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Entrepreneur Pepita Marín Rey-Stolle, 2020 FPdGi Business Award

The winner was chosen for “bringing tradition and modernity together by turning the ancient craft of knitting into a modern hobby” through her company We Are Knitters (WAK)

26/03/2020

Entrepreneur Pepita Marín Rey-Stolle has won the 2020 Princess of Girona Foundation Business Award. The winner’s name was announced after a teleconference held by the jury of experts, chaired by the founder of Kibo Ventures Aquilino Peña and made up of the head of Google for Startups EMEA Sofia Benjumea; aeronautical engineer and 2018 FPdGi Business Award winner José Miguel Bermúdez (who acted as secretary); country manager of Facebook Iberia Irene Cano; economist Fernando Fernández; entrepreneur and business owner Bernardo Hernández; and mathematician and economist César Molinas.

The jury was unanimous in choosing to recognise the work of the young cofounder of We Are Knitters (WAK) –an online brand that sells knitting kits all over the world– for “bringing tradition and modernity together by turning the ancient craft of knitting into a modern hobby”. The members also highlighted that “with her vision she has built, together with her cofounder, a profitable and fast-growing business which exports 95% of its sales thanks to a large dose of enthusiasm, resilience and determination”.

The chair of the jury, Aquilino Peña, pointed out that their attention was drawn particularly by “the important social media knitting community, with over a million members, which this young woman has managed to build”.

In a telephone message, Pepita Marín Rey-Stolle thanked the jury for this recognition, saying “it is an honour to join the Foundation’s family of award winners”. She also revealed “when I began this journey at the age of 23 with the cofounder of We Are Knitters, Alberto Bravo, I never imagined that we would be able to take our company this far”.

The Foundation was forced to suspend the activities planned for the Winner Announcement Tour event in Logroño on 12 March (Arts and Literature Award), and in Toledo on 26 February, due to the exceptional circumstances brought about by the impact of COVID 19. Instead, the respective juries met by teleconference, maintaining the prearranged schedule.

Winner’s biography
María José (Pepita) Marín Rey-Stolle (Madrid, 1987) graduated in Business Administration and Management, with international specialisation, from the Comillas Pontifical University and Reims Management School (France). In 2011, aged just 23, and having spent one year working for a multinational consultancy, she cofounded We Are Knitters (WAK), an online brand that sells knitting kits and natural yarns all over the globe. In less than a decade, WAK, with Pepita as CEO, has grown into a company with 28 employees and an annual turnover of over 10 million euros, of which 94% come from sales outside Spain.

Through WAK, Pepita hopes to revive the ancient tradition of learning to knit, an enjoyable and relaxing activity which, for some years now, has been increasingly fashionable among the trendiest bohemian and cosmopolitan people in cities such as Paris and New York (the US market accounts for more than 30% of WAK’s revenue).

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