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Katie Lorenz ’12 starts CAMPO Alpaca

I [Katie Lorenz] am a proud alumna of UW-Madison, Class of 2012 … some would say obnoxiously proud i.e. I tell people about Wisconsin whether or not they want to hear about Wisconsin, and I wear Wisco gear as much as possible!

The last five years I have been a management consultant, and now I have the opportunity and means to pursue my dream – to be a social entrepreneur and help society through business. My social impact venture is called CAMPO, which builds upon the valuable teachings of the Wisconsin Idea to encourage positive impact through education and social change.

My desire to pursue social change came from my studies and connections with people at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I learned of the Wisconsin Idea as part of orientation, and immediately felt like I was in the right place. I believe that we should all use our talents to benefit society, in whatever form they may come. As a senior I was elected to be a senior class officer… President Steven Olikara brought up the idea of building a gift based on the Wisconsin Idea – we reaffirmed the Wisconsin Idea in a plaque and placed in on a stone on Bascom Hill as a reminder of a larger purpose.

That purpose is what led me to start a company with a mission to use business for a good cause: making alpaca apparel in Peru and in the USA, using a model that benefits the knitters and business owners.

Our company is named CAMPO, and although it has other meanings, to us it is a reminder. CAMPO came from combining Cambio Positivo… which means positive change, and our purpose is: Changing the world, one stitch at a time. Each “stitch” is a human connection. The mission of CAMPO brings the world closer together by creating understanding and connections among different communities with different cultures, ideas, and beliefs. This is what I learned at UW-Madison and this is how we change the world!

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