This past weekend I happened upon a fantastic popup shop in Deep Ellum, where I met three amazing women who had come together with their talents and treasures to create a global shopping experience that had me ready to hop on a plane for an adventure.
Each of their businesses in some way supports women and artisans around the world. Melissa Moriarty, owner of Azulina Ceramics, partners with local artisans in Columbia to create vibrantly-colored hand-painted dinnerware and serving ware. The fresh and vibrant patterns are hand painted by women artisans in the small town of El Carmen de Viboral, continuing on a tradition that began over 100 years ago.
One of the things that I love about these ceramics is the super-white base that is so crisp and fresh, making the colors and details pop. The age-old tradition began in the late 1800s when quartz and feldspar were discovered in the hills of Columbia. According to Moriarty, the combination of these two minerals are ideal for making pottery and ceramics. This was a fun fact to learn, because when found in gemstone form, these two minerals are some of my favorites to use in jewelry. (Labradorite, Sunstone, Moonstone, Aventurine, and my personal favorite Amazonite are all feldspars, and quartz has many varieties, including rose quartz and pineapple quartz.)
Each Azulina product is completely unique and a one-of-a-kind piece, which you know we love! Moriarty also recently ventured into the world of linens, and has started working with a co-op of single mothers to create beautiful embroidered linens that compliment the vibrant ceramics perfectly.
I already have a self-proclaimed dish fetish, but these ceramics make me want to completely smash all of my other dishes and start over. I found some tiny bowls and a set of blue on white embroidered napkins that I couldn’t live without, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more of her collection makes its way into my cabinets some day.
The blue and white designs went perfectly with my existing table settings. It's like they were meant to be together!
Mariemae is a line of printed goods that are designed by women in countries like Rwanda, Ghana, and Kenya, and then printed right here in Dallas. For every product sold, the owner, Jillian Ryan, provides one hour of business skills training to a woman entrepreneur in a developing market, through her mentorship program. I love her desire to see other women succeed in their business dreams, and help provide ways to support their families. For more about her heart on why she started her company, visit her Mission page here.
These "Thank You” cards are so fun and colorful. Can’t wait to send a few!
Betsy Brown, of Quintessence Textiles, has a fabulously luxurious line of home goods, from linens and bags to vases and leather goods, all using ethically sourced materials and made by artisans in East Africa. Modern and minimalist designs are combined with Ethiopian heritage and craftsmanship to create global products that are providing sustainable job opportunities for artists and makers and access to new markets through Betsy's company. I came home with a stunning and simple ivory on white diamond embroidered scarf, but wanted so many other things.
While all of these women had great lines of product and fabulous taste, it was each of their hearts for adventure and the mission behind their businesses that truly captured me. Something that has been on our minds and in our prayers around here at Amanda K. Jewelry is how we can give back to people in need in a way that relates to our business and core values. We are currently in the exploration phase of this concept, and would love your thoughts on it! Do you have a favorite organization or a people group that has your heart? We would love to hear about it. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment with your ideas. We can’t wait to see where the Lord leads us.
Be sure to follow all of these lovely ladies and their business adventures on Instagram!