(Scenes from our first Travel n' Create retreat in Oaxaca)
Above are some snippets from our Retreat in Oaxaca this January. Here is an excerpt from my journal right after this retreat ended and I had a heavy heart about it being over and a full heart from the experience. "Returning from the most amazing adventure yet, not only because of the place that is starting to feel more and more like home but also because I am doing something 20 year old me could only dream of."
It started out as a business trip to Oaxaca to gather material and inspiration for Kenworthy, but after about 2 days in the city it became much more. From all of my travels I have always been entranced by the local artisans, how fast their fingers fly over their work, and how each weaving/ embroidery/ knit is different but equally beautiful. I am always asking myself how they make those colors out of earth, how do they come up with so many designs and how are they still motivated to make it when barely receiving any pay. Something about the city of Oaxaca with so much of their culture preserved, and the skill of the artisans struck a cord in me and I decided it was time that I incorporate their talent and attention to detail into my small clothing brand. The next time we came to Oaxaca we came with a plan, we were going to bring 30 dresses and find a local group of ladies to embroider on it. We brought my friend Ky to translate for us, we wanted to start small but had big plans. We hit the ground running and within 3 days we miraculously found a family that could embroider our ideas onto our dressed but still add their flair. I felt like I hit the jackpot, I was totally on top of the world and because of this feeling something else started to happen. Ky, also an entrepreneur and I got to talking about the struggles of being in business alone with so much to do and so many questions but nobody really to talk to about hopes and dreams and taxes and quickbooks. We spent days walking around the city talking to artisans and nights talking at great lengths about our businesses and what we wanted them to do for us and the world. It felt amazing and so fulfilling to have someone to talk to about all these things I didn't even know were weighing on me. Towards the end of the trip we decided we needed to share this feeling with other people, other entrepreneurs, others that really just felt the same way we did. Then through out the spring we started to develop Travel n' Create. Our first goal was to connect with other like minded entrepreneurs, and our second was to share all of the talent, beautiful stories, and people we had discovered since coming to Oaxaca a couple years ago. As people started signing up and it started to become real I started to get really nervous, there were so many times I almost pulled out, I had never been in charge of a group of people and I was so worried that I wasn't up for the challenge. Sometimes I forget you have to leave your comfort zone to make magic. We planned a killer itinerary, with maybe too many things and I believe all 10 of the women that signed up left feeling fulfilled. I know that I learned from not only the experience but also something from each of the women who signed up. I can not wait for the next Travel n' Create retreat!