So, the whole reason for my beautiful time in Peru – to meet THE WOMEN!!
The Last 10 years since I graduated I have worked for some amazing fashion houses and brands. It has allowed me to work and travel from a tiny village in the north of England to trendy East London, New York Fashion Weeks, Southern California Beaches and the Los Angeles metropolis. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have had the career I have had, and been lucky enough to travel and live in new and exciting places with my work. All starting with my Grandmother’s teaching me how to knit when I was a child, and following what I loved to do to make a living from it. I do like to tell people I have made a career from knitting. ;)
As I progressed through working life though, the dissatisfaction with how things are done in the fashion industry only grew and grew. The feeling of living on a hamster wheel of life with little vacation, free time, and not being able to be creative in a way I felt good about only increased. My questions of ‘IS THIS IT!?!” kept growing and growing, and after some pretty awful experiences with companies in the US, along with something of a Spiritual Awakening, I decided that no matter what, I had to use my skills to do something I felt really good about. The way I had been doing things definitely wasn’t it. I had been trying to get HJK off the ground alongside working full time for a few years, and it was still the only thing I wanted to do. To really help other women by using my creativity in a way that served the people who worked on it as well as mother earth, and the women who can enjoy it at the end of the day. And not just for a company to make a profit or a boss to get their bonus.
So many beautiful things have occurred which have paved the way for HJK to be re-born in the form it is right now. From me getting a free trip to Peru, meeting the right people at the right time, getting an unexpected amount of orders and many other things. As well as a friend suggesting: ‘why don’t you just move to Peru for a bit!?’ and me saying YES!. A whole other post on this I think!
I knew that I did not want to produce my work with a factory, dealing with one person on the other side of an email that I had never seen or spoken to. I wanted to know who was behind each garment, and to have the production process just as special as the final product. Hand-knitting is a precious and time consuming skill, and I wanted to see the women whose lives were being effected by the work I was passing on to them. When I met Mother’s In Action I felt like we were totally aligned in our mission and I decided to build a 3 month trip around going to visit these women for a few days. I wanted to get an insight into what their lives are like, to see with my own eyes their faces, their hands, their characters and how they went about making the pieces I was going to sell.
This personal connection means everything to me, and I can say wholeheartedly that I am so happy and proud to be able to support these women with work. These women deserve this work, to be more independent, to be reimbursed well for their skills and time, and to be able to look after their families at the same time. To be able to make more decisions about their own lives and to have the freedom to make better lives for themselves and their families. I hope you can support us in some way – a share, a like, a purchase or let me know!
Liz, Isabel, Edy, Lucy, Deysi, Mrs America and the rest of the women of MOTHERS IN ACTION!