chicago

Secret Santa

Being the Jewish girl that I am, I can count on my hand the few times I participated in the thrilling seasonal activity, "Secret Santa". This year the staff at Mata Traders organized a "Secret Santa" and the big reveal was at our holiday party last Friday. The theme was "My favorite color is..." and while some people strayed away from the theme, the gift given to me was for many reasons the most awesome gift ever!  

Fair Coast leather clutch with my textile design as the lining!

Fair Coast leather clutch with my textile design as the lining!

Last month I learned about a company called Fair Coast. They are a local company based in Chicago that makes handmade leather goods. I met the Fair Coast husband & wife duo at a holiday fair a few weeks ago. They are the sweetest people who are passionate about handmade products and working with companies and people who are local and ethical. They came over to Mata Traders and bought a handful of damaged dresses (garments with broken zippers, misprints, minor tears...etc.) and repurposed the fabric as lining for their leather clutches. 

Katie Gavenda, my "Secret Santa" and marketing associate at Mata Traders (not to mention an awesome graphic designer) really hit the ball out of the park with this gift. It means so much to me that she thought of this awesome company, but she also picked the lining with my original design! When I opened the box and saw the Fair Coast logo stamped on the protective bag, I knew exactly what it was I was receiving and started jumping up and down like... oh I don't know, a kid on Christmas morning! 

Fair Coast envelope clutches with repurposed Mata Traders fabric as lining. 

Fair Coast envelope clutches with repurposed Mata Traders fabric as lining. 

1st round of Spring 13 designs for Mata Traders!

One of the main companies I freelance for is Mata Traders, a fair trade fashion company based in Chicago, IL. Everything is designed in Chicago and then produced and manufactured through women's cooperatives in India and Nepal. The garments are made using mostly traditional techniques through screen printing, block printing and hand weaving. I have designed a good chunk their textiles for their Spring 2013 collection.  This week is especially exciting because a handful of my designs are now available for retail purchase on their website!  These are only the dresses that have come in but there are shirts, skirts and more dresses coming soon!!!!

Textile design by Shifra Whiteman. Dresses available through Mata Traders.

Textile design by Shifra Whiteman. Dresses available through Mata Traders.