Meet Karen Torres from Tulia's Artisan Gallery

Tell us about your products.

All products are made in Colombia by indigenous Wounaan artisans that have displaced from Choco (Pacific Coast of Colombia) to Bogota to seek refuge from the continuing violence in that part of the country. They use a traditional palm leaf fiber to make threads and sew coiled baskets. They can sew as tight as two stitches per mm. I work with them to design these home decor art pieces along with unique woven jewelry pieces.

Tell us about your connection to Chicago.

Born in Chicago. Raised in Rogers Park. Currently live in Oriole Park (NW SIDE).

What do you love about your business.

I love sharing the rich art and culture of Colombia.

Tell us about your design inspiration.

The design inspirations come from the natural elements found in Colombia and traditional Wounaan culture.

What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Be patient, yet persistent.

Share a favorite quote, a mantra, bud'laska. 

Action cures fear.

Surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc. 

I once was a Forensic Scientist.

Name 3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.

Susu Accessories, Yabal Handicrafts, Via 7. These are great brands that are coming out with amazingly beautiful high end designs.

What is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business? 

Avoid "analysis paralysis". This has allowed me to not overanalyze things and just do it.

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kendra chaplin