Floating Stone Silks was written in my heart and Cambodia was calling. I had enjoyed a reasonably comfortable career teaching at a local Community College and consulting on Community Development contracts. And then the universe stepped in. I lost my College work to cut backs. It was time to “reinvent myself” as the saying goes.
Travels, working with textiles (silk in particular), culturally diverse countries and social justice work were a few of my favorite things and became the focal points in forming my business. What was required was to commit all of my savings, time and inner resources to the project as well as a massive leap of faith! I went off with a very good friend searching the silks roads to find my fortune. It became clear that this was my destiny.
The name “Floating Stone” alluded to the feat that I had set for myself and am still working to resolve. This business is about doing what most people consider impossible or too much work for a reasonable financial return. I later discovered that “floating bones” in Cambodia refer to the lucky ones who became refugees and went far away from the genocide that took place in Cambodia. I consider myself to be very blessed to have come to this amazing land, the Kingdom of wonder. I feel especially blessed by the friends who have shared their lives and families with me there.
I love being called “aunty” by sweet faced children and “sister” by Cambodian women, some of which are business colleagues. We support each other in building sustainable enterprises. Together we find life affirming ways to do business. We share a passion for being surrounded by meters of silk in stunning arrays of marvelous colours, from which we are to pick and choose combinations for our designs. Our businesses celebrate people, community, design, quality production, hand loomed silks and innovation.
The learning curve has been very steep, with lots of pitfalls along the way. Shipments take forever, the global economy tanked, dye lots are unpredictable, the price of silk has risen dramatically, the dollar drops, global weather patterns produce tsunamis, typhoons, floods and on and on. The obstacles appear and disappear. Friendships and relationships grow stronger and businesses prosper. Dreams start coming true.
The story has been going on for almost ten years now and we have done a few cool things during this time. We have started growing small farm gardens in remote villages, introducing permaculture growing methods to promote healthy food and income streams. This led to meeting village women who wanted to produce Golden silk again. Now we have several villages involved in growing Mulberry, which feeds the silk worms. Our first batch of silk worms is being readied as I write this.
Social enterprise, sustainable enterprise and slow fashion have all grown in momentum during this past ten years. It has been a huge bonus to be part of this movement where business can been based on heart centered principals respecting people, the environment and the future. I welcome you to become part of the Floating Stone Story. Visit our website for our newsletter and blog, browse and shop our Collections and come with us on the tour of a lifetime and have a first- hand experience in the ever changing landscape of South East Asia.