Tuesday, March 18, 2014


VOZ is an ethical fashion brand working with Mapuche indians in Southern Chile to create their super luxe, super chic wares. I'd known of the brand but hadn't really seen their clothes in person until Capsule last month.  I was blown away with the quality and overall aesthetic. They're doing it right...so, so good!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Did you know that cowry shells were the first form of currency in Africa?  Our cowry necklaces are back in stock just in time for SPRING!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014


Love this short documentary by Mary Nighy, commissioned by eco-fashion advocate and Eco-Age creative director, Livia Firth.  Sensual, beautiful, and powerful.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

WSJ Spring Fashion

The Wall Street Journal Magazine's seasonal fashion issues are quickly becoming my favorite. This editiorial featuring Andreea Diaconu on the Pacific coast of Mexico is beyond dreamy.  Mexico you might be the most perfect backdrop:)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Louise Dahl Wolfe

I love everything about these photos by Louise Dahl Wolfe. Wolfe was a fashion photographer most famous for her work for Harper's Bazaar in the 50's with editor Diana Vreeland.  The clothes, the sun, the exotic locations, I want it all please. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Peru: Tour de textiles

Part of working with artisans is that unless you are a larger company, heavy in monetary and time resources it's very difficult to work with an artisan group from the ground up.  Non-profits, NGO's, and private consultants exist in the global handcrafts industry to provide artisan capacity building and market linkage allowing businesses like mine the opportunity to collaborate with them to produce their collections.  Of course there are plenty of businesses that work with one country/community and are therefore able to invest their time/resources into that one community.  Proud Mary exists with the goal of providing a global exploration of textiles and because we choose to work in numerous parts of the world we have to depend on these organizations to get our artisan partners to a point where they are export ready; able to speak English, able to communicate via email, able to consolidate/ship orders, and willing to collaborate creatively.  We've been super lucky to find great facilitators in each country where we work and owe a lot to the Non-profits and NGO's that have connected us to our producing groups.  All that being said the case with our gal in Peru is one that this group was not yet ready to export, they are still in need of the proper business training and willingness to cooperate in order to become export ready.  I had high hopes that we could get on the same page during our brief visit to their coop but that was not the case.  I am not completely naive to think that a 4 day workshop would get them into shape but I was at least hoping for a verbal agreement that they and I would begin to put the wheels in motion.  When our verbal agreement sort of fell apart I took my trip to Peru as a discovery trip to see exactly what type of textiles they produce and what Proud Mary's production options were.

We found some beautiful things. Peruvian weaving has a refinement not seen in Guatemala where a lot of Proud Mary products are made.  We toured a natural dyeing workshop, visited the most adorable man in the universe and perused his flat woven, geometric wool goodies,  sat with a weaver in a highland village as she explained her process, and scoured every market we came across.  Verdict?  Peru is full of textile magic!

Monday, February 3, 2014

On the hunt

Part of the reason I love what I do is the hunt, the adventure, the excitement.   To produce in this way (handcrafted by global artisans) can be extremely frustrating.  Things go wrong more than they go right.  Artisans disappear, cotton supplies dry up, thread companies close their doors before they've given you your threads you've been waiting on for a month, customs offices are ransacked in coups prevented your shipment from leaving West Africa, weavers go into a month long mourning over the death of their husbands, and studios are destroyed in freak Saharan floods.  WTF.  This is exhausting...and I love it. 

 The main reason for my trip to Peru was to meet and work with a group of weavers in the Northern highlands of Peru.  I have worked with them from afar to produce our Pima Fringe Totes (which I adore).  Working with an American girl who befriended these weavers, I managed to produce a very small collection of naturally dyed wool and cotton products with these badass weavers. Their work is stunning and I desperately wanted to expand on the collection and get these women more work.  I would be working with a new facilitator in Peru that has a lot of experience with artisan development, training, etc.  We would go to a small town outside of Cajamarca, a mid-size town 10 hours North of Lima and do a workshop, training, and development new product with this group, it was going to be awesome.  Upon arriving in Cajamarca things started to feel a little weird.  At over 9,000 ft the town was much colder than Lima, greyer than Lima, and the people a little harsher.  We arrived a few days before our meetings were to happen and decided to explore the town and outlying areas.  We had heard about the Incan Baths, hot springs outside of town which sounded amazing.  We were going to sit in the thermal baths and drink red wine while gazing up at the Andes.  Pretty sweet.  Sweet, until we got there and were gawked at by hundreds of Peruvians wondering why these gringas were waiting in line to go their bath house.  The beautiful baths in the picture were not accessible but the private bath tubs were. So Olivia and I basically took a hot bath together.  Lovely.  The next day my new facilitator met us from Lima to make the trek out to the town where we'd meet the head of the weaving cooperative.  

We got to the village around 1 that afternoon. The roads were super curvy and we all felt a little sick from altitude and our female cab driver driving like a bat out of hell through the middle of nowhere.  We had a few hours to spare before meeting the head of the coop so we ate some Trucha (fried trout) and rice and the obligatory bowl of corn nuts, went on a walk in the pouring rain where we were met on a swinging bridge by a group of 7 Peruvian men who had definitely not come into contact with American women and absolutely not 3 of them in the pouring rain on a swinging bridge in their middle of nowhere town, and then visited a cemetery where the doors were shut behind us.  Finally heading back to the "hotel" (not sure what it was) after our afternoon adventure to get our work things together to find out our lady wasn't back in town yet.   So 5 more hours go by, another visit to the restaurant, a village-wide search for a cold beer, and brief encounters with wifi until we finally get a call that she was back in town.  The 3 of us stroll over to her house around 8 pm. We had a really nice discussion about businesses, our working relationship, our needs, etc.  agreeing that we did want to continue to work together and develop new product but there would be no meeting the other ladies, no workshop, no weaving together...bummer.  She had not gotten everyone together and we had to leave in a day so it wouldn't be possible.  We'd come a LONG way to find this out. The next morning we met our gal again to discuss design details and new samples that I wanted to put into production asap.  This was not the way I saw this portion of the Peru adventure going but what could I do?  I'd take what I could get.  Not until returning to Lima did I realize that our gal would not respond to any of our emails or phone calls despite the fact that she had been excited to continue to work together.  I guess we scared her off...I almost scared myself off.  More of the adventure to come...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...