A well-traveled designer, Jessica Velez is no stranger to foreign design practices. None, however, inspired her as much as that of a trip to her ancestral country following a Skype session over Colombian coffee.
"Colombia was an opportunity that presented itself at the right time," she recalls. "My aunt, Luz Mary, introduced me to an incredibly skilled knitter/crocheter/macrame-er named Donia Luz Dary. We all agreed to try this exciting new venture of working together to create some knits for my Spring 14 collection."
Almost immediately, Jessica purchased her ticket for a 10-day visit with Dary and fellow artisans. Together, they connected over their love for bringing unique designs to life. Their shared passion radiates throughout various pieces featured in Jessica's captivating Spring 14 collection--a sign that Jessica and the Colombian designers had formed something deeper that went beyond a short visit. During her stay, Jessica also learned the same women who were so talented and so ambitious were also at a disadvantage.
"There is an immense amount of dedication and talent for hand craftsmanship BUT not enough jobs or value for these skilled women,"Jessica says.
Inspired by their dedication, Jessica has decided to continue working with the artisans for her future collections. Her goal is not only to support their craft but to also provide economical stability as needed. When there's a great cause behind fashion, the clothes appear even more beautiful.