NY NOW Podcast

Migrations from Journalism to Handmade with Kinship Stories

September 15, 2021 NY NOW Season 1 Episode 53
NY NOW Podcast
Migrations from Journalism to Handmade with Kinship Stories
Show Notes Transcript

Kinship Stories is a culture and art project featuring a piece’s line of precious tribal adornments. Yasmine  One-of-a-kind pieces include vintage and antique materials, often of museum quality. Experimenting with fusions of old and new, adding handmade work to the mix. Kinship Stories is committed to supporting local artisanship and fostering intercultural and understanding of otherness.     

RESOURCES   
Guest Websites: 
IG: @kinshipstories     
www.kinshipstories.com
IG: @Espace_Fann

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Dondrill Glover:

Welcome to the new york now podcast, a modern wholesale market for retailers and specialty buyers seeking diversity and discovery, gathering twice a year in America's design capital New York City. It's where buyers and designers on earth have refreshed and dedicated collection of eclectic lifestyle products. Hi, I'm Dondrill Glover, podcast host, senior producer and creative marketing consultant for New York now, and today I'm delighted to welcome Yasmine Dabbous, founder of Kinship Stories. Kicking off our first episode in our journeys and narratives in global handmade podcast series. yasmeen is a visual cultural artist and researcher from Beirut, Lebanon, formerly an assistant professor of journalism and cultural studies at the Lebanese American University. Yes, me left her position to become founder of kinship stories, a line of tribal art Nicholas's revolving around values, stories and craftsmanship. She's also one of the two women behind a space back a Beirut based creative space offering accessible university level art education, designed to heal and empower, armed with a PhD in journalism in cultural history, from LSU and a textile design degree from fit. Yes me fuses interdisciplinary methodologies and mediums to create a combining of travel storytelling, collage and fiber art. Her work materializes and exhibitions where she sheds light on social, cultural and conceptual issues pertinent to our contemporary globalized communities. He has made designs one of a kind pieces include vintage and antique materials, often museum statute and statement, experimenting with a fusion of old and new, adding handmade works to the mix. kinship stories is committed to supporting local artists and ship and fostering intercultural and understanding of otherness. Join me in welcoming Yasmine Hi, Yasmine, it is so good to have you here with us today. And I'm so excited to kick off our handmade series with a conversation with you. As you know, you're one of my favorite people. We've had the privilege of having you here with us in New York now. So I'm excited for us to dive in. How are you doing today and joining us from Beirut.

Yasmine Dabbous:

Thank you. I'm doing good. Thank you for having me. Thank you don't really personally and thank you New York. Now it's a pleasure.

Dondrill Glover:

I would love to start with your journey from being a journalist to design walk us through that path. And how did it happen?

Unknown:

Yes, absolutely. Well, in one way, it was a very smooth transition, just going from one with a change of medium going from one medium to another. Because I've always been excited about and excited about and interested in culture or society, trends, values and beliefs. I mean, this always has been my, my, you know, kind of subjects that I covered as a journalist, I was never a political journalist. So in one sense, it was just going from one medium to another, telling the same stories and the same, and relating the same kind of things about people and cultures. On on the other hand, however, on the ground, that transition was a little bit more challenging. I went first to textiles. Through fashion design class that I took, I took this class to kind of relax and run away from the world of journalism, which is a world of speed, technology, conflict, endless lots of news. It's, it's, it's a challenging world. And so I wanted something to relax and I did a fashion design course, during the course I would, we were given one session about hand embroidery, and that's how it all started. At the same time, during this period, I was diagnosed with a severe case of heart arrhythmia. So I had five types of arrhythmia at the same time, several of them quite dangerous. I had I have undergone two heart surgeries, long heart surgeries, and pacemaker. And so throughout this period, the employee was my friend. And it became clear to me at one point that I wanted to choose a bet, the better way and easier and the nicer. And the more colorful way of telling stories, which is through the arts, through the arts. You know, you've spoken about, you know, we

Dondrill Glover:

think about journalism, you know, we either think in a political way or we think about, you know, front page stories, but being in a region that has been challenged. you've, you've spoken about the trauma in having to report and be on the ground. And share those stories. Do you feel that that also was a factor in kind of deciding to kind of migrate from telling those such Trump traumatizing stories? In your work? Was that another thing to sort of push you in another direction?

