I don’t know if my sudden interest in yoga is the result of peer pressure from living in a slightly more alternative and health conscious city than Waco, TX (AUSTIN) but it has grown on me nonetheless. Most recently, I found the word, integrity, running through my mind. The instructor consistently emphasizes the importance of “holding the integrity of the pose” as other parts of your body are asked to do crazy things like clasping your hands together over your head, grabbing your foot and placing it in the fold of your elbow, etc. but all the while staying in the same pose you began in, maintaining its integrity.
While searching for the right option in where to print our new linesheets and lookbooks, we tried to look at this necessity in the retail world in a new way. What if we made them available to fashion magazine editors on a CD? Saving cost and trees and lessening Raven + Lily’s footprint on the planet.
And when we consulted with a PR professional on the “look” of our line, a suggestion was brought up on the models we chose to represent the Raven + Lily collection. They are beautiful African women, but do not represent the typical demographic that makes Raven + Lily purchases. A small dilemma arose: should we photograph models that may relate more and look more like the women who purchase the slightly higher priced jewelry we sell or models who represent the artisans behind the jewelry? Advertising and marketing is sometimes a smoke and mirrors show to trick a customer into feeling more OK about purchasing a product. I am proud to work for a business that maintains the integrity of its values in all decisions, no matter how small. Why would we employ models from the US who have an abundance of job opportunities when we can empower and employ gorgeous, talented models in Africa? That is our mission after all. By choosing to stand behind our decision of using African models to launch our Fall/Winter collection, we send a message of the importance of diversity in the fashion community and encourage our customer to look past the smoke and mirrors and think how the jewelry can enhance the lives of other women instead of only thinking how the jewelry can enhance their look.