An Ibu is a woman of respect in Indonesian. The Ibu Movement is a movement of women helping each other grow into economic self sufficiency. Artisans, craftswomen, collaborators coming together to lift each other up economically through "the art of their hands."
Ebullient Susan Hull Walker began this movement just a few years ago. Woman from 34 countries and 71 cooperatives around the world create beautiful textiles, jewelry, home decor and more, to enrich their lives and the lives of others. It is a matter of independence and self respect explains beautiful Ali McGraw, Ibu's ambassador extraordinaire this season. I had a chance to chat with Ali who was so gracious, and at 79 years old, listening to her speak, I could't help but feel like I was in the presence of a very spiritual soul. Obviously passionate about furthering the cause, she took time and care with everyone she spoke to in an effort to make sure each of us understood Ibu's message and her belief of being of service and helping raise up women around the world. The self esteem a woman feels when helping her family and making money of her own is completely transformative!
I really loved everything I was seeing and noted how modern everything was. In some cases Susan and her team design things in house and have them executed by global craftswomen. Ibu also buys things they come across from places far and wide. I especially loved the message bracelets woven out of caña flèche fiber by a Zenu artisan group in Northern Columbia. Mantras can be created by pairing words that have meaning for each of us.
I am a huge believer in empowering others to help themselves, so I especially loved this message. These women work hard using their talent and craft to enrich themselves and their standing in the family.
From the Kuma Indians in Panama to the Massai women in Africa to the Miao women in a tribe in Southwest China, and beyond ~ Ibu by exposure, encouragement and collaboration help give these of women and others self respect, the ability to carry on family traditions and save a dying art form.
Ali mentioned her love of connecting with others. The world has gotten so small. Connecting women around the world and changing lives has a ripple effect that is far reaching.
Ibu has a showroom in Charleston on King Street that is on my short list of places to visit in the coming year but until then the website is shop able.
Ibu collaborates next with Charlotte Moss, and knowing Charlotte's aesthetic, this is sure to be another show stopper!