Step into the sole of the city

Killasumaq brings Peru to the heartland

Written by Julie Hying

From a thriving metropolis — a district of Lima, the capital of Peru — to the city of Wichita, comes a unique designer with an artistic eye and an entrepreneurial spirit. Owner and crafter, Aida Stenholm, provides handmade shoes and accessories with an international touch and an incredible dedication to detail. Her amazing shop, Killasumaq (which means ”beautiful moon” in Quechua, Peru’s oldest language) offers original designs that feature a worldly flair.

Located in College Hill near the Crown Uptown Theatre, Killasumaq features Stenholm’s creations: beautiful and inspiring shoes, boots, bags, backpacks, belts, earrings and bracelets. Patrons may visit anytime during business hours, but for more personalized time and individual attention, Stenholm is available by appointment. Many of her lovely designs may also be found and purchased on her website.

Stenholm imports blankets of leather and bolts of fabric from her native country of Peru, but also other countries that offer quality materials: Italy, Mexico, Columbia and Brazil. Some of Stenholm’s boots are crafted in her shop in Peru, while others are made entirely by hand in her Wichita shop. She and other experienced individuals, including her brother, work diligently to create detailed, unique designs that provide comfort as well as beauty.

Currently she makes a variety of shoe styles, from sandals and tennis shoes to moccasins and boots. In the coming year, her focus may shift to a more specific kind of shoe, a driving shoe, which is similar to a moccasin in design. By reducing the variety of designs, Stenholm feels she can offer a greater array of personal choices to her customers. Each person may select various colors of leather, different looks and textures. The design can feature a person’s name on the heel of the shoe. Many, like the shoes she now sells, can bear the symbol of the flag of Wichita.

Stenholm was born in Peru, but before settling in Wichita she lived in the Bahamas, Bermuda and Orlando, Florida. While living in the U.S. and in other countries she studied design and business, which ultimately prepared her to follow her passion of making shoes.

During her younger years, she observed her father working as a chef, while her mother started and ran a butcher shop which eventually became the family business. Stenholm shared in their responsibilities and played a role in what they did. She shares that, “my parents did not have a great deal of money but they worked very hard, and I learned to follow their example. Even while working their trades they built a house for our family, literally, one room at a time.”

Her strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit was inspired early and nurtured each day of her life. After many years of practice and study, Stenholm is proud to be offering her designs to the world.

Stenholm has traveled to various locations to share her work. Last August in Nebraska at Omaha Fashion Week, she was selected from among ten talented individuals as best designer. She was presented with a cash award and invited to present her work in their final event showcase.

On November 30, Stenholm will celebrate the two-year anniversary of her store here in Wichita. Killasumaq is a dream realized for this shoe maker. Her childhood vision of one day creating shoes for others to wear and enjoy has come full circle. Both Stenholm and her wonderful shoes are Wichita treasures.

To experience Aida Stenholm’s creations, visit aidastenholm.com.

Killasumaq
110 S. Hillside St.
Wichita, KS 67218
316.796.2147

 
live  |  shop  |  dine  |  play  |  home  |  magazine  |  calendar  |  about  |  your turn