Unknown:

Absolutely. I mean, it's not like I'm trying to disregard down. I mean, I even have collections like now that commend about what is happening on the ground or the challenges, I have a collection of beautiful necklaces that are really a delight to the eyes, about Syrian, the Syrian crisis, but they talk about color, beautiful way that makes you think, rather than makes you stress.

Dondrill Glover:

Yes, yes. It's really, you know, relevant in your work. You've been, I know that, with embroidery being the friend, you know, we've spoken on several occasions about healing in handmade, and you've been incredibly brave and vulnerable and sharing your journey with heart disease. I'd like to talk about that connection to finding healing, you mentioned that you came around handmade and design, with the textiles or in a roundabout way through healing, and you bought and spoken about, basically a tribe of incredible people who have found healing and handmade, I'd love for you to share that journey with us. I know, it's really important to you.

Unknown:

Absolutely. It is actually the thing that I mean, the thing that it's the rite of passage that I had to go through, to migrate to the handmade. And I have seen it happening with so many people around me here, you know, in, in Lebanon, I mean, we are a happy society. But at the same time, we do have our share of traumas. And so people often I have found here around the region and in Lebanon, migrate to the handmade, just as I did, to find some peace and some quiet and some self fulfillment. I mean, for me, it all started with the, with the movement of the major, you know, the movement of the needle is a repetitive, ritualistic movement, that's very grounding, very meditative. You do this again, and again, and again. And you're stitching things together. And there is a symbolism, and this ability to take things that were different parts and stitch them together, bring them back to being one hole. And so it does get into you the feeling does get into your soul, and somehow it heals your soul. I mean, there is also the the idea that when you are working on on something handmade, especially with needlework, you are in complete control of your piece, it gives you a sense of agency, it gives your brain a false but true sense that everything is okay and that you have full control over things. And it also gives you a sense that you can change things that you can use things in this is all leaving aside. Also the idea that you are surrounded with color, and hairs and you have this touch that is bringing you back to the first and very essential sensation that was there to heal us, which is the mother's touch.

Dondrill Glover:

Yeah, that Wow. It's so I mean, I could feel that just in your words. It's so well fed. It leads me into my next question, because I you know, it's about Do you remember the moment you felt the healing moving through your hands? And

Unknown:

absolutely, it was the moment where I could stitch things together. It's what the hell's the needle? And how can I put it one maybe maybe if I think about Yanni deeply, I would say it's the first time I finished my first piece. For me to feel that is me and a journalist who has never ever done anything in the arts. I mean, this was truly my first time doing anything in the arts. So amazing. To feel that I was able to do something that I would proudly wear. Yes, the defining moment for me.

Dondrill Glover:

And it was that first piece was it a necklace,

Yasmine Dabbous:

it was a brooch

Dondrill Glover:

a brooch to us, okay.

Unknown:

And I made it I made it with with the fabric that I have collected, and I've been collecting tribal materials since I was 12. Yes, nothing travels during. there's a there's a shop in Beirut, that's beautiful shop collector's items. I went there and spent my money there. They were ready before I started to stitch us, I learned how to hand embroidery, everything came together. And this first approach was like an affirmation for me that I can do something she can do

Dondrill Glover:

that that's amazing. It almost felt like a calling, you know, you have been collecting and then all of a sudden it happened. That that's extraordinary. I'd love to move forward a bit to talk about New York, in studying and fit. And of course, we met in New York, and you took me to a fabulous coffee shop that I should have known about. But it was like the best cup of latte.

Unknown:

Yes. So it was an amazing, amazing journey for me. And actually, I thought that fit in jewelry design. Before I joined textile, my first doing doing kinship stores, I had already started my life. And I was already working on it. And I said, you know, my first sense was, you know, which shows you by the way that I wasn't even very aware of what I was doing because for me I was at the time I'm doing necklaces, so I should join jewelry design. So I did my jewelry design is about metal smithing and silver smithing and you're creating your own pieces. Whereas what I am doing I am stitching together pieces. So it's it I was not even aware that I was doing textile more than I was doing silver. But I did study silver. I did study work with silver and silver smithing. And then I was walking on campus one day, and I saw this ad about a class of textile in India. India has always been my dream, let alone a class of textile in India.

