It’s with great pleasure I get to announce the launch of our Spring/Summer 2013 Collection!
Our wonderful lookbook was made possible through a collaboration of talented women who joined me this past October for first Raven + Lily Ambassador trip to Morocco and Ethiopia. Everyone that contributed paid their way and offered their talents almost entirely pro-bono. Amazing!
We shot our lookbook at the fabulous Peocock Pavillions…where we also celebrated my big 4-0! Click here and here to read my post all about a magical boutique hotel in an olive grove outside of Marrakesh…one of my favorite places in the world! I am still pinching myself that this all came together so wonderfully.
To get a glimpse of our ambassador adventures in Morocco and Ethiopia, we put together a little video (that includes an exclusive R+L song composed by my dear friend Rachel Yo) to capture “the design meets social cause” heart of the trip:
I want to personally thank all the amazing women (and a few good men) who contributed to the launch of this collection. I am deeply grateful to each of these lovely souls for giving so much of their time and talents:
And now… go visit our website and pick out something beautiful for yourself or someone you love and celebrate with us this spring! What are you waiting for? Your purchase is helping to transform the lives of the beautiful women in our partnerships. Just ask any of the ambassadors above!
This post was written by Raven + Lily’s Operations Manager, Cameron Crake, on her way back from her recent trip to visit our partnership in Cambodia.
I’ve worked for Raven + Lily for about a year and a half now, and this trip to Cambodia was my first chance to interact with the women behind our products. It was such a good experience to get to visit the workshops in Phnom Penh to meet them, but also to get a feel for the culture of Cambodia itself.
Over one of the weekends we spent in Cambodia, Lori and I ventured to Siem Reap to see the beauty of the ancient temples.
We rode tuk tuks from temple to temple, spending hours exploring the ruins. It was amazing to see this piece of Cambodian history up close.
But without a doubt, my favorite part of the trip was spending at least half of every day in the workshop.
Most days we would greet the bustling ladies as we walked in and then we spend the majority of the day meeting with Rachel and Anneliese, the wonderful women who founded and manage the workshop. We had many conversations about their vision for the workshop and the women who are employed with them. They are taking huge steps to make their workshop a professional, healthy working environment and to increase efficiency by pouring into their staff.
Right now they are set up in three different workshops across Phnom Penh, and want to continue planting small workshops across the city as they grow so they can keep the small and friendly working environment that they currently have.
I had the opportunity to sit down with a few of the women and hear firsthand how their lives have changed since they began employment at the sewing workshop. One woman, Srey Keo, had worked in a local garment factory and was able to tell me about the stark contrast our partner workshop offers to that kind of harsh working environment.
The women take such pride in their work. Most of them come from rough backgrounds and difficult circumstances, so a job like this actually changes their lives. Not only are they paid a higher wage than the typical garment worker in Cambodia, but they also receive care and investment that you would not see in a garment factory. Another woman I interviewed, Raiksmey, had started as a seamstress and has now worked her way up to being the head pattern-maker.
I loved every minute I spent in Cambodia and feel so privileged to work in partnership with these amazing, beautiful women!
Truly 2012 was an incredible year. We can look back over this past year with deep gratitude for all the growth, accomplishments, and people involved in helping to make our dream to empower women through design a success! I thought it would be fun take a quick journey through the year’s highlights:
The “Fantastic Lori Fox” joined the Raven + Lily team as our lead designer. Moving from the heart of LA to the heart of TX, Lori has done an incredible job overseeing our collections handmade by our partnerships around the world!
We started receiving some wonderful PR including Fast Company, Good Housekeeping, People’s Stylewatch, Redbook, Glamour, Women’s Health, and tons more.
Austin Fashion week gave us the “Golden Boot” in recognition for being a “rising star” in the fashion world!
We launched our newest partnerships supporting HIV+ women in CAMBODIA (pic: Sophia and I visiting the families of the artisans that make our new hand-loomed bags and eco-friendly tees)…
and hand-loomed and hand knit scarves empowering women in ETHIOPIA (pic: modeling our hand-knit scarves while visiting beautiful “Desta Mender”, the rehab center for women recovering from fistula)…
and locally supporting refugees in AUSTIN (pic: Rachel and I modeling our infinity scarves made from designer remnants)…
and finally partnering with formerly homeless women in LOS ANGELES (pic: our lovely hand-poured soy candles). So grateful to be part of the redemptive stories happening in all these women’s lives.
This past fall, our very first Ambassador Design trip was a huge success, and we’ll soon be launching the S/S lookbook and video connected to our wonderful adventures together in Africa.
Receiving the Classy Award for “Philanthropic Business of the Year” was definitely the icing on the cake for 2012. What a joy to accept the award in honor of all the amazing women around the world that make our designs!
Overall, it was indeed a wonderful year filled with opportunities to trust God to provide and then many opportunities to give Him thanks for doing so. Thank you for being part of our journey through your support, encouragement, and purchases. We can hardly wait to see what unfolds for 2013 (and we can hardly wait to share all the new collections….so beautiful, just like the women who made them.)
Here’s to a new year and new opportunities to see more women break the cycle of poverty and thrive!
Guest blog by Lori Fox, Raven + Lily’s Lead Designer
I just returned from a week of events, meetings, and inspiration gathering in my former hometown of Los Angeles. The week began with a special Fair Trade Christmas Market on the streets of Hollywood. It was so fun to work in person with Sophia since we usually communicate through email and phone from afar. Danielle our P.R. guru also paid us a visit!
