Products made in India, sport my new "Fashion Tiger" label and those made in Illinois, my traditional "Mrs. Emily" label. 

This is what a year of work looks like.

6 weeks designing the fabric
8 weeks to weave it in Bangladesh.
6 weeks to plan and design the skirt; hand draw dozens of pattern pieces; ship patterns and supplies to India.
5 weeks to ship the fabric from Bangladesh to India.
10 weeks to cut and sew in India.
4 weeks to ship finished skirts to Illinois.
4 weeks to process and list them.

There were many delays and changes, due to the intense realities of career ending situations, life threatening diseases, extended power outages.

All the effort and nerve-holding culminated in me receiving the skirts and after a wave of sheer relief, melting into a tired, pathetic puddle.

As with most problems in life, dressing brings solutions (I’m at least partially serious). I took to my closet and played dress up. I got to know the silhouette of the skirt; the subtle nuance of the colors. She goes with navy, black, and brown. She likes my knee high boots. She loves my Air Jordan’s and polka dot socks. She layers nicely with my cozy sweaters. Baby blue, didn’t see that coming.

I started relaxing - unwinding from a year of being wrung out.

I noticed the texture of the fabric, the familiar soft rumple that only recycled yarn, handwoven on a wooden loom, has. I noticed the way the lining made the skirt lay and move gracefully. I noticed on my grandmother, the skirt crossed barriers of age and personal style. I noticed the pattern mixing of the stripe and plaid was exactly correct. I noticed the cream: fresh, a breath, new.

Good Design

I see the impact of good design on the end consumer. When we find a product that works, our lives are better for it. We are able to focus on what’s important because our clothes (or dishwashers, cars, lawn mowers) are functioning well. We have increased joy.

I see too, the impact good design has on every person involved in manufacturing. Good design lifts people out of poverty. Good design brings jobs, strengthens communities, keeps families together.

Which means, and I really didn’t see this coming:
Seam finishes matter.
Grain lines matter.
Matched plaids and stripes matter.
Pockets matter.
Years of developing a size chart matter.
Remaking fabric and skirts to dial in processes matters.

Your confidence matters. And as you sow into it, finding pieces that function and bring joy, you are sowing into much larger life-changing systems for people on the other side of the globe.

You can find the Peplum Skirt here, and the matching scarf here.

Love to you and thank you for being here,

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