One evening, while sketching new designs, as was my custom at the end of each work day, a most astonishing woman—a true visionary, though she would never describe herself as such—walked into my small rented office space. It was late and we two were the only people still left in the building. She was emptying waste into an oversized black trash bag and humming the most beautiful song I had ever heard. The ineffable emotion of her singing drifted through the air and curled itself around me like a palpable calmness, whose very memory reawakens the feeling.
I don’t recall the details of our brief exchange that night, only that I learned the woman’s name was Lida. Whatever else we said was simple because she spoke almost no English and I spoke almost no Spanish. Today, Lida is Vice President of Product Development for Armenta. And still singing.
The story of how fortune brought Lida and me together implies something about the company’s attitude toward business and human potential. It also defines my original dream for Armenta: bold in confronting the odds, confident in recognizing unseen talent, and faithful in preserving the superior art of old-world craftsmanship.