Dondrill Glover:

I mean, can we talk 26 states of fabrics? I mean, in textiles. It's I mean, they're extraordinary.

Unknown:

Exactly. I took a picture, sent it to my husband, he was here in Lebanon via WhatsApp. And I'm like I want to go. I took two projects, two projects in journalism to be able to pay for my trip myself. Yes. In addition to my studies, I took these two big projects, and I went to India. And I plans when I came back from India, I transferred to textile design.

Dondrill Glover:

It takes your breath away. I mean, it really, it's such a game changer. And I guess you know what I'm hearing so far. And what I know is that this has just been a path for you. It's been lining up and connecting and becoming more of your path and your story. And once you get there, you're just flourishing because it was where you were supposed to be. I'd love to talk about I believe this is your first exhibit. Um, it fit. We enjoyed it crafting change. What did it feel like to preview your first exhibition and textiles there? It was it was at a credible exhibition.

Unknown:

Thank you. Thank you. Yes, well, fit does provide incredible resources. And one of the resources that it provides is the access to the museum. I mean, of course, it's a curated museum. And so you have to apply. I applied and I was accepted. And I did this was my very first exhibition. And believe it or not my my very first fiber artwork, like I had not done embroidery, except for my necklaces, my kinship stories. Yes, this was the first time I do fiber artwork as an installation. And I mean, it's just it was it was so moving. It was something that would start and never stop.

Dondrill Glover:

Yeah, really, really special. And so I have to ask, what do you miss about New York? What is your follow up with everything?

Unknown:

live in New York, it's such a generous city, that when you can make friends. I mean, believe it or not, some people will disagree. But I find that that it is very easy to make friends in New York. It is it really is. It really is. It is a city that is very vibrant, full of possibilities. I mean, it's just a very generous city. And I was lucky to be surrounded by people in textiles because people in textiles have had this kind of soul in. Absolutely. It's like a community of people. And so I was surrounded by very good friends during my life in New York.

Dondrill Glover:

That huge difference. While we're talking about textiles, I'd like to go back to the MENA region, specifically where you are. And I'd love to talk about the significance of textiles and the region and the influence pattern and handmade and your work. Of course, when

Unknown:

There is no other way to say it. But that we I mean, next time in the region is as old as our history here. It's as old as the human history. Among the very first evidence of textile in the world. In addition to South America, and India comes from the Arab region from Egypt, in particular, weaving scraps found from prehistoric times, flax specifically, we have our region has given the world tapestry carpet weaving, tie dye, cross stitching, trees, thermo which is the chain with gold. Because I mean, we originally were. It's one of our collective memory and our collective history and our identity. We don't see that. And we don't we take it for it, we almost take it for granted. But I have to be very clear that we don't take it for granted as an industry, but rather as a as a tradition. Yes, yes,

Dondrill Glover:

exactly. which often happens. It's in your DNA, but it often happens. But you know, this, I can't find the word to the how extraordinary just going through the region and seeing the textiles and all the incredible stories behind them. It leads me to my next kind of question is, you know, for me, kind of one of the most inspiring aspects of being part of what I consider the creative process in the universe is the freedom to define your participation and contribution. And were you one of those names as a visual cultural artist? And I'd like you to take us through that definition and how it defines you. And your work?

Unknown:

Yes. Well, I, I've, I've tried several times. And I've just changed my title several times on my charts, because I do so many things. And I'm interested in so many things. And so I figured, finally, that the that the most fundamental way of defining myself is as a visual culture artist and researcher, and I add researcher, because I have a very academic approach to everything I do include moving fabric making. And so what I understand what I mean here by visual culture artists, there's a academic anthropologist by the name of Clifford Kurtz, he defines culture as a web of meaning, that's embedded in behavior, and in objects. And I see my work as a collage of objects that embody and reflect these webs of meaning. And therefore, what I do is visual culture. So I'm a visual culture

Dondrill Glover:

artists and researcher, it's, I mean, what you do is incredible. And you also make films. And so I, you know, you're, I think the wonderful thing about being a creative is that there are a lot of abstract places that you can go and explore, and you just embody it. And sometimes, there's not a name always. It's just, here's the, here's the visual representation of the fruit of this. And I think that, that that's really okay. But I like that title, too. So that kind of works.

