In 2011, anthropologist Katia Guardia and designer Pipo Ramirez where both in a search for a way to give back to Peruvian communities. They were both doing this search separately until they ran into one another in Ayacucho, Peru. Pipo had traveled back to his mother's home town 18 years after having grown up in Los Angeles and becoming a designer. Katia had already been involved with artisans who's work was sold around the world, but no one did anything to give back to the hands that were crafting these beautiful products. They understood that this was their mission and KANI was born.
The first thing that Katia and Pipo decided to do was see at firsthand the origins of these handcrafted products. They traveled away from the main cities and into the villages where women artisans were hand embroidering textiles. These villages were mostly populated by women and children since men had to travel for hours and stay away for weeks in order to find work. They didn't expect to see such poor living conditions from artisans who's work was sold in museums and gift shops around the world. Villages who's children suffer from malnutrition and sun radiation year round. The first visits made it clear that it wasn't only about selling handmade products from these artisans, but giving their children a better future.
After two years of living side by side with artisans of one village, San Luis de Picha, they were able to understand what artisans wanted: sustainable income and better living conditions for their children. Charity or donations weren't the answer, because artisans had the abilities to earn a better income, they just needed to be included in the global marketplace. And children needed protection from the sun as they suffered from damaged skin, headaches and sight problems throughout the year.
Katia and Pipo studied the traditional techniques of the peruvian highlands and developed products to start a movement to empower artisans and change Picha's future.