Was there anyone you met there that really inspired you?
So many inspiring people who were (and continue to be) so warm, welcoming, and generous with their knowledge, skills, and creativity. I could go on and on about all of them but to avoid getting played off the stage, I’ll keep it short and tell you about Raji ben and Nanu masi. These amazing women were at the helm of the Recycled Plastic Weaving initiative. They are true craftswomen, always pushing limits of materials, adapting, and innovating new spins on old tricks.
Every morning, they’d greet me by taking my hands in theirs and exclaiming, “Jai Mataji!” meaning praise the respected Mother (goddess), with deep eye contact and the most genuine smiles. I wanted to carry that heartfelt, matriarchal warmth with me everywhere so when I was considering names for my brand, I chose Mata with Raji ben and Nanu masi in mind. I also love how Mataconnotes the idea of a quilt as a lovingly handmade grand/motherly heirloom piece and reminds me of them.