ABACAXI: Urban-Island Clothing; Made in NYC

abacaxi noun \¦abəkə¦shē\ : a large sweet pineapple grown esp. in Brazil

Launched in 2013 by Sheena Sood, abacaxi channels the tropics – the sun, surf, and lush flora and fauna – to create a unique urban-island aesthetic. From India to Brazil to Ecuador, the patterns and colors pay homage to the places the designer has lived in and traveled to.

abacaxi is a womenswear collection of eclectic, wearable pieces that juxtapose traditional textiles with updated, playful shapes.

Our clothing is manufactured in NYC, with woven and embroidered fabrics that are ethically sourced from artisan non-profits. Each garment in the inaugural capsule collection re-purposed a one-of-a-kind, ornate textile (sourced from traditional Indian kurtas and sari blouses) to create stunning looks.

Sheena lives in Brooklyn, NY and has worked as a designer at Zac Posen, Tracy Reese, and Cole Haan. She studied art and textile design at Brown University, Central Saint Martins College in London, and The Rhode Island School of Design.

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Chelli Harms

Thursday March 27, 2014

Chelli Harms

About Chelli Harms

With an affinity for all things handmade and leather, Chelli Harms Collection has been crafting handbags since 2001. What started as “creating the handbag she couldn’t find”, progressed to the launch of CHC (Chelli Harms Collection) in 2011-- the established professional’s go-to for a functional bag that encapsulates her downtown edge. CHC embodies the fondness of trends but even more so the love for the timeless.

CHC’s latest collection, The Escape, explores the striking simplicity that comes from marrying contrasting colors and textures of leather. The collection adopts neutral color-blocking and calf hair composition to bring an innovative new look to the “Little Black Bag”.

CHC is U.S.-sourced and Chicago-made. With findings from Ohio, tags from Indiana and California, and (Horween) leather from Illinois, no compromise is made to quality. All these components are brought together to be handmade by Chelli in Chicago.

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What is Indego Africa?

Saturday April 19, 2014

What is Indego Africa?

What is Indego Africa?

-Indego Africa is an award-winning, design-driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise that lifts women-owned businesses in Rwanda toward sustainable economic independence through access to markets and education.

-Indego Africa partners with for-profit cooperatives of more than 400 women artisans in Rwanda and exports, markets, and sells their jewelry, accessories, and home decor (a) on its online store, (b) to more than 80 retail stores across the U.S. and Europe, and (c) at major brands like J.Crew and Nicole Miller through cutting-edge design collaborations.

-Indego Africa then pools its profits from sales with donations to fund training programs – developed internally from the ground up – for the same women in management and entrepreneurship, literacy, technology, and health.

-Indego Africa hires top Rwandan university students from socially-vulnerable backgrounds to administer its training programs.

-Indego Africa has offices in New York City and Rwanda and is managed by a lean and diverse team with extensive experience in development, business, design, law, commerce, fashion, and Africa.

-Indego Africa is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and the subject of a Harvard Business School case study.

-Indego Africa re-defines an outdated handicraft model of economic development and maps out a replicable blueprint for unleashing the power of women entrepreneurs in Africa. Download an overview of Indego Africa's business model, mission, and strategy.

Empower Independent Businesswomen

Indego Africa provides opportunities for women in difficult circumstances to not only meet their families’ basic needs, but also acquire skills that enhance long-term earning potential. Indego Africa's mission is to help each artisan cooperative achieve the following:

WOMEN GENERATING SUSTAINABLE INCOME: Women consistently earn more than $2 per day through their own initiative and oversee households that are entirely free of hunger, inadequate housing, and school absenteeism.

WOMEN LEVERAGING VALUABLE LONG-TERM SKILLS: Women deploy new high-value skills to earn supplemental income in their own community – whether at a cooperative, another employer, or their own business.

WOMEN RUNNING PROFITABLE EXPORT BUSINESSES: Women manage cooperatives that are fiscally responsible, effective in product design and delivery, and dynamic contributors to the community – all while engaging the global export market on their own terms.

WOMEN FEELING HOPEFUL AND CONFIDENT: Women translate their experiences of financial success and increased productivity into a lasting sense of self-worth and pride, knowing that anything can be accomplished by working together with others and relying on their own strength.

