"… I've found that when you want something so much, opportunity will come. Every day, life offers a new opportunity to be happy. It's called 'today.'"
"I'm an extrovert and love to laugh. I'm persevering and enterprising. When I set my mind on doing something, I don't stop until I achieve it.
"I'm Nancy Surichaqui Bocanegra. I was born in Junin province in a town surrounded by canyons and valleys. When I was a girl, I'd play there amid the beautiful flora where animals grazed. During the day, I had schoolwork, the sun at dawn, long walks in the countryside, trips from the village into town, and incessant rain. At night, I had the moon and stars. I feel so fortunate for these experiences, simple ones perhaps, but they filled my soul.
"My childhood was such fun. With God's help, my family was able to get ahead although we couldn't have predicted the obstacles life would place in our paths. I never thought I'd make a career in textiles. In fact, I wasn't the least bit interested. As a girl, I always helped out at home and in school, I loved art and literature. I didn't have anything definite in mind, I just enjoyed the moment.
"I can't recall exactly when the magic happened. I only know that one day when walking through the village, I saw a lot of clothing and fashion accessories and I loved them! This piqued my curiosity. I wanted to know how you could knit such modern and elegant designs. I thought about it a lot, and that excitement has never left me.
"Eventually, my brother got married and his wife knitted clothing. I asked her to please teach me and I really wanted to learn. No one in my family had had the opportunity, so she taught me to knit and crochet my own designs.
"This was all so exciting to me. I not only learned the technique but was able to perfect it and create quality apparel that was unique and beautiful. Of course, it took a lot of effort and practice. My results at first weren't always as good as I'd hoped.
"Many times I tried to stop but there was always someone who liked my designs and this was a motivation to continue creating and believing in myself.
"One of the most difficult times in my life was when my mother became ill. I was with her through it all and saw how her health went slowly downhill. It was a very hard blow and, even today, I'm not completely over it. She was always there for me in my life and in my personal projects. She will always be the great love of my life and the reason I never gave up. I went on with my work and projects because this is what she wanted.
"It's hard to find strength when you don't have any. But my mother taught me to be strong and find the courage to face life's obstacles. That's really all you can do — face them and move on with passion and determination. This is exactly what we did. Together with my family, I started a career in textiles. With time, I mastered knitting and crocheting, and achieved the speed and perfection I wanted in each and every design. It was sometimes challenging to select the type of yarn and the colors that I wanted.
"My inspiration comes from everything I've seen and experienced along the way — from nature, animals living free and the rich and varied colors of Peru's many regions. It's almost impossible not to feel this, and these colors and techniques are the hallmark of my work.
"I often feared it was impossible to distinguish my textile arts but I've found that when you want something so much, opportunity will come. Every day, life offers a new opportunity to be happy. It's called 'today.'"