“One of the greatest tragedies of life,” said K. L. Toth, “is to lose your own sense of self and accept the version of you that is expected by everyone else.” Unfortunately, I often think I myself have fallen victim to this tragedy. It’s sad how we change our lives, our character, our personality, even our looks to please others; sometimes consciously, but often subconsciously. Even though you yearn to be with someone who accepts you, “as you are,” it is hard – I’d say impossible – to find him/her in actuality. We’re slowly moulded, like rocks being eroded by the wind, as a closer reflection of our partners, families and maybe even friends or colleagues. Anyone who has any impact or bearing on our lives. Those we depend on. And it’s not like we don’t do the same. We also crave those around us to be more of this or less of that. To give up a certain habit we consider vile or take up a hobby more to our liking.
Since I graduated, and perhaps even before that, I’ve wanted to start my own label. Once I graduated, I had a name: Woven Wonders. I’m a weaving major and have studied Textile Design. I love creating fabrics; the way they feel, experimenting with different fibres, colours, how you can control everything, thread by thread. It gives me a giddy feeling. Eventually I want to go on to create an array of different accessories for men, women, kids and interiors. While still at university I wove some silk and made a tie for my dad. He wore it to my wedding and I was overwhelmed. My creation, thread by thread. Therein lies the beauty of woven pieces.
For now I’m doing a mini-collection of ladies tops. Some kaftaan dresses for the beach – as summer is just about here in full swing and the sand summons! They’re about $50 each plus shipping, so if any one is interested, don’t hesitate to get in touch for more details!
Before the pictures, I want to tell you a little more ABOUT what this is all about. I live in Pakistan. There’s an ever growing gap here between the rich and the poor. While the rich get richer the poor are left to fend for themselves with not even the government to help with things as trivial as education which most of us reading this take for granted. I’m not talking about higher education, like college & university. I’m talking basic education. A B C. A majority of the people in the lower class are living below the poverty line. They can barely feed and clothe their families let alone provide shelter and education. Most of them are living in a small room of some 10-15 sq m. An entire family. Imagine that. My goal has always been to start a social enterprise. To help the underprivileged.
These garments are made by Nasir, a member of the Christian community which is often persecuted just for being themselves by radical fundamentalists and unfortunately also oppressed and not given jobs by some ‘educated’ people who should really get over themselves and be beyond such petty stuff. Anyway, most of this nonsense annoys me. A lot. Enough to want to do something about it. So Nasir is paid fair wages to create these pieces and therefore benefits as he has work and a studio to sit in provided by another lady who was eager to help in such dire circumstances. She charges him no rent.
A portion of the profit I make goes towards helping Maria and her family. Maria has been working with my family since I was 13 and she was of a similar age. She was educated only till the 7th grade and then told to work and help her family make ends meet. Since she was just a child we only had her babysit my younger sister and once she was over 18 she helped in the kitchen etc. Again, she was paid fair wages, given a room & bathroom in our house and of course food & clothes. Now she is married and has two kids of her own. Her husband is a good for nothing guy who cannot provide for his family and so she works with me as a cleaning woman to make ends meet. She too is from the Christian community and a lot of people don’t let them into their houses (because they’re obviously backward thinking morons). My aim is to educate and provide for her two kids Ilyaan, 4 and baby Ariana who was born last month. I don’t want them to repeat this cycle and end up as staff in someone’s home. I want them to at least have the opportunity to be educated as much as they want. To be able to strive to be doctors or professors or most anything! I don’t want them to worry about money. For now, the short term goal is to provide their fees to a top school and ensure that they are studying till they are 18, and then look into college. I will also set up two trust funds for them so that they can afford higher education.
As woven wonders expands it will use resources such as women who can work from home so as to provide employment within a comfortable environment and invest in their children to get them out of this rut. For now this is just the beginning. Let’s see how things pan out. Eventually I want to start my own school that provides quality education to the underprivileged while providing employment for the mothers who are often not allowed to work. I want to make a difference, and even if I can do that one family at a time, I think the ripples that that would create will be something that will carry on through time. If I can educate two kids to become doctors, imagine the future they could give their offspring. The possibilities are limitless.
Everything I make here is handmade and unique in it’s own way. No 2 pieces will ever be the same and I like to consider each as a work of art. When you purchase a Woven Wonder you know that no one else will ever have the same. I do plan on creating a pret line where I make tops in varying sizes, small, medium & large in the same print but that will be specified at the time. As is with all things handmade they are bound to have slight imperfections. People aren’t machines. I love that.
This is what I be doin’ at work!
i want these shoesssss! aren’t they THE most sexy, sleek, CHIC things ever! patent leather stilettos in such scrumptious (and some sophisticated) colours – i wanna pair of each! i love the neon pink sliver with the black. *sigh* should’ve bought them when i had the chance, but i found the 5″ heel to be a bit TOO much! after all i don’t particularly enjoy towering over people. and i’m already 5’6″ so at 5’11” i’d be SO high…!