We had the opportunity to sit down with Scotty to talk about how Sapa Designs all got started, the women who inspired it all, challenges, goals, and fears. We discuss the beauty of traditional tribal skills, working with authentic materials, and contributing to the sustainable fashion world. Read full interview HERE.
SCOTTY : How did Sapa Designs come to life?
SAPA : In 2017, my husband and I took a trip to Southeast Asia. While in Vietnam, we visited a town called Sapa in the mountains of Northern Vietnam. We explored the town, hiked through the mountains, and did homestays with several of the local people who were part of the Black Hmong tribe. I was inspired by the culture and the simplicity of the lifestyle that they lived. They cooked for us over open fires and showed us their land with rice terraces and corn stalks. They talked to us about their clothing and how they make it by hand, sewing each stitch with symbols and patterns passed down to them for generations. The people in Sapa are truly inspiring. I was drawn to the unique designs of their clothing and the process of how they make it. Trekking through the villages to their homes and learning about their culture helped me understand the importance of what their beautiful textiles have meant to the tribes for generations. The tribes grow their own indigo plants to use for dyeing and hand embroider detailed symbols onto the fabric. The women are devoted to the craft that has been passed down to them by their mothers and grandmothers. I really wanted to find a way to work alongside the women I met in Sapa.
While on our trip, we saw many artisans selling handmade jackets and blankets on the street for less than they were worth. They spent so much time making these beautiful pieces and they weren’t getting paid what they deserve for the quality of work they’re presenting. I wanted to introduce the idea of textile jewelry to the women in hopes of providing a sustainable income for the women all while trying to preserve their beautiful craft. This also helps to eliminate the need to compete with mass produced knockoff versions of their designs on the street. They can count on being paid a fair amount for each piece they make and don’t have to sell their products short of what they’re worth. They determine their income for each piece based on the time that they put into it.
Read More HERE.
Read full interview HERE.