Alpaca International Blog


Alpaca International - Men's Night


Alpaca Men's Night
Friday, December 21st - 5pm until 9pm

A night to assist the Annapolis gentlemen to find the most endearing and luxurious gifts for his loved ones while sipping port and High West Whiskey. We will offer complementary gift wrapping on their purchases!

For further information about this event, please call us at 410-216-9898 or email us at alpacainternational@verizon.net.

Event location:
206 Main Street, downtown Annapolis

Alpaca International Blog


Alpaca International Blog


Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, Wears Alpaca Fur Hat

"The Duchess of Cambridge’s green credentials remain intact as the headware is made from the pelts of animals which have died from natural causes – rather than being bred for their precious fur."

To read the full article at The Sun (UK), click here.


Looking to follow the trends of modern royalty? Click here to purchase "The Dutchess" Hat from Alpaca International! "The Dutchess" Hat is crafted of luxurious ethical alpaca fur.
Alpaca International Blog

Awards ›   Events ›  


Tumi USA Award for Excellence 2015.

Founder, Zia Boccaccio, will be receiving the Tumi USA Award for Excellence this September the 25th. We are proud and honored to be a part of this event, and to represent Peru in the United States of America. Thank you for all your support and encouragement.

For more information, to make a reservation, or to become a sponsor, refer to the information in this flyer.

Alpaca International Blog

Fashion ›   Travel Blogs ›  


Alpaca International Baby Alpaca Clothing Store Cusco

For those of you who have spent any amount of time in Cusco you will know that alpaca clothing abounds but that finding high quality, original designs that you can actually wear once you get back home is a little more difficult!

Alpaca International is a small locally-owned boutique in the heart of Cusco that we fell in love with recently. It’s easy to walk past the store front on Santa Catalina Angosta street as from the outside it doesn’t look like much. Don’t be fooled though, because the real magic of the Alpaca International creations only become apparent when you browse through the shop filled with different styles and the assistant starts pulling out different collections that look great on and are above all unique and exclusive designs.

As the name suggests, Alpaca International specializes in the highest quality baby alpaca. Peruvian Zia Boccacio was first inspired by this mythical Andean animal when she was just aged nine and saw her first alpaca. This encounter started a love affair with Zia now designing and creating her unique alpaca wool creations in her native Peru and exporting to the U.S.

Alpaca has been a symbol of Andean civilization for thousands of years and is also known as the ‘Gold of the Andes’. Zia uses only 100% pure baby alpaca in her designs. Baby alpaca is a luxurious natural fiber that is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool and has a soft, glossy feeling like silk that keeps you warm when it’s cold but is also breathable in warmer temperatures.

Zia, now based in the U.S is proud of her Peruvian heritage promoting the Peruvian culture and textile tradition through her alpaca designs and has won a range of awards including the ‘Succesful Peruvian Business Woman in America 2014.’ Her sister Ligia manages the Peruvian operations and can often be found in the Cusco Alpaca International store selling personally to her clients.

Alpaca International has a whole range of original designs but our favourites were the versatile Frida cardigan, the Suri cape made with the softest baby alpaca available on the market and the Intarsia range designed in collaboration with the designer Intiwara and found exclusively in Alpaca international. We also loved all of their ponchos and the baby alpaca throws hand-embellished with a silk floral design.

Creations cost a little more than you find in the markets around town and are geared more towards the 30+ age group. These are nice original, investment pieces that you will be able to wear once you get back home and have as a nice memory of your time in Cusco!

Best of Peru Travel Recommends:

Don’t forget to claim your free baby alpaca finger puppet or doll with any purchase. Just let them know that you heard about Alpaca International from Best of Peru Travel in the store!

Written by Best of Peru Travel (password: alpaca)

Alpaca International Blog

Events ›   Interview ›  


Sundance 2015 Alpaca Int'l Interview

Hosts Allison Baver and Sabrina Taylor-Smith discover the Park City/ Annapolis/ Maryland Boutique Alpaca International while exploring Main Street in Park City, Utah during the Sundance Film Festival 2015. In this Segment Allison talks with the owner of Alpaca International, Zia Boccaccio, while Sabrina models one of her coats. Alpaca International is located on Main Street in Park City, and has beautiful and stylish clothing that will keep you warm, stylish and elegant on the red carpets of the Sundance Film Festival.

Alpaca International Blog

Fashion ›  


A Statement In Fashion

“It was a vision. I saw this mystical creature against the mountain,” says Zia Boccaccio, owner and inspiration for Alpaca International Inc. This vision from a 7-year old girl in her homeland of Peru would pioneer the development of soft, elegant wool from Alpaca into a fashion statement available toAlpaca wool was once reserved for Incan royalty. The light, silky texture breathes, adding warmth when needed but light enough for many seasonal designs.

It is natural and very beautiful. Boccaccio brings her vision from Peru to her retail locations around the world: Annapolis and Chevy Chase Maryland, Washington D.C., Park City Utah, Juno Alaska, and Cusco Peru, as well as a wholesale distribution network.

