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This December we Won't Give you a Discount. We will Give you a Reason

- Posted in Company by

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The end of the year is "the season to be jolly." Christmas and the upcoming New Year gives us reasons to feel happier and hopeful about a better and nicer future for ourselves and our families.

However, media and the advertising industry have also turned the end of the year a season to spend (and also waste) a lot of money. Stores fill all public spaces (the Internet included) with advertising, with discounts, with "exclusive" promotions, and push us to think about the gifts we are to give our friends and beloved ones to show how much we care for them.

And we spend money buying things for Christmas just to wait one week to, once again, spend another sum of money to celebrate the New Year with all its traditions.

As a consequence, we all start January a little bit happier but a bunch closer to being indebted and broke than when we ended October.

Here at Tinkuy, we have an online store, so, in theory, we should take advantage of these special days to offer you huge discounts that are way too good to resist. Yet, instead to joining the bandwagon of consumerism, we thought it would be a great idea to help you get down from it… for a change.

So instead of giving you discounts, we would like to give you a reason: helping.

We started Tinkuy in Peru because we got sick and tired of seeing how multinational companies, even many so-called "fair trade" companies, abused artisans' time and resources to get cheap high-quality alpaca wool clothes "the corporate way," that is, negotiating wholesale prices and discounts just because they were offering to buy a set of clothes or handcrafts and not just one or two pieces.

Artisans work for days to complete the order and get paid, and the company then resells their products for a 300%, 400% or even 500% profit in some cases.

In other words, to make money while artisans remain poor.

Buying a present from Tinkuy this year you can ensure your money will end up in the hands of an artisan who has been paid more than average for his work. This may not be important for you, but will certainly be very important for them.

In the same fashion, if you consider turning more of your end-of-year expenses to more meaningful ends, you will in turn receive the satisfaction of knowing that you are not wasting your money, but doing something more useful with it.

Peruvian Decoration is Important for Culture

- Posted in Decoration by

Peru is quite likely the cradle of civilization in America (the continent). Historians have discovered that first civilizations of Amercia established in Sechin Bajo (near the current Casma, in Peru) over 5500 years ago.

Times were not very violent then. At least there were not remains of weapons or warfare near Sechin Bajo when archaeologists explored the area. People quite likely lived peacefully, spending their time in their fields and, of course, building items.

And guess what… even in those very old times decoration was important. Ruins show that they made decorative items for both practical and religious motivations. Among them, Peruvian decoration has traditionally represented their everyday life, their duties, idols, gods, and even sexual practices. It included ceramics, carved stone, clothes and buildings.

Centuries later, when Spaniards came to South America and conquered the region, they brought with them European cultural influences. Peruvian artisans adapted, and mixed the old with the new. They engraved, for example, gourds that mixed the ancient icons with Christian motifs.

And new artwork appeared as well, such as masks and retablos.

Centuries later, despite the passing of all that time, Peruvian decorative techniques are still with us. Artisans still create items that resemble the everyday life of the Andes or Amazon; they combine ancient iconography with more recent yet still traditional motifs, and preserve the old techniques.

Photograph of some beautiful Peruvian décor items made in Cusco

How Peruvian Décor is Done

Peruvian décor is made of different materials. We already mentioned gourds above, but we can also count on cloth, ceramic, semi-precious stones, several metals, white stone (which is rare worldwide yet common in southern Peru) and wood. Many artisans combine techniques to prepare their crafts. For example, they can combine wood and ceramics to create a Peruvian retablo; or they can combine ceramics and metals to create a wall plate. White stone, in turn, is quite malleable when it is removed from its source, but it gets harder and more durable a few days after.

As for where it is done, it depends on the region. Crafts are usually not made in urban areas, where western culture has taken over. They are made mainly in small towns in which traditions are preserved generation upon generation "the old way." In Peru, it is hard to find "industrialized" production of crafts. You can notice the difference because they all look the same, or because they are lighter and cheaper (in the case of alpaca clothes, for example). In Peru, buying these machine-made items is considered of bad taste. Handmade items are considered more valuable and worth buying. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons all of our products are handmade at Tinkuy is because we agree that handmade items are better.

A few retablos and engraved gourds made in Peru

Acknowledgements

Peruvian craftwork has earned many acknowledgements over the last few decades. The Huaconada and Tunantada dances, for example, have been acknowledged as an immaterial cultural heritage by Unesco, and you can buy original dance masks here at Tinkuy.

Like them, there are many Peruvian crafts, dances and traditions that are globally acknowledged and preserved. It may be one of the privileges Peruvians have for being the cradle of civilization in America; but anyway, this is why getting a Peruvian décor for your house is so important. Buying it, you motivate artisans to preserve traditions and to teach them to the next generation. If you neglect it for cheap products from your favourite online retailer, we all run the risk of seeing how these techniques get lost in time.

