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Meet Santiago Terreros and Christian Flores of Tipyco in Marina del Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Santiago Terreros and Christian Flores.

Santiago and Christian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Chris and I (Santiago) meet in 2017 and became good friends right away. This friendship developed into very deep conversations and debates about our country – Ecuador – and culture. We felt the necessity to embrace and share an iconic handcrafted piece of our identity, as Ecuadorians. We noticed that toquilla straw hats – also known as Panama hats – were sold on the west coast without communicating the entire cultural effort behind them. It was at this moment that without noticing we started the Tipyco project.

Working at Tipyco is fun and unpredictable, from having a stand on different farmers markets to develop our website and manage online sells, Tipyco has to lead us to learn new skills and understand the market, as well as meeting incredible people and hearing their unique stories. All of these experiences keep weaving Tipyco’s personality without losing sight of our social contribution along with our high interest in the design and quality of our hats.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a business is never a smooth road. We have encountered many problems, from the first approach to artisans in Ecuador, to find the right way to ship the products. It was all new to us. This meant a lot of work hours for us! But, once we got our first shipment this was an amazing confidence boost. The hats started selling right away and everyone was making comments on how beautiful and well crafted they are.

Now, this brought a new problem to the table. Until this point, people were buying our hats without a brand and we felt the necessity of delivering a product with a strong brand image. The “Tipyco” name was already something we liked. So we sent a proposal to our ribbon supplier and after a few months our first shipment branded as “Tipyco” arrived. This gave us the motivation to keep developing this amazing project.

We know struggles are always going to be there, but “Tipyco” is a brand driven by passion, which gives us the strength to overcome any problem that we may find along the road.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Tipyco story. Tell us more about the business.
One of our main goals is to support artisan communities where the tradition of crafting and weaving hats is passed from generation to generation. This is why we prioritized to source our products directly from the artisans to maintain the authenticity that can be sacrificed during mass production. By creating these strong links we developed the perfect communication, we had the suppliers, we had the product, now we needed to define Tipyco’s personality. First, we began with the name Tipyco which is an analogy of typical.

For us, change is what Tipyco represents. Tipyco stands for evolution and the ability to adapt. The ability to accommodate the progression of time and trends without sacrificing the quality and beauty of a cultural and historical tradition.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We consider ourselves lucky. Having the opportunity to work in a project from scratch and gaining all the knowledge that this involves it’s truly amazing and motivating. Of course, is not easy, but we are strong believers that good luck comes in hand with hard work and determination.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.tipyco.com
  • Email: info@tipyco.com
  • Instagram: @tipycohats
  • Facebook: @tipycohats

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