Photo: Bethany Douglass
"The wand chooses the wizard... it's not always clear why."
My husband just finished re-reading the Harry Potter series and marveled again at how intricately the story is weaved from the first through the seventh book. From early on in dignify's life, we have referred often to this line ↑ from The Philosopher's Stone (Rowling's first book in the series).
You see, each time we receive a shipment of new kantha quilts, there are always a few that I pull out and think, Yikes! Nobody isever going to buy that. Then, I launch a collection of throws and undoubtedly, one of the blankets I deemed "unsellable" is among the first to go!
There are some general, governing style principles that we try to apply to which blankets come to us (and how they match the saris for us). It is a work in progress, but overall, we try to have one color on each side that matches. We limit brick red and olive colors (these are colors that feature in Bangladesh in abundance). Other countries in the world have different affinities for their Basha kantha: Scandinavian countries tend to want simple, plain patterns. English sellers want quieter colors. Australians will take anything! And in North America, it is a mix.
But, all of that to say, we get what we get (and we don't get upset, as the preschool saying goes!). Sometimes, I launch a collection and cross my fingers that I won't be looking at the same blankets in a year! And sometimes — often — a throw comes that breaks the "rules"; it is so extraordinary, beautiful, & unique that it exceeds any direction I could have given.
In any case, we've found that there truly is a person for every blanket, and a blanket for everyone. In the history of 5.5 years and 5,000 blankets, there have been very few — like, less than 10 — on which we pulled the plug. I don't believe in magic, so the blanket may not really choose the wizard person, but people do make great choices about their blankets.
Do you have a dignify kantha quilt? How did you choose it? Or, if someone else picked for you, how did they do? Share your stories below or email them to email@example.com
Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.
It was helpful for some women to leave the norm of their old life environment, to get away, to start fresh in a new city. So, Basha created different offices in varied locations. They established a girls' home to safely house daughters & other vulnerable young women as they come of age.
As Basha has continued to identify the great need of women in Bangladesh, there is another area they have expanded: actively seeking women in brothels & whispering the potential of a new life.
As I was packing for our first family international flight (to London UK), I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed to make our overnight journey the most comfortable. As you know, those flights can be a little chilly - so I wanted to bring blankets for all of us. Naturally, I wondered...
Can I bring a blanket onto a plane?
In short: YES! According to the TSA you are allowed to both check a blanket in your luggage and to bring a blanket on a plane within a carry-on (and this also includes electric blankets). You can even bring your own blanket in your arms as you would a jacket or hat, without it counting towards your carry-on or personal item limits or paying any extra fees.
When I got married as a baby (4 days over 21), I was still a student. Then, we both worked for a bit, then we had babies, and then my husband was a student. For almost all of those years, our "budget" was: try to not spend money.
This head-in-the-sand tactic has served us... ok... BUT, now that I'm pretending to be a real grownup (at age 35 — youngest children tend to be late to the responsibility party), I'm taking a new approach!
After Christmas, I started using You Need a Budget (YNAB) to track every expense & plan for future spending. Two months in, here’s what I think.
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