Most of my journeys start in my mind. They travel oceans and worlds and timezones before they reach a semblance of reality.
Having established a career in branding and communication strategy, I needed to get creative, so I embarked on screen printing and woodblock printing courses, read about architecture, bought sketchbooks and noted down ideas and more ideas.
However, this particular journey began to make sense in India, seeing wonderful companies like Fab India
use traditional prints and crafts in a sustainable and ethical way keeping a strong brand identity and focus. I was inspired by their story and began to see possibilities everywhere.
From that all consuming Moroccon blue that you could dive into, to the geometrical lines of Islamic architecture, to the beautiful colour combinations at Pierre Herme
in Paris to the simple Tulip scattered across Turkish ceramics, I weaved a path across continents absorbing all I experienced.
When I reached Pakistan I looked for the right collective/NGO to help me find my group of women to work with, to set up skills exchange and to realise my dreams. A chance Scuba Diving in Karachi trip led to finding that next link. After meeting some craftswomen at the wonderful NGO ECDI
, Ali and I set about searching for materials, planning production and turning designs into reality.
Trips across country and weaving through traffic on the crazy karachi roads, always stopping for a 'Limca'
, coconut water or pomegranate juice and being fuelled by Saddar's
kept us on track.
After Karachi, came Nepal and the fair trade cashmere. The most peaceful and what felt like the sustainable oriented place Ive been. Through jungles, mountains and hours of travel, it was back to Blighty and the business of trading took another form.
Working with Atelier Points
for design and graphics, with photography from Suki Dhanda
and Maythem Ridha
, endless editing and photoshop and the brand identity took hold.
So here we are, the fruit of a collaborative labour.