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Destination: Konso

Posted on April 06, 2016 by Hana Getachew

I’ve just returned from my trip to Ethiopia where our artisans finished weaving our latest line – the Konso Collection. As with all of our designs, the pieces are inspired by the culture of Ethiopia. Konso is a region in the south of the country I first had the pleasure of visiting in 2010. I immediately fell in love with the unique landscape and traditions of the area since it was unlike anything I’d seen in my home country. I knew I had to go back and explore more of the textiles that I saw. 

I traveled to Konso by car gazing at the lush green landscape which is so different from what I’m used to seeing in the capital. Much of Ethiopia, including Addis Ababa, is covered in highlands. The temperature is fickle with warm days, cool nights and the climate is somewhat arid.   Southern Ethiopia on the other hand is filled with lowlands with more rainfall creating a verdant countryside. Many of Ethiopia's tropical fruits, like bananas, mangoes and papayas are grown in the south.

You know you’ve arrived in Konso once you begin to see terraced farms along the mountainsides. Like most of Ethiopia, the villages of Konso are farming communities but the landscape steep and hilly. The locals adopted terracing to irrigate their crops. The terracing is not just relegated to the farmland, the villages are also terraced along the mountains, another unique trait of Konso.

Many of the traditional homes in Ethiopia are constructed of mud, however Konso’s homes and fences are built with stone. The villages are comprised of maze like pathways that connect neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has a community center where locals congregate. In addition, the young men in the village take turns spending nights in the community center, acting as a local emergency response team incase of a fire or any other need for help in the village.

What I love most about Konso are the textiles (of course!) specifically the traditional clothing worn by the women. The clothing of the region is as unique as its architecture and culture.  I first noticed the beautiful traditional dresses in the lively and vibrant market place. The women of Konso wear two tiered peplum skirts. The length of the top layer indicates whether the woman is single or married. The skirts are handwoven and are often striped with eye popping bright colors.

Another popular style of skirt uses natural cotton as the base with a multicolor trim on the top and bottom layer of the skirt. I was delighted to find this trim in the market. I purchased the ribbon during my first trip in 2010, although I didn’t know quite to do with it at the time. Little did I know that in a few years I would start Bolé Road and dedicate a whole collection to this lovely accent!! On my next post I’ll share all the more details on my finds and what I learned about the Konso ribbon in this textile journey.

 

xo,

Hana

Posted in Ethiopia, Textile Journey

In Ethiopia!

Posted on March 14, 2016 by Hana Getachew

I traveled to Ethiopia on March 1st and usual, I’m having an incredible time.   I’ve met with all of the weaving studios and collectives we work with.  Our spring collection is all set and on its way to Brooklyn to be sewn.  And we’re also restocking our most popular items.  Check out our progress and process on instagram!

I love having the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia because in addition to working on my textiles, I am able to spend time with my family and home town. Here are a few photos of my parents and near my grandparents home.

Returning to Ethiopia is an endless source of fulfillment and inspiration, both creatively and personally and for that I am grateful.  I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of my stay here in Ethiopia will bring.  

xo,

Hana

Posted in Ethiopia

Our First Trade Show!

Posted on February 08, 2016 by Hana Getachew

I can’t believe it’s February already! This year has been off to a whirlwind start!

We kicked January off with a photoshoot of our spring collection which shared a sneak peak of on instagram. The collection is bold and colorful and, as always, is inspired by Ethiopia. It will launch in April and I can’t wait to share more with you!

We previewed a few pieces from the new line at NYNOW last weekend, our first wholesale trade show! In addition to the new designs, we showed our three collections – Indigenous Blooms, Modern Classics and the Heritage Collection. I couldn’t believe all the positive response we received!  We met so many retailers that love our product and brand.

So I am pleased to say that Bolé Road Textiles will soon be found in a dozen stores on the east and west coast! I’m so excited to see how far we have come. Stay tuned for the locations in the spring!

xo,

Hana

Posted in Collections, Events

Best Moments of 2015!

Posted on January 04, 2016 by Hana Getachew


This past year surpassed my wildest expectations! I launched Bolé Road in May which I've been dreaming and scheming about for years. And since then we've completed 5 shows, 3 collections, 1 epic trip to Ethiopia and got some press and support along the way.   I couldn't help but put together this list of best moments of 2015!

