The first time I met Ximena Crespo, Founder and Creative Director of Quinde, I was able to immediately correlate her products with her eclectic personality. She said to me: “I want to make the brand Quinde more human, where you can seamlessly understand that the products are made by women for women”.
“I am convinced that creating empowering circles among talented women can generate a ripple effect to benefit more women”.
It was in 2018 that Ximena decided to migrate to Switzerland with her family, and declare herself a natural born freelancer. Building a brand meant that she could not only generate added value to her new community, but more importantly it meant she could support other women to showcase their wearable art from the highlands of Ecuador to Switzerland.
From women to women is a concept that continuously empowers artisans and Ximena to be convinced that lifestyle and fashion can both be catalyzers of development and cultural exchange.
Growing up in Ecuador, in Riobamba, a city in the province of Chimborazo, where the tallest active volcano the Taita Chimborazo overlooks its population; Ximena grew up fascinated on how the women of indigenous descent were always colorfully dressed, giving them a pop-of-color to their lives, they characteristically wore weaved patterns in their wardrobe.
“What I miss the most and enjoy from Ecuador is traveling across provinces, this inspired me to create a brand that can compile high quality artisan work across the highlands of Ecuador… this was the perfect reason to travel the Andes in search of local handmade artisans.”
When we think of the legacy indigenous peoples have for the world, one can only think how unfortunately such traditions may be slowly dissipating. This legacy is based on the indigenous cosmovision: the three dimensions that embody nature, human society and extra-human society.
The biggest lesson one can learn to live abundantly, is by simply respecting nature. The sun, the moon, and the universe are all protectors and it is our duty to makeshift to ensure reciprocity. This legacy is one Ximena is aiming to protect and preserve.
Ximena strongly believes that the intangible energy created and transformed by human beings needs to be rescued and highlighted across the world. The way she is committed to do so is with slow fashion converged with indigenous cosmovision. These principles allowed Ximena to move swiftly and adapt while migrating to a new country.
OUR BRAND MAKES YOU FEEL
Quinde in the kichwa indigenous language means hummingbird, the colorful, resilient, energetic species. Do you recall what you feel when you see a hummingbird? Most definitely catches your eye and you immediately feel connected with its colors and movement.
Ximena shares why the brand is named after the smallest bird on the planet: “every time I see a hummingbird I remember home, how colorful every detail in Ecuador is, women’s attires, giant platters of food, fields of flowers and nature, sunny skies, the eternal summer.”
“Quinde or hummingbirds make a difference in your day when they pass you by, that’s exactly what wearing our products should make you feel”
This is how I see Ximena as well, a woman who wants to devote her brand to represent energy and versatility. Ximena, a woman who unites other women, who recognizes the importance of empowering artisan women to maintain their cosmovision tradition and heritage through the creation of wearable art.
Quinde plays an important role with the development of Ecuadorian women artisans and integration of cultures from Ecuador to the distribution home base of Switzerland. As the creator of a brand that potentiates the creative self of artisans and who strongly believes in bridging cultures through slow fashion (slow fashion is a lifestyle we will cover in our next blog post), Ximena is here to welcome you to her new blog series.
In this first blog post, we would like to leave a written legacy for the effort Ximena has built to unite women across the world who have the same vision and passion. Thanks to this work, we are able to be one step closer to the stories of her home country Ecuador.
This is Quinde: home, color, and resilience.
Please share this with anyone who you believe has the same vision as Ximena to unite women, and would like to learn more about the cosmovision Ximena is inspired in.
Written by – Dominique Crespo