We're excited to have Harper Poe of Proud Mary sharing her story with us today. Harper was one of Lydali's very first partners, and we absolutely love the textiles and products she produces in partnership with artisans in several different countries now.
Can you tell us about how you got started and the backstory to the name Proud Mary?
We're thrilled to welcome Christina Pippin of Finny & Dill to our blog. Christina writes all about ethical fashion and sustainable design, and we're excited to share her travel stories with you.
What's your home town?
I was born in Texas and grew up in lovely Downers Grove, Illinois. Maybe it was the water in Downers Grove, but all of the gals + guys I met as a youth are the sweetest, funniest and most genuine people a girl could hope to call her friends.
What Lydali items would you want to pack for your next trip?
I never leave home without a scarf; I am coveting the cotton sage triangle scarf with its fun, fresh geometric pattern. I love to stay organized, and being a writer and artist, I'm always looking for cute accessory bags/clutches to bring order to my mammoth handbag and harmonize my many notebooks, sketchpads, pencils and photography equipment. I love the handmade tangerine clutch, the blue digital clutch and the blue gradient clutch from Guatemala; I'm pretty sure I need all three! I've had a long, ongoing love affair with Druzy, so the Drusy earrings are a must-have. Every girl should have a pair of simple, chic studs like these.
We love ethical design with powerful impact. FashionABLE is a social enterprise in Ethiopia whose sustainable business practice helps afford long-term solutions from poverty and violence for vulnerable women. FashionABLE focuses on providing training, employment, and opportunity for at-risk women and their families. Below is our interview with founder Jordan and the stories behind what makes FashionABLE such an amazing business model. Check out the great photos!
Can you tell us a little more about FahionABLE's sustainable business model?
Jordan: We are committed to long-term solutions to fighting poverty, and our main focus is creating opportunities for vulnerable women. That means that your purchase of a scarf creates jobs, so that the women are not dependent upon charity, but instead are a vital part of a developing economy.
So our strategy is two-fold. We work with women to help them start small business cooperatives, and we partner with and require manufacturers to also employ women with fair wages & fair hiring practices.
How many artisans do you employ?
Right now, we currently employee 25 women. As we continue to increase sales, we are able to hire more & more women!
How do you reach out to the community of women affected by the sex trade?
“Women At Risk” is an organization we have partnered with to rehabilitate former sex workers. This work requires not only getting these women off the streets, but also providing them counseling and helping them find alternate means of income – this is why we created fashionABLE. Our ultimate goal is to help these women become healthy and productive members of society.
What inspires the design of FashionABLE scarves?
The first scarf style the we produced, the Bezuayhu, was inspired by traditional Ethiopian scarves that the women wear daily there. I recently took a trip to Ethiopia where I was able to go to the markets, and see more materials, colors, and designs that are made locally in the capitol city of Addis Ababa.
Are there any specific artisans whose story has had a huge impact on you?
While I was in Ethiopia in January, I got to spend time with all of the women that we work with. One woman in particular, Genet, was such a fireball & I loved being with her. Genet ran away from home at a young age, was raped multiple times, and became pregnant. She went into the sex trade to keep up her family, but ended up having her daughter taken away from her. Genet now works with us at fashionABLE, and says she is ABLE to embrace her role as a mother now. I was able to spend time with her & her daughter while I was there... It's amazing to see how far she's come because she has people around her to encourage her, counsel her, & love on her. (You can read more of her story HERE).
Finally, what kinds of improvements do you see in the lives of your artisans and their families?
Each of our scarf styles are named after one of the women that we work with, and there is a hangtag on each scarf with a message saying what they are ABLE to do because of your purchase. The women write things like I am ABLE to: love others well, feel pride in my work, provide for my family, and feel confident. What stood out most to me during my time in Ethiopia was that the women have restored dignity. They are taught skills which make them a vital part of the economy in Ethiopia, but most importantly, they have a new sense of confidence and peace in their lives.
Thank you, Jordan, for sharing these women's amazing stories! We're so excited to have you on board here at Lydali. Shop FashionABLE's awesome woven scarves on Lydali.
We had the honor of getting to know Estelle Loyer through her lovely blog Lover&Shoes, and we're excited to have her sharing some of her traveling adventures with us this morning.
What is your home town?
Where do you live now?
Cronulla just a little south of Sydney city
What's the last trip you've taken?
Last trip was in October last year, I went to Venice, Rome and New York
What's the next trip on your itinerary?
I always say I want to spend some time in Greece, but I think I'll be taking a sneaky trip back to New York and Cancun in September...
What's a place you want to go back to again and again?
