Looking back, looking forward
- We diversified our fabric range, towards more sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics - silk, merino-silk, cotton-modal - which also look and feel beautiful. In 2021, we hope to phase out our polyester range and look for a sustainable fabric at a similar price point.
- Robyn sourced lovely sustainable, compostable wrapping and display units which further underscore our commitment to earth-friendly products.
- We added new scarves to our range: the softest merino-silk peace scarf in yellow/olive and blue/white, and Shelley Cruikshank's Rangimarie scarf. which depicts the kauri forests of Aotearoa New Zealand.
- Robyn's skill with a sewing machine saw us branch out into shrugs, face-masks, and scarf bags.
What has awed me most has been Robyn's sensitivity to the Creative Spirit, her willingness to be guided in new ways, and with firm values.
One of the things I've come to understand in the last year is that in many ways our mission is not simply the selling of scarves, but developing a community who are set alight by our vision in the same way as we are. This means that there is little value in simply setting up a stall at a market; instead, we need to be able to tell our story to people who can be inspired by our aims and can see the scarves as more that a fund-raising object, but as a gift and a blessing.
Which leads me to something that has stirred in me just in the last few days. This Christmas, my sister gave me a book about a group of women in the US who knit prayer shawls as a collective ministry to people in need of comfort, and as a form of contemplative practice. In this book, the authors talk a lot about praying during the knitting of the shawl, and praying a blessing over it as it is handed to the recipient. Reading this was a much-needed jolt to my heart: it was a reminder that, for Still Water Scarves, a prayer scarf is not just a beautiful thing, or an object to achieve something else (raising money for trafficked women), it is also a blessing! This was very much part of my original thinking about the prayer scarves, but in the busyness and stress of 2020 I had somehow lost sight of the importance of this essential idea!
What this means, I think, is that, in 2021, alongside the vital work of refining our business model, Robyn and I need to pray and seek direction on how to develop more explicitly a praying, gifting, blessing community of people who are praying for the work of Still Water Scarves, Tear Fund and Hagar, and also praying for the recipients of each scarf. And we are challenged to be more intentional about praying as part of our work in the design, creation, and selling of the scarves. This nudge , this gentle reminder from the Almighty, has given me light for the year ahead.
And we would love for you to join us in community of people who pray blessings through our ministry. A scarf is a blessing - what a lovely realisation to start the new year! What a wonderful way to be reminded that our work is holy, because we - all of us - are holy. May this year be blessed, for you and for those you love.
Lisa and Robyn