Sholan is a California based accessory line made with gorgeous African printed textiles. Mira Blackman, the creator, found inspiration for her line by the intricate patterned fabrics made by weavers in Kampala, Uganda. She was sweet enough to answer some questions about Sholan, and the use of organic and handmade textiles.
Tell me about Sholan & how you incorporate sustainability into your business.
Sholan is a celebration of life. We can’t celebrate life while disregarding it. At the very core of Sholan is a mission to make the revolution irresistible by providing beautiful products that are made with integrity and respect to traditional arts, artisans and the earth.
What does sustainability mean to you?
That’s a good question as sustainability can mean so many things. To me sustainability means doing things in the hopes of making them last such as ongoing employment for economic independence and organic fabrics as a protective measure for the earth. Also, hand woven fabric increases employment. It can take hours to weave a couple yards of fabric, unlike a machine that weaves yards in minutes but renders humans and their traditional arts useless.
What type of accessories do you offer?
Sholan uses a combination of handwoven hand dyed organic African cotton & Kitenge to make unisex bow ties, ties, totes and clutches
Where do you find inspiration for your accessories?
The fabrics! Their colors, textures and rhythms inspire me everyday. The kitenge was my initial inspiration for starting Sholan. I just love its vibrancy and wanted to see more of it in the streets that I walked. I am integrating more handwoven and traditional textiles now though.
Tell us a little bit about Kampala, Uganda and why you chose that particular city for all your beautiful accessories.
Since Sholan was inspired by African fabrics it only made sense to have it produced there, especially these days when most of the kitenge houses in Africa are closing down due to being undercut by Asian producers. It’s important that Africans be included in the market for their cultural fabrics. So I set out on a mission to find people to work with, and after months and months of checking leads and reaching out I connected with a women run collective of weavers, dyers and sewers in Kampala, Uganda. So I went to check it out and loved what I found. I can’t say enough good things about Kampala & Uganda. The people were incredibly kind and welcoming. The food was great. The weather is perfect and it’s just brimming with lush greenery.
Besides online, where can we find Sholan accessories?
There are a few stores in SF bay area that carry our stuff, Show and Tell concept shop in Oakland, Ressurect on Piedmont and Nest. We also do occasional pop up stores as well.
What are your future plans for Sholan?
I ask myself that everyday! For now I hope to stay creative and integrate more traditional textile arts into the pieces.
Shop Sholan here, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.