With international flair and entrepreneurial spirit, Alpaca International Inc. has made a statement in fashion. Using the Baby Alpaca fibers in all their soft luxury, Boccaccio has stepped up the design of this sought-after fiber with new colors, new styles, and new applications and accessories masterfully crafted by a team of Peruvian artisans. Boccaccio is proud to say, “I truly believe we have been a part of introducing Alpaca as a fashion item to the world.”

“Fun. Fashionable. Elegant,” is how Boccaccio wants everyone to feel in her Alpaca-inspired designs. Bringing this luxury item into popular demand has been a quest from the beginning. “I remember the feeling of seeing the Alpaca from my horse as a little girl. I want to share that mystical experience with everyone through Alpaca International.” With a fine-tuned commitment to quality, Alpaca International Inc. is poised to take this softy, downy fiber to new heights around the world.

Alpaca International Blog

Awards ›  


Successful Peruvian Business Woman in America 2014

Alpaca International CEO Zia Boccaccio has been named Successful Peruvian Business Woman in America 2014 by the Embassy of Peru. The Award recognizes Zia’s accomplishments in her industry as well as her commitment to promoting her cultural heritage throughout the United States. Zia confesses, "I am honored and humbled to have been selected for this prestigious Award by the diplomatic representatives of my homeland for my work as founder and CEO of Alpaca International."
 
Zia, a proud Peruvian, has been a pioneer in bringing the luxurious alpaca wool into mainstream attire. A strong background in retail and a dedication to sharing the fabric of her culture with North America resulted in the founding of Alpaca International in 2004. In only three short years, she had opened four retail shops in the United States, each supplying her high-quality collections of garments and accessories to what have become loyal patrons. Her timeless and elegant merchandise exhibits the grace and resilience of the revered Peruvian alpaca fiber ("the Gold of the Andes").

Zia can often be found at her Alpaca International location in Park City at 614 Main Street. Zia and her shop are a great addition to our community.

 

Written by Alison Butz of Historic Park City Utah

Alpaca International Blog

Alpaca International Story ›   Interview ›  


Alpaca International Owner: How We Thrive in Business on Main Street in Annapolis

Zia Boccaccio has been running her shop in downtown Annapolis for a decade and she doesn’t want that to change.

Not that she hasn’t had any offers for Alpaca International. Aside from her locations in Park City, Utah and Juneau, Alaska, Boccaccio has been approached about moving her 1,200-square-foot shop elsewhere in the region. But she won’t go, because she said she believes in Main Street, Annapolis.

She’s eager for foot traffic to increase with the return of the General Assembly.

Alpaca International sells men’s and women’s clothing made out of alpaca wool. Boccaccio, who is from Peru, talked to The Capital about her shop’s 10 years, the state of downtown business, and how an alpaca toy helps sell her products.

What were things like when you started out?

“We started as an accessories manufacturer. We evolved from accessories that were made in 100 percent beautiful alpaca, and we evolved into more of a collection.

“I saw the potential of the product and I knew there was room to grow. The demand basically (caused the evolution). Alpaca, 10 years ago was something new for a lot of people in America. Today there is an alpaca farm just about everywhere in the country. That has pretty much awakened the curiosity and also the knowledge about the beauty of the product.”

What makes alpaca special?

“(Picks out a jacket) Basically, it’s tailor made. Every detail is made to flatter you and also be very practical. This is a specialty store. We still like to sell as a company, so we don’t produce en masse but what we produce is very special and very elegant. Take into consideration the qualities of the wool. They’re very tailor made for the northeast part of the country.”

With alpaca being so new when you started out, how did you make any sales?

“It was hard to explain the quality of the product to somebody who didn’t know it. So that’s one of the reasons we came up with these little toy alpacas in order to make (customers) feel how (alpaca fur) feels. We basically sold the product through touching. For me, that was an educational part of educating the public about where we come from.

“It was slightly difficult, but it was what I really enjoyed doing. When I’m selling an item, I’m really introducing my cultural heritage and history into a sale.

“Peru has such a rich history that’s attached to the animal and the textile tradition. We put all that together into everything we do.”

What brought you to this area?

“I got married. I used to live in D.C., I worked in D.C. in the retail world. My ex-husband lived here. He was my partner in creating my company. I basically decided to open a store in downtown Annapolis. I fell in love with the community, the history. It has been so long that now I feel like I’m an Annapolitan, really. I was living here about 18 years before I opened my business.”

How would you describe the state of downtown business these days?

“It’s difficult, very difficult. You can tell by the amount of stores that that have closed by the end of the year. Instead of being discouraged, that just gives me a new challenge to prevail.

“Downtown Annapolis is such a vital and important part of our community. We want to convey the message that we’re here because (customers) shop local in our stores. We need to tell Annapolis residents that there are beautiful stores here. The shopping district could be stronger if the community understands that supporting us is really keeping Main Street alive.”

Why do you think stores are closing?

“The high rent, the high cost of operation. The foot traffic has diminished immensely with the opening of other locations, like the (Annapolis) Towne Centre, the mall. But yet the cost of operating has risen, so it’s impossible to keep a business in that environment. We’ve been lucky because we have focused on our product, our clientele, our goals. We have goals, every year, every month, every day.

How do you manage to survive?