1. In February we launched our landing page and started our journey as Bolé Road Textiles!
2. In the beginning of May we officially launched at BKLYN DESIGNS debuting two collections:  Indigenous Blooms and Modern Classics.

3. Later in May we were lucky enough to have Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow use our pillows for her Living Yellow space at Dwell on Design.

4. In July, probably the highlight of my year, I was asked to be included in Design*Sponge's new book In the Company of Women!  I'm still in awe of this one!!!

5. September, if I wasn't already totally indebted to Design*Sponge, I was fortunate  enough to be featured in their Life and Business column!  Not to mention being featured for What's In Your Toolbox in December!

6. Later in September, I was finally able to travel to Ethiopia to finish out my third collection and connect with some amazing new artisans

7.  In addition to BKLYN DESIGNS, I participated in three Renegade Craft Fair shows!  I debuted the Heritage Collection at the Holiday Fair in November.

8.  I finished the year off at Bklyn Flea where I met some amazing clients.  I also was so excited to be included in a few gift guides during the holiday season!
Thank you to everyone who's joined me on this journey.  Let's get ready for another spectacular year!

xo,
Hana

Posted in

Giving - imagine1day

Posted on December 24, 2015 by Hana Getachew

As an Ethiopian-American, I started Bolé Road Textiles to be more connected to Ethiopia and to contribute to positive change in the country.  Since it is the season of giving, I thought it would be a great time to share more information on the organizations we contribute to starting with imagine1day.

imagine1day is a non-profit based in Canada and the US founded by Lululemon creator Chip Wilson and is wife Shannon.  The goal of imagine1day is that all Ethiopians will have access to quality education by 2030.  They do this through several programs, the program we contribute to specifically is the Girl Fund.

The Girl Fund's aim is to support the education of girls in rural Ethiopia.  It does this with three initiatives including:

    1. A scholarship program in northern Ethiopia
    2. A program to build latrines in southern Ethiopia
    3. Community training to create support education of girls

So far over 100 girls are in the scholarship program, latrines in two communities have been built and training completed in 103 communities.  Find out more about the initiatives here.  Specific facts and figures can be found in the 2014 year end report (the 2015 report will be coming out next month).

One great aspect about imagine1day is that since the administration of the organization is paid for by the Chip Wilson Foundation 100% of donation go towards the programs.

I am incredibly proud to support this organization, especially as an Ethiopian-American woman.  Contributing to imagine1day helps me to achieve my dream of working towards a brighter future for Ethiopia.  You can feel good that each purchase at Bolé Road Textiles supports imagine1day.


xo,
Hana

Posted in

Studio Tour

Posted on December 18, 2015 by Hana Getachew

This has been a wonderful week! First up and super exciting was our studio tour on Design*Sponge featured on their ‘What’s in Your Toolbox’ column.   It's exciting to share my creative process, glimpses into my studio (including my studio cat, Pigeon) and a hint of our next collection for summer....  Read the full article here.

I was also delighted to see our yellow striped pillow up on Style by Emily Henderson. We just received new batch of our bright Drimia Stripe pillow which will be in stock in February! Here are some photos from Emily’s blog:

 

Looking forward to what the new year brings for Bolé Road Textiles!

 

xo,

Hana

Posted in Hana

Elegant Ivory + Gold Interior

Posted on December 04, 2015 by Hana Getachew

shop our pillows & art:   1   |   2   |   3  |   4   
floor lamp  |  sofa   |  rug   |  wood table  |  side table   

 

It's been a while since I put together a room inspiration, but I've been eager to style some of our new pillows from our Heritage Collection... So here is our latest design composition!

I wanted to build a elegant, chic space accented with our gold and ivory pillows.  I started with the neutral Kalmar sofa from ABC home, then layered a beautiful overdyed silk rug from ABC Home. From there I selected a few additional pieces from Anthropologie including a reclaimed sugar wood coffee table and patinated side table.  I thought the perfect pillows for this space would be our Negus, Nigist and Lulete pillows.  With their natural cotton background and gold stripes and striations, they create the perfect tie in pieces to bring the space together.  And to finish it off I added the Qerz Framed Textile to add a touch of glamour.

shop our pillows & art:   1   |   2   |   3  |   4   
floor lamp  |  sofa   |  rug   |  wood table  |  side table   

 

You can find all of the selections above.  I hope you enjoy and gives you a little inspiration for your home!

 

xo,
Hana

Posted in Design Ideas

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