About one year ago Tereneh purchased her first Knotzland tie, It was white, red, & black and fit her style to a “T, I also love the way she styled it so much that we featured it as our first Women’s OOTD on our page” Nisha remembers. “It may have been at that moment that the idea came for us to collaborate.” Tereneh continues, “Like Nisha I love menswear and I love it when women wear mens clothing, some of the chicest women in the world had that amazing style – Josephine Baker, Marlene Dietrich, Ingrid Bergman.” Nisha continues, “So we kept emailing back and forth. Finally it was like okay Tereneh is going to Kenya soon [to work with OMWA] so let’s get some fabric and beads together.”
Nisha and Tereneh met at each other’s studios and mixing/matching fabric –until they had a mapped out the designs for about two dozen bow ties. Tereneh took those fabric pieces and specially selected glass beads for the ebony, grey, ivory and white tie collection. When she pulled out the fabric pieces to show to OMWA, Tereneh had a flashback to the first design session with OMWA in 2013, when all the women started cracking up laughing. “The ladies of OMWA, live in a very rural community in the South Rift Valley, if they had ever seen a bow tie they surely had never helped to make one.” Tereneh showed them images of Knotzland bow ties, that plus the basic bow shape everyone is familiar with and the help of OMWA’s manager Elizabeth Kilakoi the ladies were on their way.
The Ladies of OMWA [Olorgesailie Maasai Women Artisans of Kenya]
OMWA is a collective of Maasai artisan women based in the rural South Rift Valley of Kenya. Thirty-six women formed this group in 2012, to create a stronger cultural and economic foundation for themselves, their children, families and community. They work to improve the lives of 500 Maasai in Olorgesailie. *
..& After 7 months, 7 design sessions and 72 hours, HyeNotes was born.
HyeNotes – Hye meaning a natural high and peace within oneself– feeding the complete self with love. The materials and making of these ties fits this name perfectly. The HyeNotes collection is made from recycled and reused materials from the Knotzland Collection and sustainable materials such as hemp organic cotton silk and organic cotton twill from Idia’Dega. The glass beads were added by hand by the ladies of OMWA, each bowtie will feature a booklet showing the Maasai artisans. The collection will range in price from $75-89. OMWA will receive an additional 15% of the sales proceeds of every tie sold.
Nisha describes seeing the beadwork, “When Tereneh brought the pieces back and we unrolled them for the first time I almost cried. “It was a feeling of such joy and appreciation that we were able to actually accomplish a collaboration with our sisters in Kenya, thanks to Tereneh!- this is what Global Impact looks like”
Tereneh says, “It was really a matter of trust, Nisha had no idea what she was getting. The OMWA ladies decide what to do I just gave them basic design parameters. It shows their amazing skills of craftspeople they were able to really create such beautiful landscapes that became bow ties.”
*15% of all sales will directly benefit the ladies of OMWA