— We've been thinking recently about how our Anaak women love to bring home unique, special objects from their travels, laden in story and time. Was there an object that you bought back from Cuba that you're enjoying/using?
Yes! We were there just a couple weeks after the death of Fidel Castro, el Comandante. Luis has a particular fascination with Fidel and the revolution history and had the good idea to ask some of the people we were staying with if they could get us the newspaper that announces Fidel’s death.
My most lasting memory of our Cuba trip was tapping into a completely new perspective of history that I hadn't been exposed to in the U.S. This newspaper is a reminder of that perspective and a very special historical treasure.
— Now back home, what are you currently working on/towards?
I’m working to provide more consistent work for our artisan partners by hosting custom designer sourcing trips. These trips will connect designers with artisans to assist in their brand’s production, empowering artisan producers while also giving their brand a transparent and ethical supply chain.
I am also very hesitantly working on launching a Persian rug weaving trip in Iran later this year. The primary aim of this trip is to bring more positive attention to the Middle East. Unfortunately with recent U.S. immigration ban, Iran's president is restricting U.S. tourists in Iran in retaliation. However, the current political situation is changing rapidly so I'm moving forward with trip planning in hopes that the political climate changes before the end of the year. Honestly, I think a more positive emphasis of the Middle East in the U.S. is especially important now.
Also... I'm planning to move to Mexico City later this year! While there I plan to continue to engage with artists and projects that have a positive societal + environmental impact.