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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We've listened to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman countless times in my house (or, as my music app tells me: around 30), and the chorus of this song — "Never Enough" — keeps ringing through my head.
The song itself is about love (ie. without you, all the amazing things in the world will never be enough), but as we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, I feel like "Never Enough" is the battle cry of retail marketing.
“We don’t hire homies to bake bread, we bake bread to hire homies.”
I have often written about my love & admiration for Father Greg Boyle (Father G) and the work he has done with the gang population in Los Angeles with Homeboy Industries. It is not an easy thing to promote the dignity of people who have been involved in violent criminality, finding kinship in mutual love and respect.
This line — “We don’t hire homies to bake bread, we bake bread to hire homies.” — is a perfect description of the complex dynamic of running a business that is, at its core, motivated to employ a marginalized population.
For many of us — perhaps especially if you have kids in school, or an affinity for fall —, September is the perfect time for a fresh start. I wrote last week about my fresh exercise start after a summer of indulgence!
Whether it is the new calendar year, or a new school year, milestones offer a great chance for fresh starts. I think it is a fantastic time to dream about what will be different, what systems can change & improve, and how to begin well.
But here we are, mid-way through September, and I want to offer another thought:
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