As a Textile designer I had a great experience working with some large companies in Colombia, between those, I was a certified Textile Inspector at SGS and Bureau Veritas Colombia, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and Certification Companies, also I had the opportunity to learn about marketing and advertising and work in some of the biggest companies in this field in my country such as Efectimedios S.A., and Grupo Latino de Publicidad. I also had the experience to run my own advertising company. Over dinner one night my husband and I took the decision to move to Canada to improve our life quality. We applied as professional skilled workers and waited for almost five years to get a permanent resident status. I was convinced that in Canada I would be even more successful than I was in Colombia. When I arrived to Canada I realized that establishing myself as a professional worker was not as easy as I thought it would be. I started to get frustrated and depressed. I had to face great challenges of being a newcomer, including learning a new culture and a new language. Start from cero a new life was not easy.
My story in Canada started when one day came by chance to me a material that was disposed into the garbage for a textile company. Lots of garbage bags full of Karate belts in bad conditions. As a textile designer, being my favorite subject Experimental Technique in fibers, which consists in creating materials from rouge, organic and wool textures, I started to design and create unique colorful bags and wallets made 100% of these recycled materials, I was happy of following my environmental conscious by creating that eco-friendly product. My first sales helped me to buy two industrial sewing machines. After that, a very good friend of mine helped me to set up an event called Splash Winter with Colour in downtown Toronto to promote and sell my bags. That day Lots of people were amazed by the bags and bough around 60 units and encouraged me to continue working in this direction. My second product was organic jewelry made of citrus wasted peels, and months later I was invited to join a non-profit Canadian art organization, Raw Artist, which has helped me to build my brand and extend my audience throughout North America. Then, my life went in this direction.
After 3 years in Canada working with persistence and perseverance as an environmentally conscious artist, accompanied by my greatest frustration “English”, motivated by my 5 years old son, I decided to volunteer at my son’s school, Blessed Trinity Catholic School, who gave me the opportunity to volunteer doing art workshops for their students. My English level was to low and for me, the priority was to practice my speaking skill so I could move forward to opening the doors I needed to advertise my products. But I never imagine, fell captivated by the love, solidarity, and passion of those children, their desire to learn and to help me, this was for me one of the deepest experiences of my life. A few months Later, I was deeply motivated and also inspired by my talented and creative little one to design an Eco-Art program for kids, Orfe eco-art program was born with the support of my husband, my son and the director of the Blessed Trinity Ms. Beverly Lawrence.
Now my program has run successfully at BTCS, St. Matthias, St. Gabriel, St. Bonaventure, St. Agnes, St. Edward Catholic School, and have opened doors in other schools.