Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kris Cody, Founder of Paka, located in Cusco, Peru.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Founded in Peru, our mission is to create natural, all-purpose clothing for people who love the outdoors. We're doing this by innovating with alpaca fiber and other materials that are healthier for people and the planet so that consumers can connect to our natural world, make more conscious choices, and support the communities where our products come from.

Tell us about yourself

I started Paka after a trip through Peru, where I came across a hand-knit alpaca sweater and was blown away by the material. When I returned to the US, I realized there was a huge opportunity to bring alpaca fiber to the clothing industry. So I flew back on a one-way flight and began living alongside a team of Quechua weavers to build our first prototypes. That was 5 years ago.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment was actually last week when we launched the first-ever alpaca puffer alongside a patent-pending PAKAFILL® alpaca insulation I spent 3 years creating. It was by far the greatest challenge of my career, collaborating with experts worldwide. Happy to say we've sold out of the first December release.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

When you start out, no one tells you how difficult being a boss will be. As you lead a team of people, there are tough conversations that you have to have. Practicing candor and being honest with people is the best thing you can do for both your time and theirs.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do one thing and do it really well.
  2. Listen to your customers.
  3. Apply their feedback and double down on what works.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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