Our Los Angeles representative, and long time Raven + Lily supporter, Jennifer Ceci joined me on the next days adventure to photograph and help pick out remnant fabrics for a couple of projects we currently have in the works. Jennifer is an inspiring woman who recently left her full time job to bravely pursue a new course of creativity. She has a curiosity for life that is contagious.
Our day was spent visiting a few friends clothing lines to gather their remnant fabrics. Puella,Champagne & Strawberry, and Apolis Global all donated their jersey remnants for our scarf partnership with Open Arms in Austin.
Their contributions are keeping fabric leftovers out of landfills and are helping to empower women.
We also gathered remnant silks from Cynthia Vincent’s headquarters downtown. These designer silks will be used to resurrect our coffee sleeves with the help of our partnership with the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC). They were all so gorgeous, I wanted to go swimming in them.
We were able to talk with our partners at DWC and visit their new store that was filled with new, vintage, and designer donated goods. If you are ever in Los Angeles you must check it out.
(photo by Kate Rentz)
I made a quick trip to “Mother Plucker” to pick up some feathers for our upcoming look book shoot for Fall/Winter 2013! Getting lost in a warehouse of feathers is quite possibly close to the feeling of heaven.
I stopped by to say “hi” to Ballards Artwork Framing in Echo Park (where our products are sold!) Aaron’s little corner of the world is overflowing with light and joy, passion and creativity. If I was ever having a down day I knew I could go in there to lift my spirits.
My mornings were filled with coffee with creative friends and discussing new art projects and life.
And the evenings were filled with inspiration scouting at boutiques
and a few galleries. Too bad LACMA was closed when we arrived. At least we were able to snap some photos with the rock.
We will keep you posted about up coming projects with coffee sleeves from DWC, and the new scarves from Open Arms. I wish you a creative week as you bravely seek ways to live your dreams.
I’ve had a few experiences in life when I’m filled with a strong sense of peace and God’s presence. Those times have always been when I’ve encountered either the beauty of God’s creation or the grace of God when serving the poor. On my recent trip to Ethiopia, I had such an experience that encompassed both. When visiting the amazing women in our newest partnership at Desta Mender (translated as “Village of Joy”), I was overwhelmed with the love, care, and beauty that surrounded this place.
It was a slice of heaven. A glimpse of what eternity will look like…where the most unloved and forgotten are the most loved and valued. Where God displays his kindness through both nature and people. Where broken lives are made whole.
I’m so humbled to partner with the efforts of the Desta Mender rehabilitation program, a division of the Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I’ve read about obstetric fistula in a chapter of Nicolas Kristof’s “Half the Sky.” I’ve been brought to tears by the documentary “A Walk to Beautiful” more than once. And now, I’ve met these women who make our hand-knit scarves while they rebuild their lives after suffering so immensely. (If you don’t know about obstetric fistula, then please read or watch the above mentioned or click here to learn more. Warning: It will break your heart.)
Utilizing hand spun Ethiopian cotton sourced from a local non-profit that employs people with leprosy, these amazing and brave women knit hundreds of gorgeous scarves for Raven + Lily this fall.
They are so grateful for the work. I’m am so grateful for the opportunity to know them and share these beautiful scarves with the world. When I wear my beautiful teal scarf, I feel like I’m wearing hope. Maybe you’d like to wear hope too. I highly recommend it.
**Note: out of respect for the women, I’m not specifically sharing their photos or stories. The photos of women knitting scarves are by Sara Forrest Photography. Please use the links in the post to learn more. Thank you!
Today’s tastemaker is Rachel Lincoln, Founder of Eco Stiletto! Eco Stiletto is a great website dedicated to all things Fashion, Beauty, Vegan & Celebrity.
Rachel also blogs on “Mommy Greenest” and has appeared on The Today Show and CNN Headline News.
Rachel really loves our Ella necklace and Oun Fold over clutch. Click here to shop her picks!
We’re thankful for our tastemaker this Thanksgiving day, Jamie Krell! Jamie is a Beauty, Fashion, and Lifestyle Expert.
Jamie began her career in the fashion and beauty world working with the costume designer of NBC’s Friends. Since then, she has appeared on: The TODAY Show, The View, The CBS Early Show, Access Hollywood, Access Hollywood Live, TV Guide, and more!
Jamie says, “With the holiday season approaching, I will be giving these exclusive, handmade Raven + Lily scarves to the people I love most.”
Today’s tastemaker is Meredith Turits, Online Associate Editor at Glamour Magazine!
Meredith loves our hand-carved journals and bullet bead necklace and bracelet! In addition to being the Online Associate Editor at Glamour Magazine, Meredith is a Freelance Writer, specializing in Lifestyle and Women’s Topics. We are so glad to have her sharing her Raven + Lily favorites.
To shop Meredith’s picks, click here!
Emma Grady is an award-winning fashion writer based in New York City. Known for her elegant and vintage-inspired style, Emma has been dubbed the “Jackie O of sustainable fashion.”
Her original fashion writing appears regularly on Discovery’s TreeHugger.com, SIX Magazine (UK), Coco Eco Magazine (US), and Hearst’s TheDailyGreen.com.
We’re thrilled to feature her as today’s tastemaker! Shop her favorite picks right on our website. Just click here.