I've always loved London, I really want to live there one day. I always feel so emersed in the city and the atmosphere is great. I do love pretending to be a local in New York too, the lifestyle would definitely suit me.
What's your favorite thing you've brought back from your travels?
Well besides from bringing back memories (had to say the corny answer haha) my favourite thing I've brought back from overseas are these two gold rings I bought in India. I bought them with my grandmother and I wear them everyday.
If you could visit one place where Lydali works, what would it be?
Africa. I've only briefly been to Johannesburg but I'd love to see more of the country and do a safari.
What are your travel essentials?
Always need my phone/camera to capture the moments, Dettol hand sanitizer, my Rayban sunglasses and a good pair of boots.
What Lydali items would you want to pack for your next trip?
I have to have the White Agate Drusy earrings, so pretty but subtle for everyday use. And I can definitely see myself toting the Taupe Diamanté clutch around everywhere. Perfect for when you want to look stylish but without being weighed down.
Thanks so much, Estelle, for sharing your traveling trips and stories with us. We can't wait to follow along! To keep up with Estelle, you can follow her on her blog.
At Lydali we're in love with exploring new places and new stories, and we're excited to share the travel stories of Athena Benisi of the blog Glimpses of A. Athena is an interior design student studying in Athens, and when she's not researching product design she's blogging about travel, fashion, and design.
1. What's your home town?
I am born and raised in Athens, Greece.
2. Where do you live now?
I currently live in Athens, Greece but I am soon to move to London, UK for a Master’s Degree, which I couldn’t be more excited about!!
3. What's the last trip you've taken?
I’ve taken a lot of small trips here in Greece, but my last trip abroad was a tour of Cote d’Azur (the French Riviera) in June 2012. We departed from Patra, Greece and sailed to Ankona, Italy. Then we visited Bologna, Milan, a couple of small villages along the way to Marseille where we stayed for a couple of nights. After Marseille we stayed in Nice, France and then had a trip to Monte Carlo. Then back to Milan, Parma and home! I love those kind of trips-tours that there is the opportunity to experience lots of different places and their local culture.
4. What's the next trip on your itinerary?
I am planning with some friends to visit Italy, possibly Sicilia in summer. It is not fixed yet, there are some more places dropped on the table, like Ibiza or Portugal. Certainly, we want to go somewhere with lots of sun and sea!! This will be the trip after our graduation so we want it to be extra-relaxing!
5. What's a place you want to go back to again and again?
Anyone who knows me, will roll their eyes with this answer, but the truth is I love London! I’ve only been once, in 2011, but I fell in love instantly. I loved the atmosphere, the people’s vibe, every little corner of it actually, and of course people’s style! Londoners are soooo well dressed!! So you can imagine my happiness when I learned that I got accepted for my further studies there! A dream come true!
6. What's your favorite thing you've brought back from your travels?
Well, I try to bring back lots of things from my trips, apart from clothes of course!! I have a magnet collection that I love, which is from trips of the last 2 years. As for my favorite I think I have 5 from different locations. The first one is a frame from Barcelona, which was really inexpensive but holds such memories because it was the first trip me and my sister took abroad together.The second one would be a London telephone booth poster and some cards I bought from London, which I have in my room an give an illusion of me being there (not really but one can dream!!). The third one would be a traditional handmade mask I bought from Venice, which is music themed and I keep on top of my piano. Fourth one is a little Vespa-globe I bought from Rome and last one is a little lighter that looks like a casino mark, found in the Casino of Monte Carlo, which I found really clever an brought back lots for my friends.
7. If you could visit one country Lydali works in, which country would it be?
I’d love to visit India. I want to experience the different culture of an Eastern country as well as their lifestyle. I am also in for everything food related, I believe I would try everything once. So when in India, one of my main occupations would be to try everything that has to do with food, since their cuisine is so different that our Greek one!!
8. What are your travel essentials?
I tend to carry much more than needed with me when travelling. I pack them in small pouches and divide them by use. As an essential I would consider my books! I tend to bring 2-3 books with me, in case I run out (which never happens in a 5-day trip!). In my everyday bag when travelling you will find: wallet(!), a couple of lip balms, mascara+face powder, tissue+antiseptic wipes, my mini pharmacy, a book, a scarf (in case of temperature drop) and possibly a pen and notepad.
Whether they're weddings, graduations, bachelorette weekends, or garden parties, it's event season! Event season tends to be a little crazy, and I sometimes feel like I need to buy 20 new dresses to wear to everything I'm invited to.
To be a more responsible shopper and to be a little easier on the wallet, you can liven up dresses you already have with fun new jewelry and accessories that have great stories to tell.
These are two dresses I have from Anthropologie and J.Crew, and they can be made gorgeous for events with a few key Lydali accessories.