Everything about KAN lives and breathes the spirit of Mexico. At 27 years old, Paulina Hernandez Carvajal, has found her calling; and it is to share Mexico’s beautiful heritage to the world with her fashion brand, KAN By Paulina.
Every item in KAN is made with love and is inspired by Mexico’s unique culture and history. The Temiqui Collection was inspired by the culture of Wirrarikas or Wixaritari; an indigenous Mexican tribe who also create the stunning embroideries that adorn Kan’s beautiful pieces. By working with the Casa Huichol Foundation, who provides medical care to indigenous Mexican tribes; Kan also helps to provide sustainable livelihoods for tribespeople in recovery. Kan is not only a beautiful, colourful, and fascinating fashion brand, but also one with a heart and soul that is proudly Mexican.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start Kan by Paulina?
My name is Paulina Hernandez Carvajal, I´m 27 years old, and I am a Mexican fashion designer. I love art and the sea, and what inspired me to start Kan was this passion for these two things. Kan comes from love; love to my country and our ethnic indigenous cultures, our traditions, and our colours. I want to show Mexico and the world, all of the richness that my country has to offer. To share the peculiar cosmo-vision that all the ethnic Mexican groups have; and taking people on a magical journey into their unique regions; inspired by their enchantment and seduction.
How important is your Mexican heritage to the ethos of your brand? How does your culture influence your designs?
My Mexican heritage is everything to the ethos of brand, it’s the DNA of Kan. Every single design of Kan screams Mexico, you won’t find anything like our products anywhere else. The dynamic colours of each piece come from my country; from its deep blue seas, to its green jungles and forests. From our pink and purple cover tables that bring family dinners to life, to the colours of a piñata that exemplifies our traditions.
Every single piece that is embroidered by the hands of the Wixaritari is all about art and love. At the heart of Mexico is Kan.
Could you tell us more about your collaboration with the Casa Huichol foundation?
The Temiqui Collection is inspired by the Wirrarikas or Wixaritari culture, and we work with their communities. They do all of the embroidery for the swimwear and clothes; without them Kan wouldn’t exist. They are the magic in this project.
Casa Huichol Foundation, is a place where the Wirras can come to the city can seek medical help, and also a place to stay while in recovery. At Casa Huichol, we work with the patient’s family so they can earn an income while staying in the city, Kan seeks to empower the indigenous and create sustainable livelihoods for them.
Kan is made up of all the different Wixaritari communities that we work with, from Casa Huichol to communities in the Highlands, and or our main Artist Guadalupe Hernández. They make every design in this collection unique, a piece of haute couture. They work hours by hand embroidering each piece, giving us a piece of art, love, heart,culture, and tradition; but most importantly a piece of every single artist that has worked in this process.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur so far?
The biggest challenge that I have faced to not give up and keep believing in myself and this project. Things rarely go as you imagine, and oftentimes plan change and you encounter difficulties in your journey.
What advice do you have for women who would like to become a GirlBoss like yourself
The best advice that someone has given me is to ‘dream big, if your dreams don’t scare you then they aren’t big enough for you.’
Always work for what you believe in and never give up on your dream. No matter how difficult the journey may seem, or what people say, you have to work hard for what you want, and also enjoy the ride. You need to take in every single moment. Enjoy the tears, the happiness, the moments of loneliness, and the moments with the ones you love. Enjoy the falls, because if we don’t fall we won’t be able to learn. Enjoy the critics because they are the ones that will help you become better and grow. Enjoy every single achievement along the way, because they are the reminders that you are doing good and that your work is paying off. Most of all whatever you do, do it with all your heart. Because when you put your heart and love in every single thing you do, you can achieve the impossible.