“Every piece gets the best of me.”

-Pamela Mujica

Pamela Mujica has a story that many women can relate to. “When I had my third child – at age 44 – I decided that I wanted to stay at home to be with her. But I was isolated,” Pamela says. She also felt her pride start to flare up. “My husband was the provider, and as a woman who had always worked, I wanted to do something. So I decided to do something for myself.”

That something turned out to be something quite beautiful – her own jewellery line, PAMdesigned. The designs are all handcrafted, with each piece being entirely unique, made with fine wire and a crochet needle. Following a traditional Peruvian stitch, many would assume this technique came as a result of Pamela’s upbringing. But as she tells us, it was actually quite the opposite!

Born in a small town in Chile named Santa Cruz, Pamela says, “In our culture, things made by hand are not particularly popular or valued.” She also did not grow up making jewellery, but rather, was a country girl who won a scholarship that saw her following her dreams to the United States and then to Australia. It was here that she discovered the Peruvian stitch that inspires her work – via Google. “I didn’t plan this!” Pamela says. “But once I discovered it online, I fell in love. I then travelled to Peru in 2017 with the sole purpose of taking classes with professionals. And I haven’t stopped stitching since.”

It has been the perfect endeavour for Pamela, who has been able to watch her youngest child grow up, while building her empire. It has also been a far cry from her first roles in Australia. “It is hard when you arrive in a new place,” she says, “As you need to take whatever job you can get. When there is a language barrier in place, this can be cleaning or babysitting. As an educated person, this can hurt your pride.”

But today, Pamela couldn’t be prouder. “My family inspires me all the time,” she says. “I never imagined that I would have a business, but something inside told me that I could.”

And aren’t we glad she listened! Today, PAMdesigned’s beautiful pieces are inspired by the natural environment, including nature and foliage in the Australian landscape. Pamela also says, “Every piece gets the best of me.”
Not only do we get the best of Pamela, but in some cases, we get some of more. “It was very funny,” she tells us. “During lockdown, our microwave broke. I discovered that there was beautiful copper inside it, and so I decided to use it in my pieces! We now have five non-working microwaves in our home, but it is worth it.”

Looking at these pieces, we’d have to agree!

Published by Amy Malpass-Hahn, Freelance writer