Back in the 1970s, the concept of the Cardolan brand was born in the secluded mountain ranges of Colombia. The inspiration for the Pizano family, specifically, was to employ and support local artisan women in the region. Today, they continue to employ local weavers and shepherds, but they do something much more than that, too. They take care of their own: A flock of more than 250 sheep.
Interestingly, the operation acts as two parts. Firstly, the brand produces premium 100% handmade wool for fashion brands domestically and abroad; and secondly, the brand provides a nurturing and safe environment for the herd and environment. The brand owns native oak forests in which Corriedale and Merino sheep graze freely. With a team that acts more like family, Cardolan has been working to preserve the art of wool spinning, dyeing, knitting and weaving. All done on a horizontal loom, these important traditions of the Colombian Andean region dates back centuries. And while the company has been winning the hearts of locals for decades, it was only recently that they took to social media and expanded to buyers outside of Colombia and Latin America.
Nicolas and Isabel Pizano, the grandchildren of Cardolan’s founder, decided to take over sales and operations when the pandemic hit the country. Living in Los Angeles at the time, Nicolas was laid off from his job in 2020, and when he received a call from Isabel in Bogota, he flew back to Colombia to combine forces to take the brand to new levels. The effort has paid off.
Cardolan produces premium wool for brands like Whitman and landed in the prestigious Andino shopping centre in Bogota’s Chapinero district. They’ve expanded their product range from scarves, throws, ponchos, and more, while staying true to the original artisanal team that gave them their start.
Nicolas’ mother still works on the farm everyday with her team, caring for the sheep and crafting the products by hand. For each order, Cardolon prepares photos and videos for the customer so that they can follow along on the journey. From first interaction to final delivery, providing superior and transparent customer service is at the heart of Cardolan’s ethos. To think that the sheep in this region date back to the 16th century is nothing short of miraculous, let alone to see a new generation taking charge.
To learn more about Cardolan, visit their website here.