Unknown:

I also want to add that, as you mentioned, at the beginning, for me, it's truly been a process and a progress. And so I think that the name that I've chose, the title that I've chosen for myself, does capture most of this process from journalism to the arts.

Dondrill Glover:

Yes, absolutely. You know, and going on the strength of that, talking about artists and identity, becoming an artist and in in the way lives are transformed, but particularly in spaces where people are living in marginalized existence, circumstances and trauma. How is that identity changed? Or how do you find it, transforming lives with a lot of the artisans and crafters that you meet that may not know how to define themselves?

Unknown:

Absolutely. You know, I've done a lot of research about this, as well as I've worked with my own students and with Syrian refugees in Lebanon. And so I have witnessed firsthand the transformative possibilities of working with textiles. That there is a really powerful thing about being able to create something out of almost nothing and evil and a threat and a piece of fabric. You can change it, you can change it and made something really beautiful, it is flexible, it is malleable, you can transform fabric into so many ways and make it beautiful into so many were in so many ways. And so there is there are immense possibilities for our design, you know for to work towards a sustainable future using textile art. And I've seen it firsthand with so many people here. And this empowerment is really a way to find a future by yourself free of fear and free of need. Alone, a very, very healing thing very much. So the other side of it, in addition to the empowerment is is what I have referred before as we referred to before as like the repetitive movement of the need and the grounding meditative opportunities that touch touching textiles gives you you know, there is this, I remember very well one one woman, Syrian refugee from the camps here in Beirut, telling me then when that when she stitched, she became a child, she felt she's a woman who had to run away from home, she lost part of her family on the way she is in a in a country that she's not familiar with, there are a series of economic and political hardships facing her. And so all of this disappears, and the child remains working with a needle.

Dondrill Glover:

Wow, that's powerful, really, really powerful. Going further, you launched a school, the East fan art school. And I know a lot of these refugee women. That was a space where it opened up for them. One of the quotes on your Instagrams, as art transcends cultural boundary is Thomas kincade. Tell us about the roots of this project with this school, the intention and the community of artists instead, it's church.

Unknown:

Yes, absolutely. Just a lot of things I'm really, really proud of this times in the route, as you know, we are facing some challenging times in Beirut, maybe we will get to talk about this elephant. And so art is helping tremendously during this period. So I launched the school as past fun, it's called as possible as fast as in space in French. And then fun is Arabic for art. So it's like art space, the art space. So I launched the school in 2018. Out of my own experience, when I wanted to move from journalism to the arts, I didn't find a possibility to do it in a very formal serious way, except through the university. And universities in Lebanon are quite expensive. I mean, they're really, really expensive. We have a gap in Lebanon between serious solid education that's very expensive, and informal, affordable education. But that's fun. And you know, it's fun, it's easy, it's workshops, but it doesn't give you what it takes to be to start a business with your with with a given skill. You know, it doesn't give you a curriculum, it doesn't give you a portfolio, it's just it's fun. So we have this gap between the two. So Upon my return to Beirut, after I did fit in New York City, I had to go all the way to New York City. Upon my return from fit, I decided to launch as possible as to close this gap. So what we offer the structure of the workshop, in the sense that we that our classes are six students only, they're very communal, they're friendly, they're fun, they are no grades, no certificates, no grades. But we have University instructors are six weeks, so exactly half of half University class, and and we have a curriculum and final projects. So it's a very solid education is just much, much more affordable rate than what universities would give you. And the reason is we don't have to give a degree and we don't have to give accurate we don't have to run for accreditation. You know, accreditation means full time professors, several classes, it's a whole set of requirements that will automatically drive the price up. So we have the luxury of being in this no man's land, where we offer you the possibility of learning of building a portfolio without really paying for accreditation. So it's So it works we have, we have full classes all the time people are slugging to the courses, especially after the explosion of Beirut, I am sure everybody knows what the explosion of Beirut is or was quite a catastrophe. And so people have been coming to the arts, they have been coming for healing, but staying for business. Since 2018, we have had 162 female students and 15 male students, out of the Navy students 50% established new business and other 15% established a new business.

