We have the honor of working alongside some pretty fierce women. Artists, self-starters, mothers, entrepreneurs – each one has her own story of how she's making a dent in this world. 

 

We now work with over 750 women across 17 different countries. We are divided by borders, cultures, and languages, but we share the same drive, the same desire to create something beautiful. We are incredibly humbled that these women have taken The Citizenry mission as their own – our success is their success, and vice versa. 

 

This International Women's Day, we want to highlight a few of the ladies who've helped make The Citizenry what it is today. Today, and everyday, we're inspired by these strong, hard-working ladies. 

 

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WOMEN OF NAGALAND  

In India’s remote corner of Nagaland, what you wear matters – each tribe is known by the distinct motifs and patterns of their clothing. And with over 16 tribes and countless sub-tribes, you can imagine the depth and diversity of designs.

These textiles are woven using the ancient backstrap loom made of bamboo sticks and rope that’s fastened around the weaver’s waist. The best part? This loom can be set up pretty much anywhere, giving weavers the flexibility to work from home.

During our trip, Jesmina, the head of this group, took us to the weavers’ homes so we could see how it’s done. With each visit, we were taken aback by the artistry and expertise of these women. Weaving entirely by memory, these ladies effortlessly execute intricate patterns and stunning details.

Until about 25 years ago, these motifs were reserved for shawls or sarongs, but Jesmina saw an opportunity to expand the market by creating pillows and throws with the designs. Fast forward to today, and she now works with multiple weaving communities, providing sustainable employment and ensuring this craft lives on.

 

To see this group's incredible work, click HERE.

 

WOMEN OF SOLOR ISLAND

Between the picturesque sunsets and pristine beaches, you’d think Solor Island would be at the top of every travel guide. Thanks to its remote location (we took 4 planes and 1 boat to get there), we are now some of the few lucky ones who’ve experienced the beauty of this undiscovered oasis.

On the ferry boat ride over to the island, Hanna told us all about her parents who were from the fishing communities in the area. Her father worked to send Hanna to school in Jakarta, and now she is using her education to give back to these communities. About five years ago, she started working with basket weavers from villages in the area, giving them the opportunity to use their talents to earn a sustainable living.

Fast forward to today, and she now works with over 200 weavers across 17 villages. We got the chance to visit the Wulublolong village and meet some of these talented ladies. Over a cup of avocado juice, sitting under the tall palm trees, we got to know their stories – from how they learned to weave to their favorite foods and pastimes (they’ve got some top notch singing voices...). Needless to say, we were fast friends.

 

To see this group's incredible work, click HERE.

 


QUILICURA DESIGN STUDIO 

On our first night in Santiago, we had dinner with Cristobal and Valentina at a rooftop bar overlooking the city. Over a couple of piscolas and fresh ceviche, we chatted for hours – from how this husband-wife duo first met to when they decided to start their own design studio, we covered a lot of ground.

These two have dabbled in all aspects of the design world, with backgrounds in retail design, architecture, interior design, and even visual merchandising. But it wasn’t until recently that they decided to strike out and pursue their dream of opening their own studio. While risky, these two entrepreneurs just couldn’t help but pursue their passion. Fast forward to today, and Cristobal and Valentina are living the dream, designing and creating beautiful pieces for the home.

Partnering with small workshops all over the city of Santiago, they team up with woodworkers, stonemasons, and glass cutters who are are true experts in their craft. Together, they combine local materials – copper from the Atacama deserts, leather from Chillan – in a way that highlights the natural beauty of Chile in a fresh, unexpected way.

 

To see this studio's incredible work, click HERE. 

 

ARTISANS OF DAUSA

Driving down the single paved road to the remote village of Banskho, you may pass a handful of motorcycles, maybe a goat herd or two, but for the most part, you’ll simply find miles and miles of quiet farmlands. That is, until you turn into the weaving workshop – it’s here, you’ll meet this lively group of weavers.

When we first walked up, the women were busy spinning the yarn, the men weaving away at their pit-looms. Everyone was laughing and chatting, all excited for us to see their work. Rosa, one of the spinners, called us over to her wheel, wanting to teach us a thing or two. A few failed spins in, and she quickly realized we were a lost cause – at least we gave the whole crew a good laugh.

They went on to walk us through the whole process, from dyeing, to spinning and weaving, then onto finishing, washing, and drying. Beaming with pride, they couldn’t help but smile as we asked questions, in awe of their expertise and mastery of this age-old craft.

Throughout India, groups like these are becoming more few and far between. As we headed back to Jaipur along the same paved road, we felt grateful for the day and time with this special group. We are so honored to play a small role helping preserve their rare craft and community.

 

To see this group's incredible work, click HERE.

 


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