We were walking around the small neighborhood of Barranco in Lima, Peru on a busy Saturday.
Barranco is a tranquil part of Lima that is known for its trendy bars, restaurants and beautiful scenery. The streets were crowded with people in the main plaza, listening to a live music show and dancing.
Just down the road we stumbled into a fair called “La Feria” (The Fair in english) where local entrepreneurs sell products and food on weekends.
The most interesting entrepreneur we met that day was Marlon Del Alcazar Ruiz, CEO of MKCK clothing line. Marlon, a senior in high school, had started his men’s apparel clothing line in his free time.
“I had a strong desire to become an independent person and contribute to my school payments. At first, MKCK was more of a hobby than an actual business,” explains Marlon.
Early on, Marlon realized that MKCK could be much more than a hobby. “It was growing faster than I expected and I ended up putting more and more time into the business."
MKCK caters to Peruvian and foreign men from teenage years to early thirties. Marlon focuses on a basic design, with small accents that are inspired by Peruvian culture. For example, one navy colored shirt sported a breast pocket designed with a Nazca Lines textile pattern.
“I really like that I get to create something different. The business helps me get in touch with my creative side and teaches me to be more responsible and organized,” says Marlon.
“Having a business and being in University is a bit of a challenge. Getting time to study is complicated, but I make it work.”
According to Marlon, his biggest challenge is making sure he provides time for MKCK, school and all the fun things in life. “Since I’m not alone in this project, it makes balancing work and life a lot easier.” Marlon’s mom helps sell products at the La Feria when he’s busy with school and Marlon’s cousin, Kenyi helps with delivery and creating new designs. “We all work together as a team.”
But all in all, Marlon still wants to be a kid, hang out with his friends and play soccer. “I am making sure to live life the way I want it, while being an entrepreneur.”