Dondrill Glover:

It's amazing, I'd love to go back to the community that it serves. Because one of the things that we spoken a lot about, just in some of our previous conversations was about life, in Beirut, the challenges but also the joys take us through, you know, what a person's life is like, and that would bring them to a school like this, but how do you live and we know that there's these connective spaces, you know, we're all human, we all want the same things and opportunities in life. But take us through that to help us understand. Very often we don't always know the story in areas where there's a lot of conflict, but there's life and there's heart and spaces like that. So I'd love to know a bit about that already.

Unknown:

So Lebanon as a very friendly, very outgoing, very full of life kind of culture, and society. We have had our share of hardships, we have been through a 16 year Civil War. We have been through several invasions from neighbors we have been through. And right now we are going through one of the hardest economic crisis crisises of the of the last 100 years, it's akin to 1929, USA, we have had this year also, in addition to the Corona, one of the largest explosions in human history. So we have our share of hardships, we are now going in line waiting for waiting for gas, we have no electricity all the time, we have our our Lebanese pound is devalued. So we do have our share of problems. But at the same time, we are still very outgoing people. We I mean, despite the crisis, the restaurants are full. If you're if you're if the crisis has affected your economic situation, then you will go to a lesser restaurant, but you will still go out you will go to a lesser pub, but you will still go or you will still you will still enjoy your nightlife. The families are getting together in a really nice way to help each other during the crisis. neighbors are getting together in a really nice way to help each other during the crisis. We have a very warm society here. And people I mean, the community is very, very strong. And I think this is what is helping us go through this visa hardships without being really affected. We continue to do art, we continue to do film, we continue to do all kinds of living life. Yes, I

Dondrill Glover:

mean, just regular people living in the resilience, I remember during the crisis, and you and I had an opportunity to be on video together and you're walking me through the school and and you know, the glass and what happened from the explosion and just to the way you recovered the group of us just I mean, it's it's resilience in the end, I, you know, praise and apology, because it was challenging, and just sort of even seeing the school and the rumble. And you know, you were there and you guys were in that space and we have to figure it out, but we're going to rebuild. And here you have and so that's that's pretty extraordinary. I'd love to talk about kinship stories. It's such an incredible line. Of course, your collection has been well celebrated in the press from bold to up to rebellion, tons of magazines, and, and and a few things that that it's been described as tribal spiritualized ethnic moods. I mean, the list goes on and on. And it's clearly having an incredible impact on global fashion and style. But you know, it's so much deeper than that. You know, you're truly a world traveler and I find the collection to be transformative and very intentional. Do you describe it and the inspiration that drives it?

Unknown:

Thank you, thank you so much. I actually would describe it the way you did. I mean, I really, I really have never ever used the word fashion. When I talk about kinship. I never use the word you know, like, trendy or now, as you know, accessories, or jewelry or adornments, what I what I see in kinship stories, is more stories of cultures and travel and the world coming together through artisan and work and autism and beauty. So for me, it is many things that I really care about. It is connections between cultures, it is artisanal craftsmanship, it is beauty and color is bringing the world together. Inclusion is very important for me. So the whole project that kind of bridges between the intellectual, the cultural and the artistic, rather than the fashionable.

Dondrill Glover:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you've just answered my next question about your messaging, and, and what's important for you to convey Why is that so meaningful for you, when

Unknown:

I have to be honest, here I am, I am a Muslim vade woman, though some people will not recognize that from my style or my turban, right, I love it. And then subject to stereotyping so many times, of course. And so I understand how it feels to the stereotype and understand and I also understand that we need to start accepting our differences and embracing them. Because this is what makes the world so beautiful. I mean, I mentioned that I felt that I travel a lot I do I love traveling.

