I grew up listening to stories of my dad’s workplace in Italy. He worked at a mill there where wool was woven into beautiful fabrics. Most of my family worked at the mill and they speak of it with great fondness. The owners would do stuff like close down in August so the whole factory would go to these cabins on the water that the factory owned, the owners cared and took care of their employees like family. And in turn the employees would stick around forever and generations of families worked there. I’d like to think that their work became ingrained in their family’s cells, passed on from one generation to the next. This took the craftsmanship to a whole other level, their fabrics and woven materials were world renowned. These stories stuck with me and I often thought of how lovely it would be to have such a big ‘family’ because essentially that’s what this was. You never know what idea or conversation will affect a child and this one resonated with me on a very deep level. It’s really only now that I’m realizing the scope of what are doing may have on future generations. How we run our business and how we make our products might be planting little seeds in our children, our future business owners and entrepreneurs, that business can be done differently with heart and caring and love at it’s core. Like I read somewhere – that the business owner seeks an inner attunement rather than attainment.
It was when I was doing a presentation for the ‘Best Community Impact’ award that I first thought of this. I thought of all the homesewers that I’ve had throughout the years, sewing dolls at home with their children playing and watching and growing up with that reality. Then I think of all the children out there receiving their dolls and the parents that can proudly state where they are from, show them pictures of the hands that sewed them and perhaps open up a discussion on another way of making things. Who knows what little seeds are being planted out there? Doll by doll, stitch by stitch, it makes me teary to think of what effect this may have on our little ones.
I’m off to Vancouver on Thursday to see if we won the award. I’m excited that we got to this point because it really made me look deep and hard at Bamboletta from different angles and points of view. What a gift to have been ‘forced’ to do this. I’m usually so deep into the running of things that this reflection time was inspiring. Either way, award or not, I’m so proud to get into the top 5. I could not have done this without my ladies (and John!) around me, moving Bamboletta to where it is one stitch at a time.
I’ve often given accolades to Bamboletta and to you Christina for inspiring me to keep going with my Etsy shop. Even when “friends” looked down on what I was doing since it didn’t fit the “cubicle-farm” profile of what they considered a good, respectable job, you told me to keep going. As a little business owner now, I’m thankful and continuously inspired to see Bamboletta’s posts, photos, and now the BCI nomination >AWARD (???!!!). I know it’s cliche to say this but keep up the great, creative, empowering work you’re all doing in the studio. It means more than you think for you fans and future entrepreneurs. <3
What a beautiful blog entry. I am a bit of a writer myself having spent years as an English teacher. Your words touched my heart. It is obvious what a great company, or should I say “family”, Bamboletta is. The impact you have made on your customers and their children and grandchildren can’t truly be measured. You are an inspiration to us all. I am so looking forward to my visit to your studio on July 8th when my husband and I make the journey to Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver. It will be amazing to see just what you do in person, and meet all the lovely ladies that I’ve come to know via email and Facebook. My fingers and toes are crossed that you get this award which you all so richly deserve. Hugs to all! 🙂
In all of our hearts you are already the winner Christina Bamboletta (that is what Lauren and Michael call you) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I love this story!! Wishing you the best of luck – you’ve built something so beautiful, heart & hands that have touched so many! I agree with Genny, you and your girls (and John!) are already winners! 🙂