Together for almost 16 years, Chris and I have been through a lot together. The Devi Arts Collective is something he’s supported me through since its inception. He’s watched it change and evolve. He’s worked with me at the markets, and covered for me when I couldn’t be there myself. When I sold my very first piece of jewelry, he celebrated with me. When I decided, this year, that I would quit my job to devote myself full-time to jewelry design and growing the business, he was my biggest cheer leader.
Chris has been a tremendous source of support and encouragement over the years, and it’s exciting to see how our combined belief in this project is finally paying off with an incredible list of retailers selling my designs, a brand new website, and an engaged and conscious-minded community whose commitment to ethical fashion is just so awesome.
I asked Chris if he would answer a few questions, and share his perspective on what being apart of the business as my life partner has been like. Here are his answers. Enjoy.
It has been amazing. It started out with two artists creating jewelry in Whistler, BC and has since expanded, through our extensive travelling, to include India, Indonesia and Guatemala.
Bayoush works tirelessly to improve her own art and to strive to bring other peoples art to a broader audience.
The artists work so hard and have so much passion for what they do which makes them very positive and inspiring people to talk to. They all help each other out and have their own trade economy, which is neat. It is wonderful to see customers really appreciate the time that went into each piece and to get exited to purchase something handmade.
What stood out for me was the women's weaving cooperative outside of Amed, Bali. The time it takes to make each piece of cloth is staggering. Every step of the process took an extraordinary amount of time and utilizes all natural materials – from spinning cotton to harvesting and breaking down root vegetables for dyes and eventually weaving them into intricate patterns for different ceremonies or religious occasions. It was great to see this tradition being preserved and being recognized as an art form.
For me it would be the use of nature in her designs. Using the moon or the aesthetic of bird's nests in ear rings and pendants adds to the appeal.
For my very first backpacking trip, I connected with a good friend (and seasoned traveller) to explore Colombia. I was in University at the time, getting my degree in Biology. I hadn’t even started to consider a career as a jewelry designer, although looking back… I think this experience may have ignited a flame.