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About Quichua

Our Story

Quichua Crafts Inc. is an Ottawa-based family-run business that had its beginnings in 1993, when Jill and Jacinto Anguaya married and began importing one-of-a-kind goods from his home town of Otavalo, Ecuador, to the nation’s capital Ottawa, Jill’s hometown. They are now the proud owners of both Quichua on Sparks Street and Tickled Pink in the ByWard Market area of Ottawa.

From festivals, powwows and craft fairs to outdoor kiosks on the Sparks Street Mall and Byward Market, Quichua grew steadily and operated many seasonal locations in local shopping centers. In May 1996, Quichua Crafts opened its first store at 799 Bank Street in the Glebe where they operated until 2003. During this time they also opened Quichua International at 175 Sparks Street, which over the course of 14 years became a shopping tradition for both tourists and native Ottawa shoppers. In 2009, Quichua World Market opened its doors in Westboro Village and after expanding to include 2 floors of worldly shopping, sadly had to close on Dec 31 2013 after the building was sold and slated for redevelopment. The Sparks Street shop moved in February of 2012 to 89 Sparks and evolved into Quichua’s Kameleon PopShop. March of 2012 saw Tickled Pink in the Byward Market Square come into the Quichua fold.

Quichua’s initial mission was to support hand-crafters from Otavalo, Ecuador and provide Ottawa shoppers with fair prices for unique products. Over the years this expanded to include personally sourced products from many countries, as well as a collaboration with other like-minded importers. The final evolution has broadened our product mix to include many local crafters and quality Canadian suppliers.

Our Buying Philosophy

With every product that we choose to carry in our shops, our primary goal is to support hand crafters. Whether the artisan lives in Lanark County, ON or across the world in a small village in Bali, there is a direct financial benefit to the artists and designers who create the products we buy. We believe in supporting small businesses – allowing a family or artisan owned company a chance to have a market beyond their own borders. Ethically made with a strong focus on minimizing our global footprint, Quichua seeks to open the door to the rest of the planet. Providing you with a special collection of clothing, jewellery and gifts is something that we take great pride in.

Our Giving Philosophy – KLEO

We are pleased to share our continuing partnership with KLEO (Karen Learning & Education Opportunities) a local registered charity. Quichua has committed to sponsoring a Karen student through university. In order to meet that goal, we need to raise $5 a day. We hold various in-store fundraisers throughout the year and we are inviting our shoppers to consider rounding up their purchase in order to contribute to this important goal.

Since 2003, KLEO-built Jen’s House has provided Karen hill tribe kids with a place to live and the means to attend school Thai schools. Some of these students are now graduating and ready to go on to higher learning. They are the first ever Karen to possibly obtain a university education, which will allow them in turn to give back and improve their communities. With just a small donation you can help change the course of history. Open your hearts – just a few dollars does make a big difference in educating these young people. Every penny raised goes directly to KLEO and no funds are used for KLEO’s administrative costs, which are all bourne by volunteers.
Please read more about KLEO and the Karen on their website at www.kleosupportgroup.com and visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/KleoOttawa.

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