, who has been my mentor for over ten years. Or meeting the editor in chief for different USA TODAY magazines who featured us in three different magazines nationwide.

I won’t bore you mentioning all the people who has been there for US. But check out some of the most important moments.

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Evelyn Brooks & Mrs. Flor Diaz (Peru Cultural Attache for the United States)

Evelyn Brooks & Mrs. Flor Diaz (Peru Cultural Attache for the United States)

Juan Luis Reus (Head of the Peru Trade Mission in Washington DC), Evelyn Brooks & Jose Corbera (Commerce Office Embassy of Peru in Washington DC)

Juan Luis Reus (Head of the Peru Trade Mission in Washington DC), Evelyn Brooks & Jose Corbera (Commerce Office Embassy of Peru in Washington DC)

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Photoshoot session with Sandro Gomez, Vanessa Arias and MUA by Eduardo Carcamo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I could do is end up this blog saying that for years Evelyn Brooks Designs had a dream of designing and making Peruvian inspired jewelry mixed with contemporary art and following the latest trends. For years our social responsible commitment has been growing and continues to support different communities to help eradicate poverty, creating better living infrastructure, well paid jobs and promoting better education.

My interns, each an everyone, has touched my life in many different ways, some are married now, some are working at the best design houses in New York, there was one that call me once to Thank me so much because when she went to her final interview with Telemundo, the president said to her OMG you worked with Evelyn Brooks? and That is all the president of Telemundo needed to know, to immediately opened the doors to an easier interview that followed with a job position.

It is been TWELVE years so we must be doing something right, huh? The U.S. Government is now selling my jewelry designs through the Eastern National Parks at the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial and The Ford’s Theater. My collection with Peruvian huayruro seed20150622-Sergio-Davala-M-VP016s is sold nationwide. We have worked hard to come to more and more places and will continue to do it.

My latest venture is opening a shop in Cusco – Peru (Cusco Designers Showroom), the project that I actually thought my husband would be so against to, he was the one that told me: DO IT, I AM WITH YOU. DO IT. Even our nanny said I was waiting for your husband to scream and say NO, I SAID NO (just cause we know him so well…LOL)

And we have so many projects coming up in the next months, we will keep you posted. Thanks for being there for us, after all these years. My commitment is to continue bringing innovative jewelry designs that you will feel proud to wear or you would love to give them away as gifts.

From now through July 15Th we are offering 15%off all our online purchase. Use Code: ANNIVERSARY15

Till next time,

Evelyn Brooks

Last Saturday I attended the National Conference on Ending poverty. One of the reasons I wanted to be there is because I wanted to volunteer, learn and help the organization that gave me a hand (or two) when I first came to the United States. They are Empowered Women International (EWI).

The panel of speakers had many notable advocates from around the nation who met on March 28, 2015 at the Washington Convention Center to create a dialogue between people experiencing poverty and those who want to help.

Of course, I attended the EWI panel who had women telling their story of overcoming many obstacles to live a better live. What does this have to do with ending poverty? Some students mentioned they were poor on the inside, they had to battle with their own  demons inside before they could get out of their isolation and the many problems some faced before they live in a better place.

So as I was listening to all these wonderful women, I went back and thought about my beginnings. How both my parents overcame many obstacles to give a better future to their kids. My father had very limited opportunities as a kid, I vividly remember the day he told me he had a rock to play with and pretend it was his car, or the day he told me his mom sent him to work at the age of eleven to his godfather’s  farm, or how he learned about making jewelry at the age of fourteen. Wasn’t he just a child, or a teenager? My mom also suffered verbal and psycological abuse from her step father. I could even attempt to say he was trying to sexually abuse her although she hasn’t openly said it.

In all honesty this is the first time I openly say it and I want you to read it because no matter where you come from or how your life was, you are your own builder or everything that happens to you. If you surround yourself with the right people good things will come to you.

How much do you involve your kids in helping the community, how much social work they do? All this things are going to help them value more all they have, and how hard we as parents try to always do our best to give them a better future.

I have been a member of Empowered Women International from the beginning, over TEN years ago, and one of the first ones to graduate from the entrepreneurship program. For the National Conference on Ending Poverty, I wanted to come back, help and learn about those issues; I also reaffirm that that sense of family that EWI is and,  I felt ten years ago, that sincere hug from another woman that may have suffered, and now belongs to these community of women that help each other.

As I continue growing as a jewelry designer and mompreneur, we continue to strongly believe in giving back and there is no better feeling than giving back to our community. Through different projects raising funds for different organizations, through creating beautiful custom pieces to raise funds and many other projects we work to continue with our social responsible mission.

Poverty goes beyond having a better place to live, or food to eat, a place to work; it is also getting out to become a better person and being happy from within.

With this said, sometimes we make poor decisions, or we make decisions based in frugal things, not the real meaningful things in life that no money can buy.

If you feel you can change your life there are many organizations that can help you, and many different programs that can help you. Looking to venture in a new proyect, or business, or dreaming to do something but don’t know what?

Empowered Women International can help, visit their website at http://www.ewint.org

Till next time

Evelyn Brooks