Designed in Costa Rica and handcrafted in Peru, Carao Jewelry’s designs are made entirely by hand from start to finish. Daniela de Sainz started the brand as a passion project after travelling to Peru and learning silversmithing. She wanted to start a business that would support the artisans of Lima and help preserve their cultural heritage. And that’s exactly what she has done. We chat to Daniela to learn more about her story and her interesting designs.
How did your brand begin?
“Carao started as a personal project during my college years. When I graduated university, I travelled to Peru to learn silversmithing from a master craftsman and decided to start a venture to help the Peruvian artisan community rise and preserve our cultural heritage.”
“Clean, geometric shapes create delicate and timeless pieces, which are designed to merge and evolve with their wearer’s essence.”
What inspires your collections?
“Our collections take inspiration from the geometry of ancient Latin American productions, such as textiles and pottery. Clean, geometric shapes create delicate and timeless pieces, which are designed to merge and evolve with their wearer’s essence.”
How is your jewelry made?
“All of our jewelry is designed by me in Costa Rica and handcrafted by master silversmiths in Peru. We work with rural migrant artisans living in socially and economically marginalized areas of the city of Lima, Peru.”
“Our jewelry is crafted 100% by hand; we don't use molds or laser machines.”
Do you use any specific crafting techniques?
“One of our core values is to rescue our cultural heritage, so all the techniques used in crafting our pieces are traditional silversmithing techniques. Our jewelry is crafted 100% by hand; we don't use molds or laser machines.”
How do you ensure your jewelry is ethical and sustainable?
“We help our artisan partners set up their workshops and provide them with the materials they need. They organize their schedules, work without any pressure from us, and we pay them (up front) the honoraries they consider appropriate for their work.”
“What always keeps my spirits up is knowing the positive impact our project has in the lives of everyone involved”
What’s been the biggest challenge?
“The most challenging step in turning Carao into a reality was looking for investors for the studio. What always keeps my spirits up is knowing the positive impact our project has in the lives of everyone involved, specially our artisan partners.”
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, which would it be?
“The Demi Ear Climbers, without a doubt! They are the right balance between office-appropriate and edgy, and they’re perfect for when you have to pull a day-to-night look.”
What’s the biggest style mistake you’ve ever made?
“Following trends just because.”
Where’s your go-to meeting spot?
“A quiet and beautiful restaurant and local design shop in San Jose, Costa Rica called Kalú.”
What’s your favourite series to binge-watch on Netflix?