How Alicia Peru Built Resiliency During the Pandemic
In 2008, Alicia Rodriguez and her daughter Patricia Markevitch had a vision to bring refined and elegant contemporary garments and accessories to the market using premium natural fibers native to Peru. After 10 years as a wholesaler, they opened a popup shop in the heart of Bellevue and a year later, their very own store. In 2018, the family-owned business finally had a place to call home. Markevitch, co-owner of Alicia Peru described their offerings as an eco-luxury, sustainable choice of clothing, designed locally and produced with care.
“We gravitate towards alpaca and cotton fibers because both my mom and I have a strong link with our heritage country,” Markevitch said. “We’ve been exposed to those textiles and fibers for so long. We know its quality and we want to share that with the community.”
Like many other small businesses during the pandemic, ideas and products have shifted left and right at Alicia Peru.
“The pandemic has completely shifted our focus to social media and updating our websites to connect with our customers at a distance,” she said. “But we’re very tactile people. We still believe in the storefront model because they have to come in and be able to touch the quality.”
While new ideas can be helpful, Markevitch found that bringing back old ideas also works. After drifting away from a strict wholesale model, they are bringing it back with an expanded focus on home and gift products.
“Consumer tastes have completely shifted lanes. With the pandemic, people haven’t been dressing up like they once did. We’re now addressing their home space, offering items like throw pillows and cushions.” Markevitch said.
As the transition continues, the mother-daughter duo hopes that people will return to public life, giving them a reason to dress up for the office.
“I think the word ‘struggle’ has been used a lot lately with small local businesses, but I don’t think of us like that,” she said. “I think being a small business today has made us more agile. Our focus can shift and change, it keeps us moving and keeps our ideas fresh.”
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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Bellevue, WA 98004