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A few weeks ago I was invited by Juan Luis Reus (PromPeru) to participate in a conference that would take place in Lima-Peru. The conference was “Atrevete a Exportar” (watch video) , where three representatives of three different successful companies in the United States would come to share their success story. Rafael Cuellar (President & CEO of ShopRite – Cuellar Family Markets), Amazons Imports And guess what? Evelyn Brooks, was chosen as one of the three speakers to participate;) I thought, what a great opportunity! Come back to my country and share the success story of Evelyn Brooks Designs in the United States. Thinking about Evelyn Brooks Designs success story, many things came to my mind. What have I done in the almost 10 years of my company? Mainly work hard for one goal: Create jewelry designs inspired in my Peruvian culture, mixed with contemporary art and following the latest trends. During those years unexpected things happened, like the economy problems of 2008; I had to learn that sometimes you have to be patient to accomplish what you want. I research a lot and learn about your my jewelry market, who you are going to sell, how you present yourself as an entrepreneur and as your own brand. How over the years is not just me working in Evelyn Brooks Designs, we have grown and we are a group of people working towards the same goal. I left to Peru on  a Monday unfortunately my flight was delayed and ended up arriving 6 hours prior to my conference, with very few hours of sleep I arrived to the PromPeru offices in San Isidro. IMG_8124IMG_8120   The Commerce Minister Magaly Pinto & the Peruvian Ambassador in the United States Mr. Harold Forsyth inaugurated the conference. It was a great topic and attendees were more than ready to learn from this conference. Many of the attendees are eager to sell their products in the United States and these conferences helps them to open the eyes to a new world of possibilities. Speaking for a different audience with a different culture it isn’t as easy as you can think. Even though I am Peruvian I haven’t live there for over a decade so perhaps I identify myself with certain things that are very familiar in the American culture but not in Peru. I spoke to my brother who lives in Peru and has a broad marketing background in Peru, and suggest me how to engage people into my subject; he told me find a movie that you relate to and that Peruvians can relate to, something inspiring. One of my favorites is “The Devil wears Prada”, he told me YES but not many people has seen it in Peru perhaps the fashionistas, something else…”The Pursuit of Happiness” and he said YES, that is it a great movie that many people has seen. You can motivate your audience with that movie:) So I began my conference with the trailer of the Pursuit of Happiness and they loved it. (I hope it inspires YOU)  

Then I talked about our mission of creating jewelry inspired in Peruvian culture, with modern designs and following the latest trends. How we went from showcasing at small open houses, then selling on consignment to boutiques in DC, VA and Maryland, then going to juried art shows as well as how we debut at our 1st wholesale show in Philadelphia. I also spoke about delivering our 1st 5000 piece order while giving birth and breastfeeding. (hey anything is possible) and when you have a contract and a commitment you have to do it. Right now Evelyn Brooks Designs is in over 80 boutique in the United States and U. S. Virgin Islands. We look forward to continue growing and continue bringing my jewelry designs to more countries around the world. I closed my presentation talking about what is coming up for us: – Peru Fashion NightAtlanta America’s MartAcre Orlando ShowSan Francisco Gift Show It was also great to meet the other commerce officers operating in Los Angeles (Ricardo Romero), Miami (Erick  Aponte) & New York (Conrado Falco)

I ‘d like to thank PromPeru, especially Juan Luis Reus (from the Trade Office of PromPeru in Washington DC) also Mr. Jose Corbera – Commerce Office of Peru in Washington DC. Hope to come back again! Sincerely, Evelyn Brooks

The Tumi Awards are given once a year in the state of Florida during the month of September.

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The Tumi Awards are given to the most notables Peruvians in the United States. It is considered the “Hall of Fame of the Peruvian Community” and took place on Saturday, Sept. 21 at  the Colony Theatre, located at 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fl. 33139.

The XVIII Tumi USA Award ceremony honored 33 winners with the Award of Excellence, 26 of whom are from Peru and seven are from Latin America.

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The award winners receive this honor of recognition, gratitude and admiration for excelling as professionals and students, as well as exemplifying outstanding merit, venerable trajectory and contributing toward society’s collective development and welfare. This recognition acknowledged in the U.S. cities where the prize winners are from, as well as Peru.

Entrepreneur New Generation was the award that I was chosen to receive.

To be honest, I don´t ever work expecting to get a recognition nor an award. I work endless hours taking care of designing, creating, producing along with my team my jewelry designs.  I am passionate about what I do, it runs in my veins. I grew up seeing my father working 80% of his time and my mother always by side. All they wanted was to provide the best education as we grew up.

Through my jewelry designs I want to tell the world about the beauty of something so traditional as the Peruvian huayruros. I  like to keep the tradition of wearing Peruvian huayruros but wear them in a more modern and fashionable way.

My husband and I launched Evelyn Brooks Designs in 2004. We did it with two goals in mind. The first one, design pieces inspired by my Peruvian culture but with modern designs following the latest trends and also have as part of our mission to help communities in need through different socially responsible programs. We have partnered with different non-profits to help them raise my needed funds.

Evelyn Brooks Designs has been in business for almost 10 years. We have been able to bring my jewelry designs to over 80 boutiques, galleries and museums in the United States. Evelyn Brooks teaches ¨Jewelry: A creative and lucrative experience¨ at the only Spanish program given by the Montgomery College.

I have also been invited by the Peruvian government agency PromPeru to speak about my jewelry experience entering the U.S. market among other important subjects related to the jewelry industry. She has become in a short period of time an expert in the entrepreneur world of the jewelry industry in the United States.

Let me tell you a bit more about my Peruvian Huayruros; they can also be found in other countries in Latin America as well as Africa, India and Europe. Many of us(Peruvians) wouldn´t wear the huayruros traditionally like our indigenes from the tribes of Pucallpa, but I am pretty sure you would were them in a more modern presentation, right?

I feel SO proud when I see the most important museums  in the United States interested in my jewelry line. Like the Natural History Museum of Harvard, The Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Women Museum for the Arts in Washington DC among others are interested in the design, the story and the message behind my Peruvian huayruros.

I will be eternally thankful to those who believed in me, in my designs and to those who wear proudly my jewelry designs made with Peruvian huayruros, something so traditional but with a more modern and fashionable flair.

I like to thank the different press and media who are always supporting my efforts. The different organizations like Empowered Women International, the DC Fashion Foundation, The National Hispana Leadership Institute, Latinas Leading Network, Latina Mom Bloggers, Mami VerseLatina Bloggers Connect, Dialogue on Diversity, Montgomery College, among others. And most importantly to the Embassy of Peru in Washington DC, through their cultural attaché Mrs.Flor Dìaz.

I thank my friends and family who were able to be with me in this special night. Specially my friend Erika Miniza whom I haven´t seen in 20 years and whom drove from Atlanta to be with me. THANK YOU!

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I´d like to finish this blog post dedicating this award to all those business entrepreneurs who work hard to be the best in what they do but whom also have the difficult job of being a parent that are always looking to give the best example to our kids.

Work hard for everything you want in life. The journey isn´t easy but persistence, dedication and perseverance will take you to succeed;)

You can also watch my latest you tube video with more about the Tumi Awards 2013

Sincerely,

Evelyn