Indego Africa developed its business model before it chose Rwanda as its implementation partner country. The reasons why Indego Africa picked Rwanda are many:

-Corruption in Rwanda is among the lowest in all of Africa.

-Rwanda was ranked one of the top ten global reformers in the World Bank Doing Business Survey 2010, and second global reformer out of 183 countries.

-In the World Bank’s 2012 index of 183 countries, Rwanda was ranked 45th easiest place to do business worldwide, and 8th easiest place to start a business.

-In 2003, Rwanda adopted one of the world’s most progressive constitutions for women’s representation with 56% female representation in Parliament.

-Rwanda’s 3 year GDP growth rate is the highest among major African economies and neighboring countries, with 7.1% average year-on-year GDP growth since 2004 and a stable inflation and exchange rate.

-Average per capita income has more than doubled since 1994.

-One-third of households in Rwanda are headed by women, which are 12% more likely than those headed by men to fall below the poverty line.

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Behind the Label - Lady Kismet

Thursday September 12, 2013

Behind the Label - Lady Kismet


Lady Kismet is our go-to line for eye-catching baubles—founder and designer Shana Gulati dreams up mixed metal statement necklaces, cascading pearl earrings, and gold-hued cocktail rings that we team with any ensemble. Entirely handcrafted in India, Lady Kismet jewels are one-of-a-kind pieces you need to have in your accessories rotation. Gulati was born and raised in India, so the line is a sleek fusion of traditional Indian design and unique modern touches. Below, Gulati shares the inspiration that drives Lady Kismet designs and her most-loved piece from the collection.

What about India inspired you to create your collection? India is my first home, my birthplace, even being so far away, it's inherently a part of me in many ways. It's bold, loud, colorful, spontaneous, beautiful in all its madness. It's similar to my other home, New York which parallels many of the same attributes. Both are inspiring in very different ways, but in a really wonderful collaborative way.

How did you come up with the name Lady Kismet? The name Lady Kismet was a combination of ideas from friends and the final touch was my Dad's. The entire company is really a reflection of everyone in my life, from the names of the pieces, to the names of the collections, to the idea behind the designs, etc. Lady Kismet is a collaboration of everything and everyone in my life that has come and gone or is still here for the ride!

What is unique about your process of production? The uniqueness of production is that it's all done in India- that says it all! It's always a thrill, it's always an exciting process, one that can be both maddening and magical all in one!

What is your favorite Lady Kismet piece? My favorite Lady Kismet piece is the Ishim Spike Earrings for a few reasons. Firstly they are named after two of my favorite people in my life, a blend of their names. Secondly, they have that touch, that perfect balance of a traditional and modern feel. Thirdly they are wearable day and night, the just make you feel sexy yet subtle, fashionable without advertising it in a loud way, and most importantly beautiful like a princess, a funky modern princess!

What are your favorite "secrets" about Jaipur? I don't really have any secrets about Jaipur except that it's a place that has become a familiar place to me. Almost another home away from home. Every day is literally an adventure, you will never come back having achieved just the task you set out, you will come back with ten more new ideas and then some. No one will ever experience Jaipur in the same way, that's the beauty of it. Jaipur rocks! That's really my secret!

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Nesh Brand: New York City

Thursday September 12, 2013

Nesh Brand: New York City

Bree and I met during yoga teacher training where a very simple problem popped up about one week in: We couldn’t find anything to wear that satisfied our love of warrior II and our love of fashion simultaneously. This, coupled with being totally disenchanted professionally, led to an idea: creating a line of fantastically stylized clothing that was functional, durable and would move with a woman through her whole day–even a practice. In short, Nesh was born.

A month on, this vision began to take shape. We committed ourselves to creating a line of superior quality, eco-conscious, US sourced clothing that was also MADE in the USA. That’s why our entire creative process from design to finished garment is housed on 36th street, right in the heart of New York City’s garment center. Basically, we want you to feel as good about our clothes as you do in them.

Bree and I would like to thank all our teachers in all their forms both past and present and, of course, those we have yet to meet! You all have and will continue to be an unwavering source of inspiration, support, laughter, life and love. And we thank Ganesha…the true remover of all obstacles and the force that brought us all together. We will be forever grateful and humbled by all your roles in this on-going, amazing journey.

Welcome to Nesh. Every woman, every day, everywear

Bree Chambers & Pam Elden xx

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