I never know what to expect when I enter into a podcast interview. Often times, we discuss what's going on within the sustainable fashion industry, how it's affecting the world, small businesses, climate change, and it's all so good. These stories frame the why to the what of LiveableMe's purpose - educating others on all things sustainable and fair. Through these real-life experiences, a beautiful happening plays out and that is exactly what happened when I spoke with Christina, of Prima de Sur (Season 1: Episode 7). Prima de Sur is more than just another sustainable business. It's a story of how two women made steps to ultimately impact the world.
Christina had dreamed of beginning something special with her sister, Lauren Michelle, since they were little girls. Like many of us, at one point, her dream became just that -a dream, until 2020. Unlike the majority of negative thought, Covid quarantine brought a sublime opportunity for Christina to dramatically change her life. It was during the worldwide pandemic, that Christina found herself in Patagonia, Chile and where she began her Prima de Sur story.
Christina noticed that the Chilean people were creative artisans of home goods. Using natural elements, like wood, she couldn't help but see an opportunity to tell their story. Sharing this with her sister, Lauren, they both began to see a place for their one time dream of sharing something special. Christina began to work with the local artists, selling their hand-crafted goods, while Lauren began working remotely, marketing their idea worldwide. The one signifier to their business was the fact hat they both truly believed that each piece was an exclusive work of art, and told a rich story of the creator. It is here, where their dreams became a reality and Prima de Sur was launched.
Prima de Sur, meaning female cousin from the South, identifies not only where the products come from, but also the relationship of their origin (of California) to Christina's newly found home and the Chilean artisans who created the products.
Dealing exclusively with home goods, Christina deeply desired to somehow tap into the garment industry, specifically selling sweaters. After a couple years of business under their belt, Lauren visited Chile and with Christina, adventured to meet the artisans. Christina mentions this time as a way to personally get to know the people they are working with - settling in on the idea that relationship should always be first and foremost in developing anything worthwhile. (Such a refreshing thought!) During this visit, and within these personal relationships, they were led to the opportunity Christina had been waiting for - the sweater.
A friend of another artist knew of a lady who hand-loomed sweaters with a group of girls. (This is what happens when business is more about relationship than profit.) Turns out that this lady was employing young girls, who had escaped sex trafficking's atrocities. Christina and Lauren begin working with this group almost immediately. They had discovered a way to fulfill a dream and congruently not only empower a people group, but save women from some of the world's most evil atrocities. Today, every sweater sold via Prima de Sur represents just that - saving a woman from sex trafficking.
As I continued to listen and even after I had stopped recording, I was in absolute awe. Here was a women, two girls, who went after their own dreams and ended up fulfilling so many for others. It is in the sweetness of their care, patience and desire to do things ethically and fair that makes their story so profound. Like I said, every story presents its own kind of beautiful, and this is another that makes me sit back, be present and remind myself that together, we really can positively impact the world.
For more on Christina and Prima de Sur, listen to the podcast - Season 1: Episode 7. The link is on the home page.
Sustainable + Fair