To honor our indigenous roots, we named our company: MUKUPATI
(moo-Koo-pa-tee). In the native language of the Venezuelan Andes, where
my family is from, it means: “where the roads meet.”
My name is Eliana Lopez and I am the creator of Mukupati. I was born and raised in Venezuela and moved to San Francisco, California about 14 years ago. I am an artist, entrepreneur, and mother to two beautiful boys.
When my son, Kian, began showing interest in potty training, I started researching organic underwear and could not find what I wanted. I wanted something free of polyester, something organic, and something with thoughtful prints, different from the regular trucks and superheroes. After asking myself- “how hard can it be to make this?”- I expanded my knowledge about organic cotton, how it is produced, how it should be printed, and how durable the fabric is. My curiosity was sparked, pushing me to return to school, where I learned how to sew, prepare a collection, accounting, and entrepreneurship concepts, and principles to start my own business.
My top priorities when creating Mukupati included the following:
- Thoughtful prints to spark curiosity and imagination
- Soft, safe, and high-quality organic fibers
- Designs that allow children to run and play freely
- An ethically manufactured line of garments
About a year and a half ago, my mother Elda (who has run a small clothing factory in Venezuela for the last 30 years), joined me. We started making prototypes, forecasting costs, and testing the quality of the fabrics we wanted to use. From there, we launched our online store, where we gathered feedback from real customers outside of family and friends. I am happy to say the response we have gotten is positive and encouraging, leading us to continue growing.
To give back to my home country, Venezuela, we donate 1% of our profits to children and families in need. At our family-run factory, where our products are made, last year, we provided free vocational training to the youth in Venezuela and are committed to zero waste. To learn more about how we give back to families in Venezuela, visit Our Social Work page here.
When it comes to our products, we thought of everything and perfected every detail. Our American milled cotton is certified GOTS organic and printed OEKO-TEX standard for low-toxic dyes. Our thoughtful prints tastefully promote conversation about the environment, diversity, and inclusivity. Our packaging is plastic-free, and we are working to establish a recycling process to collect discarded clothing to be used for future items such as insulation, carpet padding, mattress stuffing, etc. We are proud that we are moving part of our production to San Francisco, aligned with our principles of reducing energy and supporting our local economy.
What started as innocent research for my son's best potty training underwear became a beautiful project that allowed me to use my creativity and passion for sustainability and help other families on the same path. Mukupati has become an intersection of cultures, languages, genders, and generations with a common goal of building a better future for our children and the planet we will leave to them.