Check our offer of Peruvian décor here.

We are Looking for Business Partners

- Posted in Company by

Tinkuy is a manufacturer of baby alpaca clothing and accessories. We focus in winter clothes such as sweaters, cardigans, gloves and scarves; but we also sell Peruvian home décor and tailored-made products.

We like the idea of working ethically. We never negotiate prices with the artisans who work with us, and we never ask them to blend wools to reduce costs or increase profits. When you buy from Tinkuy, you have the guarantee that you are buying 100% handmade baby alpaca products, period.

Now we are seeking to expand. So we are looking for affiliates, drop shippers and local clothes stores from all over the world interested in selling fine baby alpaca clothes in their premises. We offer great products and a fair deal. You offer your best selling abilities, and we both make this agreement work.

We are also interested in meeting a few fashion designers interested in working with sweaters and other winter clothes. We have a nice and friendly staff of expert knitters looking for new challenges, for new ways to express beauty. We could work greatly with your designs.

Interested? Please get in touch using our contact form. We will continue from there.

A few alpacas in the Peruvian Andes photo by Esmée Winnubst

Alpacas are everywhere!

- Posted in Alpacas by

When you think about alpacas, you probably think on the Andes mountains as well. Maybe you recall a photo of alpacas wandering near Machu Picchu or the surroundings. Truth is alpacas are everywhere today. Despite the fact they are still mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, they are also in North America, Australia, New Zealand, China and zoos all around the world.

Alpacas like the heights of the Andes and cold weather, but they are domestic and quite adaptable too. They can live peacefully in regions that are warmer or flat. All they need is some space to wander about and a lot of plants to eat.

Now, as promised, here a list of alpaca photos you can freely use. Just make sure to respect and comply with the photographers' requirements when doing it.

Young male alpaca Young male alpaca by Seb Hunt

Alpaca semiprofile Alpaca semiprofile by Seb Hunt

Baby alpaca in Peru Baby alpaca in Peru by Natascha Martogli

Alpaca herd in Peru Alpaca herd in Peru by Natascha Martogli

Curious baby alpaca Curious baby alpaca by Pierre J

Baby alpaca greeting Was that an alpaca smooch? by Katherine

Alpaca with family Alpaca with its family by Liz

Baby alpaca after fleece Baby alpaca after fleece by Miriam

Welcome to the world! Welcome to the world! by Katherine

Alpaca with wool Alpaca with wool by Kubi

Alpaca and its baby Alpaca and its baby by Liz M

Two baby alpacas Two baby alpacas by Sid

Baby alpaca in the Andes Baby alpaca in the Andes by j_gldsck

Alpacas in Peru Alpacas in Peru by Paul Summers

Alpacas in Sacsayhuaman Alpacas in Sacsayhuaman by Susan Campo

A tender baby alpaca A tender baby alpaca by Jim Lietsman

Alpaca and baby Alpaca and baby by Terence McCormack

Hello! Hello! by Miguel Muñoz

A slender alpaca A slender alpaca by Michelle Bender

Sunset with alpacas Sunset with alpacas by Jim Donahue

How much does a baby alpaca weigh?

- Posted in Alpacas by

A baby alpaca weighs between 6 kg and 9 kg at birth, and reaches between 25 kg and 40 kg at the sixth month of age. They are smaller than llamas, which weigh go from between 9 kg and 14 kg at birth to between 35 kg and 65 kg at the sixth month of age.

Let's take the opportunity to learn a little more about how Peruvian alpaca owners take care of their herds. The first thing to learn is that you need to be quite careful with the females. Allow us to elaborate.

In the alpaca business, the animal husbandry begins with a proper management of females before and during gestation. Before breeding, it is important to keep young females away from males to prevent health problems (in the female) for breeding too early. Alpacas, unlike other mammals, do not have a mating season. Ovulation is induced by the presence of males' sperm. That's why it is important to keep young females separate until they are old enough to breed.

Baby alpacas are born after eleven and half months of gestation. There may be two babies, but it rarely happens. The newborn baby alpaca will be able to stand up about half an hour after it is born. They look lovely, by the way.

Alpacas are really dependent on their mother's milk, so owners need to make sure those females that are expecting are strong, healthy and well fed. Else, they won't be able to create enough milk for their offspring (called cría, in Spanish). This extra care starts when the alpaca female is at about 7 or 8 months of gestation.

Despite the fact during the first week of its life you can sometimes see a baby alpaca eating some grass or other type of solid food, this will not become a main component of its feeding until the second month of age.

We will tell you more in future articles.