Fashion and Jewelry Designer.
My name is Maritza Guevara Sánchez and I am from Peru. I was born in the small town of Celedin which situated six hours from Cajarmaca. My parents, José Guevara and María Sánchez are the protagonists of my story and they are the greatest gifts that life has bestowed upon me. I have seven siblings, Carmela Guevara, Idelso Guevara, Luz Guevara, Raúl Guevara, María Alvina, Carlos, and Samuel and I am so blessed to have each and every one of them for they have filled me with joy throughout my life, and for that I will be forever grateful.
When I was a young girl, I had this crazy dream of being a fashion designer and I began that dream the only way I knew how…designing outfits for my doll. However this was no ordinary doll, for this was a doll that was handmade by my father from a trunk of dry wood and when my mother was not around, I would sew my doll’s clothes with my her sewing machine—which was one of those machines of antiquity—when she was not around. In failed in my initial attempts, for I ended up sewing nothing and would instead break the needles, but that initial failure did not damper my spirits, but instead further feed my passion. My parents being from a small town did not understand my ambitions and being humble as they were they could not image that someone could care so much about clothes. I lived happily with my parents until I was fifteen when I left my parents’ home to pursue my dreams in Lima—the big city.
Once in Lima, I moved in with my uncle Armando Sánchez and my aunt Felicita and I will always be thankful to them for all the kindness they showed me during those years. Shortly after my arrival, I started taking night classes at Bartolome Herrera High school where I would complete my high school diploma. During that same time I found out about my parents’ divorce, which was very hard on my father, who now had to be both mother and father to my siblings. There are no words to describe how much I love my father; he was a strong and caring man who was always there for me and always protected me. He was my guardian angel.
After the divorce I had to find a job, I had to do something to help my dad and my younger siblings, and that is when my uncle Armando helped me in my studies, for I would study Cut and Dressmaking in the mornings at the Interfor Pedagogical Institute and during the evenings I would go to Bartolome to complete my high school studies. I would like to thank the Institute for the opportunities that it bestowed upon me, the full three-year scholarship that they awarded me to complete the Cut and Dressmaking program, to the partial scholarship that they gave me to continue studying Fashion.
While studying fashions and having a few jobs here and there, I was able to bring my siblings, Carmela, Luz and Carlitos—who then was only five years old—all to Lima. Shortly afterwards I rented a room to live with my siblings, and graduated from Fahsion design when I was twenty years old. During that time I would have to thank Ramón Alonso Quiroz—my one and only love—for he became my friend, my confidant, and my everything. He—who now is my husband—helped me tremendously throughout those years and helped me make my dreams come true.
My dream soon became my occupation, and I often got a few jobs sewing and I slowly began to build up my clientele. However my husband—who was then my boyfriend—encouraged me to pursue higher learning and insisted that I accomplish a University education. I applied twice and was denied, but in my stubbornness, I kept applying and got into for I got into the Inca Garcilaso De La Vega University. I am very thankful to all my professors who were my mentors throughout my university career and for guiding me in the right direction. I ended my university career in 2009 and shortly after I married and moved to the United States.
Once in this wonderful country that is filled with opportunities, I noticed that there was a lot of fashions designers already, so I ventured into another passion of mine which I had never pursued: Jewelry making. I started designing jewelry from natural stones, crystals, silver and gold, and from then on I was blessed with many opportunities. During the following twelve years I met very amiable individuals whom aided me in promoting my collections. I would like to thank CNN en Español, Programa Notimujer, and Mercedes Sloler Cada, for they were the ones that open the door for me. I would also like to thank D’Latinos for they have given me a segment in which I teach how to make jewelry and fashions, thank you to Mónica Cogollos and Mayela Rosales, for opening the doors of your homes to me.
I have also had the luck to meet many celebrities who now use my accessories like, Denise Isaac, Carines Moncada, María Celeste Arraras, Rachel Díaz, Azucena Cierco, Lopez from Telemundo 51,and María Teresa Rodríguez from the newshow Aqui y Ahora in Univision. I have also had the opportunity to work alongside Rosita Hurtado in different fashion shows, such as Fashion for Her in Naples. I also had the opportunity to be in Houston, Texas, which was where my love for Fashions reappeared and the dream that I had left twelve years ago resurfaced.
From then on, I inspired to start my own clothing collection. I titled my collection Sumacc Warmi which translates to “Beautiful Women.” The collection represents the modern woman with a touch of conservatism. The collection is inspired by all women, all whom are beautiful—once they know how to dress! Sumacc Warmi also encompasses the beauty of my home country—which is home to one of the Seven New Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu—as well as the beauty of these amazing United States—my second home.
I would like to thank God almighty for always looking after me for without him, I am nothing and he is my everything. I would like to thank my beloved father, José Guevara, who passed away four years ago in August 2010 at sixty years of age, for being my guardian angel. I am also wholeheartedly grateful for my husband, who is the love of my life, and has always shown me support in every wild dream of mine, and it is also he the one who takes all the photographs—be it for my page, my cards, etc.—he is the man with the keen eye behind the lens! Lastly I would like to thank every single person who has made this book possible, especially Rocio Navarrete who has been a great friend to me and encouraged me to publish this book and Cynthia D. Acosta, the face of my collection.