“My company has been lucky in that we’ve opened in locations that have supported this area. For example, Christmas in Annapolis was one of the best seasons we ever had since we opened. But January, February, March, historically because of the weather and many other elements, winter is a very slow season here in Annapolis.

“But I’m getting ready to go to Park City where the ski season ... prompts us to have an absolutely tremendous season. That ends in April, when Annapolis starts coming back with the spring, summer (events). Then I go to Alaska, where the cruise ship season starts and that’s where we cater. We cater to the cruise ship companies. I’ve been lucky to have this circle, but it’s been with a tremendous physical and personal sacrifice.”

How do you manage it all?

“In order to run a company like mine, you need someone who is 150 percent committed to the job and to the work. I do this because I truly, truly enjoy what I do. I truly love what I do.

“I travel from north to south. One day you’ll find me in Alaska, and the next week I’m in the southern part of South America, I’m in the mountains, or I’m in New York in Manhattan. That is the kind of life I have. Some people might say it’s very glamorous. It isn’t. It’s about work. It’s about the demands of my job. I don’t go anywhere just to travel. I’m there to work, to open up business, to meet goals.”

Why has downtown Annapolis been so important to you?

“We started with one store (here) and now we’ve grown into a label. I don’t think for a minute that I would move out of downtown Annapolis. I’m adamant. I’m passionate about keeping my store here.

“I’ve had a lot of offers from malls to move the store, but I don’t want to because I started here and I truly believe in the beauty and the potential of Main Street. Even though I could probably be more profitable elsewhere, I don’t want to (move). I think that attitude has really prompted a lot of our loyal customers to come and support us.”

Written by Shanteé Woodwards of The Capita Gazett

Alpaca International Blog

Alpaca International Story ›   Fashion ›  


Alpaca Entrepreneur, An International Success Story

When Zia Boccaccio-Cotgreave was a little girl growing up in Cusco, Peru her family took a trip to the Huayhuash mountain range outside of Ancash. While on a horseback ride through the mountains, Zia glimpsed an alpaca framed by the snow capped mountainous peaks.

The image would become the symbol of her future business, a venture that now spans five cities and two countries.

Her brand, Alpaca International, reflects Boccaccio’s savvy, sophistication and work ethic. It came to life in 2004 in Annapolis, subsequently after years of working in retail. When Steilmann, the retailer where she worked for 12 years closed in Washington DC, she had a decision to make.

“Do I find a new place to work, or start my own business?” Boccaccio asked herself. She took the risk and started a business of her own.

Her risk was rewarded and last year the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce named her flagship store on Main Street in Annapolis the Small Business of the Year. Twenty-five years after leaving her home in Cusco, she had achieved the American dream.

“It hit me as I walked onstage to accept the award,” Boccaccio says. “All of a sudden it became very clear to me. I realized I have come a long way. This has been my American dream.”

Boccaccio says that selling high quality products like alpaca gives her purpose. She could be selling any type of clothing, but she wanted to share something that was part of her culture and identity.

Alpacas, the lovable cousin to the llama, have been a powerful symbol of Andean civilization for thousands of years. During the Spanish conquest, the Incas salvaged a small number of the alpacas and moved them high into the Peruvian plateaus, where the camelids were able to thrive and continue producing the precious fibers.

She knew that the market for alpaca wool, which is hypoallergenic, naturally water-repellent, and soft to touch, was ready to be tapped into in the United States.

 

Opening New Doors

She was in Peru last week for Peru’s Fashion Week. She came to see the latest fashions, to continue finding the best designers to promote her brand, their designs, and Peruvian culture.

“This business is rewarding for me,” she told me after the Peru Moda Gift Show at the Jockey Club. “I want to share this part of my heritage.”

She also came to visit family and to visit her store in Cusco.

Boccaccio has been successful but not everything has come easily.

When Boccaccio opened her first store, she had planned on opening a new location every year. In three shorts years she had opened four retail shops: in Washington DC, Annapolis, Cusco, Peru, and Park City, Utah. However, the economic downturn forced her to scale back her intrepid ways. Yet, even in the adverse economic climate, she continues to expand her brand.

Her latest venture has been a new store in Juneau, Alaska. At first glance, you think ‘that’s a long way for alpaca to travel,’ but according to Boccaccio, upon closer inspection, there’s no better market for the Andean wool.

“Alpaca is well suited for Juneau’s climate,” she said. “ It’s durability, the sturdiness of the wool, which is a natural fiber, is very tailored for the climate in Alaska.”

Boccaccio might be alpaca wool’s biggest cheerleader. She’s made it her mission to spread the word about its advantages.

“For all purposes it is better than cashmere,” she says. “Cashmere is simply more well-know right now, but that’s going to change if I have anything to do with it.”

Boccaccio also lends a lot of her time to charitable events.

“For me it’s important to give back to the community,” she said. “To me, it’s a moral obligation.”

When Boccaccio reflects on her life thus far, she describes as an “amazing journey” that started with the dreams she had as a young girl in Peru.

“The idea for my store was an idea I always had in me,” she said. “It’s become the passion of my life.”

Written by Diego M. Ortiz of Peru This Week