In the studio with… Kaloskopic
Created by MA Publishing, London College of Communication (2010) graduate Ana Maria Perez Saldias, the founding aim of accessories brand, Kaloskopic, was to support the local economy and people of Colombia; a country with a troubled history, but a wealth of talent that deserves to be showcased around the world.
Where is your studio?
We are a South American brand based in the heart of Colombia’s famed coffee region – the city of Manizales. I have a home studio in the house where I grew up, which overlooks the mountains and coffee plantations on the edge of the city.
Describe your typical day
Some days it starts with a 6am Pilates class. Mornings involves lot of calls and messages to suppliers from other cities, processing orders and answering emails. In the afternoon I go to the city to take materials to the production workshops and check on the products. At production time, days regularly stretch to midnight.
What are the key stages of your design and making process?
The tanneries I work with produce based on season colour, and, as we design limited pieces, we hand-pick a few of the best leathers in colours we like, rather than requesting a lot of hides in specific colours. For this reason, my design process runs a little backwards and starts based on the hides we select.
Once I have the hides selected, I start the inspiration research for perfect colour matching combinations of the other components that make up each bag, such as zips and fabrics. Pattern designs are tailored to best suit the new colour palettes I created, and the palettes and patterns comes from current trends inspiration, iconography of other cultures I have got to know during my personal travels and the natural surroundings of Latin America.
To start the production process, the leather hides are hand cut and then some are laser cut or screen-printed depending on designs. The bags are then all handmade by a couple local artisans, who I work side-by-side with.
Do you listen to music in your studio? What three songs are on your playlist?
I tend to listen to current affairs radio until around 3pm and then music comes on! My playlist is a mix of Latin music and dance/indie. The later it gets, the more Latin it becomes!
Carlos Vives – El Mar de Sus Ojos ft. ChocQuibTown
Talisco – The Keys
Swedish House Mafia – Don’t You Worry Child ft. John Martin
What’s on your desk right now (provide photos of three items and explain their significance)?
The photo of my late dad. He was self-employed from the age of 21 and the photo reminds me every day to be self-motivated and do everything with love. There’s also always my Pantone book – my number one tool! Lastly, hanging above the desk is a Rifle Paper Co. calendar. I like being surrounded by beautiful things and I love the company’s products.
Who do you look up to as entrepreneur?
I love the colour management in Josep Font’s work as the Creative Director of Delpozo, the pattern design and silhouettes of Johanna Ortiz (a rising Colombian fashion designer) and the beautiful communications of Anthropologie.
What three apps or companies should every entrepreneur know about?
Dropbox is an excellent tool for when I have to work remotely and switch from a desktop to a laptop.
Instagram is great for inspiration, exposure and discovering suitable places and fairs to exhibit your product to the right markets.
PayU is Latin America’s answer to Paypal and it’s a great option for selling without having to have an online shop and gives the option of different payment methods to the customer.
Why were you interested in having your products sold at not just a shop?
UAL has always been a very important part of my design career. It’s excellent at facilitating the interaction between its students and its network of connections and alumni, and not just a shop is one of these examples. I love the idea of sharing the space with other talented artist and designers, who strengthen the creative industry every day, wherever they are from or based.
Photo: @andresvies .