Kiebingen and Rottenburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. August 2022.
You might remember that we featured two local women on our Instagram and Facebook accounts in the late winter last year.
Both women are from our community here in Tübingen. Both Anna and Seatile styled some of our knitwear with their own clothing. I asked them a few questions about their personal style and how they incorporate sustainability into their closets, and wrote about it in our social media posts. I was so inspired by their responses to my questions.
You will perhaps recognize them, as they also modeled a lot of our summer collection!
Anna Reuchlin: local fashion designer, student and mother of 3 wearing our Sapna shawl and Cable Slouch Hat.
Seatile Neyrinck: Bespoke Tailor, Designer at heart, Stylist and Mother of 3, wearing our Braid Beanie with one of her own designs - a gorgeous gold and grey tailored jacket. Find her here: https://www.instagram.com/pelo_yaka/ email@example.com
I've wanted to do an interview series since early on in my research for starting this business.
I've always thought of our business as being grounded in community, both locally and globally - the business itself, our customers and the artisans and makers in India, all of us working together for a greater good. I see Rani & Reine at the centre working on collaborations with artisans, and bringing the results of those collaborations to our community of customers, and then bringing those two communities closer together through visual storytelling and a transparent supply chain.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: TEJI DEVI, NEEMA and YOGBANTI, RINSING HANDSPUN WOOL FOR DYEING, APRIL 2022
Rani & Reine was born out of a desire to incorporate traditional handcrafted Indian textiles, via a transparent and sustainable farm to frock supply chain, into beautiful garments for textile lovers.
We work directly with communities of artisans, who are often groups of women, also led by women. In our work, we seek to shine a light on the traditional knowledge and wisdom that is carried within these communities of artisans, and to provide a platform where the voices of the artisans can be heard.
From left to right: Indra, Vandana. Lata, Sapna and Renu of Kullvi WHIMS, dyeing their handspun yarn with marigolds with the mountains behind. April 2022.
Further, we see ourselves as part of a global community. One that fosters inclusivity, empowerment, and positive change within our world.
Our community thus includes the artisans and producers, wearer-preservers (you), and ourselves (Rani & Reine) as the bridge between. With this in mind, the concept for our interview series came about: let us celebrate the women around us.
From left to right: Sapna, Neema, Indra, Lata, Mina, Teji Devi and me in the front, on my last day visiting Kullvi WHIMS this past Spring.
I also think of who our everyday influencers are - not the famous ones, but the women in our communities that we look up to, learn from and are inspired by daily.
From fashion, to what we eat, where we shop, how we see the world, how we bring creativity and quiet into our lives, how we care for ourselves and how we take care of our children and families, etc., we gain a lot of insight from our peers.
Chu is a Yoga teacher, owner of Der Yogasalon Tübingen, former professional dancer and mother of 1. Her interview is one of three that will be published this Fall. Chu is wearing our Smock Dress in Gold
I've always loved having deep one on one conversations with friends, where we reflect on life and our ideas - it's these conversations that have shaped how I choose to live. I have a feeling I'm not the only one.
I've wanted to shine a light on the women in our community, create opportunities for their voices to be heard, ask them about their lives and what they've learned, in the hopes that we realize the power of the women around us, and in turn, our own power, inspiration and ideas.
I always say -- I love people who are interest - ING and interest - ED -- these are the people that can teach us something.
You-Shan Feng is an Epidemiologist, Knitwear Designer and mother of 3. Her interview is one of three that will be published this Fall. You-Shan is wearing our Sapna shawl in grey.
So I've been working on it, and I've got the first 3 interviews ready to publish. Chu, You-Shan and Ulrike (pictured) are all local women from my own community, with wonderfully creative and diverse lives, who's stories I'm sure will interest and inspire you!
I have many more in the works. I keep meeting amazing people, and the list of who I want to ask keeps getting longer. I'm starting with friends, and then will expand out further into our community, as well as to other parts of Germany. I also have plans to include some of the inspiring women I work with in India.
It's all very exciting!
Ulrike Rensmeyer-Byrd is a local Photographer, former early childhood educator and mother of 3. Her interview, the first in our series, will be published on Thursday, October 6th. Uli is wearing our Bib Smock Top in gold.
As I went through the process with each of the women I interviewed, I realized that, even if we are friends, we often don't know the depth of how amazing the people around us are until we ask the right questions.
The whole experience has been incredibly enriching and fun, and I am more in awe of the capabilities and talents of the women in my circle, and of women in general.
Our first interview with local photographer Ulrike Rensmeyer-Byrd will be published on Thursday, October 6th. We'll do a live chat that evening on our Instagram at 8 PM cest.
See you there :)
Founder and Director, Rani & Reine