The Story Behind my Sri Lankan Clothing Line

Jan 5, 2024 | Clothing | 0 comments

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved clothing and styling myself a certain way. It’s safe to say the fashion of my life has been an evolution.

At 10 years of age it was the trendy teeny bopper Limited Too looks along with the smiley face backpack. Then it was onto the goth years from 13-15 which slowly transitioned to a hippie look by the end of high school and eventually dating a hippie who made patchwork clothes at the age of 18 that we used to sell at music festivals.

Now, I have also always loved selling things that I love. Hula hoops and fiberoptic hair lights are a few that come to mind, but I also often sold my clothes on eBay after I had outgrown one of my many fashion phases.

When I was 18, I worked at a jewelry kiosk at the mall that sold alternative-style jewelry for piercings as well as beautiful silver and stone pieces. I had already been stretching my earlobes for 2 years at that point and was at a 0 gauge (now I am only 12mm), but this was my first official foray into selling jewelry and becoming acquainted with nice jewelry. I remember being so nervous at that job sometimes trying to make sales, but I also I thought it was a pretty cool position. I still have many pieces from that time, and one I even travel with today.

As I got older, I pursued yoga and the performing arts full-time alongside festival culture, I always wanted to be in comfy but stylish clothes I could do yoga in, go out to dinner, and go to a concert in and maybe even perform in it, too! Which means I don’t do well in stiff fabrics or anything with buttons or zippers. Jeans? No, thank you!

3 years ago, I started traveling and for 3 months of that time near the beginning I worked in a clothing boutique in Costa Rica. I really loved the position and absolutely loved all the clothes in the shop. I have a weak spot for clothes and probably spent far too much money there. I was really inspired at that time, but the dream of having my own shop seemed like a distant and impossible dream.

I moved to Sri Lanka for another 3 months later that same year, and the other yoga teachers at the retreat center I worked at told me about a local seamstress in the village they all went to. There really wasn’t much to do, as it was low season and I didn’t know anyone, so I thought why not? I went into the local town, got some fabric, and dropped off some samples for her to recreate along with some original designs.

I really loved some of the pieces I had made there and continued to travel and wear them for years after. The seed for my clothing creation had finally been planted!

When I finally went back to Sri Lanka for the third time, a new fabric store opened with much nicer high-quality fabrics. And they just happened to carry the exact stretch cotton blend I love to wear in my drape-style clothing. So, at this time, I did a test run on the flow pants I wanted to design, and that day I walked into her house, she had the cutest little tank top slip dress that I just fell in love with!

I remember I was on my way to Galle that day, an old Dutch fort known for its boutique shops. And I remember just feeling so light and carefree in that dress, and had fun shopping for a new pair of shorts to go with it! I also ended up getting a longer version and these 2 pieces became my staples in Asia because they were so lightweight.

During this time, I befriended a fellow yoga teacher who moved to the beach town of Mirissa. One day she told me she was having some jewelry made by the jeweler who lived below her apartment and immediately I was inspired! I have always loved jewelry, and along my travels, I had picked up many pieces. But to my disappointment, some were very low quality that would turn green and irritate my skin. I would often have to discard them after some time. I loved their designs, but they were cheap jewelry. I did not want cheap jewelry or fast fashion anymore!

I could not find the quality of the jewelry that I liked, so I decided to make it! I took him some designs soon after and the first creations were made.

On Easter of 2019, terrorists struck numerous locations in Sri Lanka, killing many people, locals, and tourists. It was 1 week before I was set to go back to Sri Lanka for the 4th time to teach my first Samanova Yoga 200-hour Vinyasa and Aerial Yoga Teacher Training. It was a very stressful ordeal managing from afar, but in the end, I decided to continue to hold my course and support the people of Sri Lanka during this tragic period.

The country of Sri Lanka suffered greatly with many tourists canceling bookings. I was happy to come into the country, at a time when it was moving into low season, and provide what small business I could to the country.

I wanted to create clothing and jewelry that was both feminine and fierce. I am happy that what I have produced embodies my inner wandering gypsy soul. It has been well-received, with the first collection selling out in less than 6 months. The second collection was made in November 2019. The clothing line got stuck in Thailand for nearly 18 months during the pandemic while I was stranded in India. I finally had a friend ship them to me and wholesaled the collection off. I hope to one day return to Sri Lanka to create again!

Visit my Etsy shop here!


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