Gabriela Flores

Laureate 2012

Gabriela Flores

BOLIVIA
Kirah Design
CONSUMER GOODS
DESIGN
Kirah Design markets and designs high-end interior accessories crafted by rural artisans from recycled glass, wood and textiles.

After moving abroad with her family at the age of 10, Gabriela Flores returned to work in Bolivia in 2000. ‘I was shocked and saddened to see the poverty and inequality in my country, I wanted to do something to help.’ Bolivia is one of the poorest nations in Latin America, dependent on foreign aid. Gabriela volunteered for charities in her spare time, but soon saw this would never be enough. In 2005, she took sabbatical leave from her job as general manager of an international shipping company to come up with a plan. ‘Obviously they thought I was crazy! But I knew the answer lay in business, not charity.’ After a year studying for a business certificate and two years’ practical experience – which allowed her to understand the US market – she returned home once again, ready to set up Kirah Design, a business to sustain artisanal jobs by selling quality stylish crafts and designs.

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