Sapia was originally conceived in 1995 by Ana Piedrahita, an entrepreneur in Colombia's capital city of Bogota who saw the potential for producing a unique and intriguing items from orange peel. Colombia is among the highest per capita in orange juice consumption, which has spawned a strong demand for fresh-squeezed juice. These vendors would normally have to pay to discard the used peels, but now can actually earn additional income from selling them to Sapia.
Sapia employs 32 artisans directly, with another 50-plus artisans working independently. They also support an additional group of people through their purchase of orange peels, the raw material for their products. They have used their sales growth as an opportunity to reach out to other artisan groups in rural areas of the country, and have worked diligently to move beyond their original orange peel products and create new lines based on tagua, corn husk, cotton thread and recycled materials.