About us

Our Story

beyondBeanie was co-founded by Hector Alvarez and Paty Lucero in 2014. The company was the result of a backpacking trip that Hector did to Bolivia to visit Paty. Together, they discovered the beauty in the rich and colorful textures of Bolivia. They also witnessed the harsh reality of severe poverty in Bolivia, with an estimated 2/3 of its population living below the poverty line (Source: WFP).
Using an awareness of both the beauty and the not-so-pretty, Hector and Paty dedicated themselves to combine their expertise in business and design to create a fashion line to represent the colorful spirit of Bolivia that would tackle two key social components of beyondBeanie:
    
1) To create meaningful work for female artisans in a place that recognizes and respects them.
2) To provide meals, dental care, school supplies, and school uniforms to impoverished children.

 

About the company

beyondBeanie (bB) is a social clothing brand that combines fashion with solidarity to help change lives. To start off, every product sold helps a child in need. Examples:
    
a) When you buy a beanie, you give five meals
b) When you buy a bag, you give a set of school supplies
c) When you buy a bracelet, you help a child get dental care
    

 In addition, every product is hand signed by the artisan who made it, whom clients can meet and greet at our site.

The artisans behind the fashion line

The beautiful quality of the products is thanks to the personal touch and creativity of a group of talented Bolivian female artisans in the areas of La Paz and Cochabamba. A unique aspect of bB is each item is special.

Carrying its artisan’s hand signature enables her a sense of identity, confidence and self-worth—three aspects in which Paty experienced these women struggle with daily due to various circumstances.

The Collections

Our product lines incorporate classic as well as vibrant and colorful products, appealing to both gals and guys.

 Beanies

A variety of summer and winter beanies for men and women, from which we can highlight:

Bags

 Ponchos


 Bracelets


Media coverage, recognitions and prizes

Since its inception, beyondBeanie has been featured and cited by a number of magazines, newspapers and blogs all around the world,  as well as by Microsoft.

In addition, beyondBeanie has been recognized as the most socially innovative project at SIGEF awards 2014 edition, an event at which it won the first prize (media coverage + 8,000 USD, money which helped to launch the project).

Also, co-founders Hector and Paty have been invited to give presentations about to talk about their brand at various venues, including at TEDx Zurich, University of Lausanne, University of Geneva, EPFL's Innovation Forum, University of St. Gallen, Webster University Geneva branch, HUB Zurich, Startup Weekend Luzern and video conference presentations with Universidad San Miguel in Mexico, and Universidad de Deusto in Spain.

Furthermore, Hector Alvarez has served as a mentor at the Collaborate for Social Impact Challenge 2014 edition, at which “Women of Giotto” - the team that he lead - won a cash prize for their proposed solution to alleviate poverty at the garbage dump where these women live.

 

ABOUT THE FOUNDERS

About Hector Alvarez

Hector is a Swiss-Chilean entrepreneur; co-founder and business developer of social clothing venture beyondBeanie.org.  Born and raised in Chile, Hector left his country after his secondary education to go study Business Administration at California State University Fullerton in the USA. 

During his studies, Hector had already started a successful part-time photography business, which he then continued to develop as a full-time enterprise after graduation.  Years later, Hector got married to his high-school sweetheart, a Swiss National and left California to move to Lausanne, where he completed a Master in Management at HEC Lausanne, a city which he uses as the base of operations to grow the social enterprise.

About Paty Lucero

Patricia Lucero is a Bolivian architect and social entrepreneur, co-founder and Project Manager of beyondBeanie.org, a social enterprise that for every item sold helps children in need in Bolivia. Interested by the art of drawing and planning, Paty decided to study Architecture and Interior Design at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Bolivia. In a search for ways to further her professional career, Paty left her home country to go to the USA where, aside from her professional experience, she also became an active volunteer member of the Arthritis Foundation. 

Once back in Bolivia to restart her profession, Paty also came back with a more critical eye about the social issues that affect the people of her country. Willing to do something about this, she decided to put her professional career on hold and venture herself into starting beyondBeanie.

 

Connecting with beyondBeanie

We are always happy to hear from our friends. For general support or for press inquiries, please send an e-mail to [email protected]