Fernando Lema was born in Peguche, near the city of Otavalo. He and his wife Estela Saransig ambitious artisans who produce solid colored scarves primarily for the Otavalo market. Their family business includes Fernando’s mother, Rosa Elena and father, Jose Lema. It was founded on a tradition of knitting that goes back over three generations. Fernando was taught the principles of how to manage a business from his father as a young man and the family as a whole has continued to work hard since producing marketable scarves.
Presently their workshop is located in their home near Otavalo, but the family is hoping to move the workshop out of their home to a new, larger facility. Fernando also wishes to purchase two more machines in order to expand production and increase sales. Additionally, both Fernando and his wife are hugely interested in the marketing and sales side of their business, and this has motivated them to focus on finding potential buyers and markets in other cities and countries. Minga Fair Trade Imports has helped in this regard by facilitating the export of their goods abroad.
The couple’s underlying dream is that their business will enable them to be assist in paying for their children’s future academic education. Their daughter Blanca Rosia, 16, wants to study Chemistry, while her brother, Henry Orlando, 18, is presently in college.