Today we spent time at the headquarters of Krochet Kids Peru to see their operations at work. I have visited here before, almost two years ago, and I was blown away by the growth that has happened in that short time. On my first visit, the operations all took place in a single room. Now, the participants have tripled and Krochet Kids encompasses several buildings.
We started the day with a tour from Blake, who explained how each piece is made. When they grew so big they had to expand to two buildings, they took over the building next door. They needed a doorway to allow passing through . . . that’s the hole you see in the wall behind him.
Krochet Kids used to be limited to a couple varieties of beanies but they have now expanded to apparel. (Really cute and comfortable apparel, I might add.) They now employ people to pattern, cut, and sew a variety of tanks, tees, and sweatshirts.
One building is dedicated primarily to apparel. Then we headed over to check out the mainstay of their program, where the hats and scarves are made.
These knitting machines are what really allow the women to produce a high volume of products. (They are paid by the piece). The machines are complicated and seemingly magic – and the women receive a good deal of training before they are proficient. However, this is an incredibly valuable skill, and some of the women in the program have saved up to buy their own machines. One of the goals of empowerment is that this program gives women more independence . . . that they can eventually “graduate” and develop their own business.
The knitting rooms are bright, breezy, and comfortable. There is a clear determination in their work, but they are also chatting and laughing. The women work from 9 to 5 with an hour lunch break.
Outside the knitting rooms, other women work to put the finishing touches on scarves and hats.
It’s quite an operation and Blake has done an incredible job growing the program so that more women can benefit from a stable job.
After touring the facilities we crossed the street to visit the childcare center, where the Krochet Kids participants can have their children supervised while they work. This feature of their program is so vital to the women, most of whom have small children.
The childcare center of Krochet Kids is much more than childcare. It is operated like a preschool, so the children are getting age-appropriate education and developmental opportunities.
Kathy, who runs the room for the preschool-aged kids, was VERY EAGER to take us on a tour of all of the educational stations she had created. She had every right to be proud – it was truly impressive. She is extremely passionate and resourceful. She’d made learning games of everything at her disposal . . counting games made of egg cartons, puzzles made of discarded boxes. Kathy needs a pinterest board. She is GOOD.
The kids seemed happy and well cared for. During their lunch hour, the moms come have lunch with their children. It’s an ideal situation for these women who want the best for their kids.
To learn more about Krochet Kids, and to see the awesome apparel and accessories they offer, check them out here. You can also follow our trip on instagram with the hashtag #knowwhomadeit, and read the experiences of Heather, Rebecca, and Sarah.