Luxury meets Sustainability at Alicia Peru
Fall is right around the corner… and that means the arrival of sweater weather. For the ladies, the Heart of Bellevue has the perfect spot to find a great sweater and cardigan made from sustainable alpaca textiles: Alicia Peru. Stop in for a taste of luxury and sustainability and find that next piece for your wardrobe.
Alicia Rodriguez, designer and founder of Alicia Peru, joined forces with her daughter Patricia Markevitch to expand a vision for a more contemporary spin on her private label designs. Rodriguez’s private label is made sustainability in Peru and began as a wholesaler mostly in New England and the East Coast, before moving it’s way to the Northwest. Starting their Old Bellevue store in 2008 gave them a place to sell their latest designs.
Quality, not quantity, is the move. Alicia Peru is focused on slow fashion where you won’t find the latest trends or throwaway productions. Instead, the fabric is soft, wears well and can be dyed and mixed with other fibers – easily lasting a lifetime.
“We are a locally designed brand that uses premium natural eco-friendly,” Markevitch said. “Alpaca fiber was a natural fit because it is a premium fiber native to Peru and has grown in popularity over the years.”
When you walk through the doors of Alicia Peru, you’ll find personalized customer service first and foremost. You will always see the mother and daughter duo on the floor, selling products in addition to designing and sourcing. Aside from clothing, Alicia Peru also offers home furnishings, accessories and unique products from small niche brands in the USA. It’s no surprise they have such a loyal and valued customer base.
Like many local businesses, Alicia Peru had to close their doors for three months due to the pandemic. This affected their supply chain speed and their ability to sell locally. Instead, they pivoted to sell on their Facebook and Instagram and got creative with their marketing – doing more weekly uploads, markdowns on seasonal products and sending e-mail newsletters to core customers.
“We find a very potent form of advertising in ‘word of mouth’,” Markevitch said. “Getting a customer to talk and refer our business to her circle of friends is very potent and impactful.”
Markevitch explained that transitioning to a full-fledged online business after existing in a physical wholesale and retail model for the last 10 years is a work in progress. But they’re making progress.
Markevitch also stressed the importance of supporting your local small business retailers. They do more than just sell products. They are a source for community and build on it.
“If we (small businesses) are forced to close down for good, the streets will not have the same source of liveliness and comfort we are used to.” said Markevitch.
You don’t have to go too far to find unique luxurious pieces, sustainably sourced. Check out Alicia Peru for yourself.
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.