Dondrill Glover:

I know Yeah, Yes, I do. And I i've been I love kind of watching you in places, it's just, but you, I see you, as a citizen of the world, and you belong. And all of those places. You, you, you, you bring back so much. And you have such regard for culture and being open and to learning to sharing. And you you take it with you. And I think it's fantastic, you know, your spokesperson, in your very own way.

Unknown:

Thank you. And so yes, that's I mean, I, for me, this is why it is important. Because on the one hand, I have been subjected to stereotyping, and I know how it feels. And on the other hand, I've traveled and I've seen that we are all the same, like just divided by politics and economy. That's what we are.

Dondrill Glover:

Yes. I couldn't agree more 100%. You know, lets you know when you with your collection, I mean, because it just feels it. I mean, it feels like it should be in a museum. It really is real. It's very, very special. I'd love to talk about some of the hashtags associated with kinship stories, things like protective unlit, fragile, transcendent, just to note a few. Yes, why? Why does that connect so much to the pieces in the that you're building? that resonates for you,

Unknown:

in embroidery as well as silversmithing. And even beating is embedded with meaning and embedded with values and beliefs? For example, the punk pomegranate motif symbolizes fertility, and it cross cultures By the way, yes. So does the color of the threads, the color. And so these choices, these stylistic choices that people make and embed in their work, which I then take and use and put together, these stylistic choices, reflect human needs, human fears, human values. And so this is why the hashtags come from these values that are embedded in the pieces. I mean, yes, I will include in my hashtags, the word embroidery, the word necklace, the word handmade. What for me, what really what I am really interested in and maybe this is also my background as in cultural studies and in journalism. That's, that's apparent. I am interested in the values in the webs of meaning SP for guides, calls them that are embedded in the pieces.

Dondrill Glover:

But very well said and then that and that and staying in that lane. Let's talk about your usage of color in the textiles and the materials that make up the kinship story collection. And I know that they're unique pieces, though one is the same, but just a short of those components that draw Are you in in creating it?

Unknown:

Yes. So I'm often asked about the process that I use. And I usually the process for me maybe because I am not coming necessarily from the arts, but I am coming from the backside to the to the process for me is backwards. So I will I will not draw a necklace and then go and choose the fabrics and the silver. Rather, I will go to the fabric and the silver and they will translate into a necklace.

Dondrill Glover:

Yeah, you know very Yeah. Well, it's beautiful.

Unknown:

Sometimes I will have some restrictions. For example, when I did my CDR collection, the collection about the war in Syria, I wanted four colors only were black and, and red for war and violence, and white and blue for peace and hope. And so I had to search within my fabric for pieces of this color, and within my beats, but at the same time still, I let them guide to me. I didn't find them.

Dondrill Glover:

Amazing. I'd love to talk about brand consciousness, sustainability and value principles. And what does that mean to kinship stories? And what does it mean to eat bad? How does that tie in? What What should people know

Unknown:

about that? It means everything. I mean, as I said, and I and perhaps people have heard me say it again and again, during this this talk for me. The Arts is I mean, I am a believer in the power of the arts. And I am a believer in the power of, of the handmade. And I really feel that there is there are immense possibilities embedded in them. Especially especially for women. I mean, in the informal economy outside of the regular economy, where we're not necessarily talking about women who have access to proper education or to proper opportunities. Handmade is the number one gate to the formal economy. It is the gate for the for the informal economy, 90% of it is women. And out of those people. So many of them work on handmade from home. I mean, a huge percentage works works on handmade from home. And guess what out of out of these women 90% spent the money they make on their families, as opposed to 35%. In the case of men.

Dondrill Glover:

Women are the gatekeepers? Well, they have to be

Unknown:

is creating sustainability, not just the entire family,

Dondrill Glover:

for the entire family. Absolutely. It's deeply important. And that it's you know, it's great to even get those statistics, knowing that it does exist in so many spaces, but it really speaks to the lens of women, particularly when they have to rise with not a lot of resources, and making sure that their families are cared for. So sustainability, full circle, I'd love to see a shirt,

Unknown:

I mean, a needle and a thread, how much do they cost? But what with them, exactly? The difference between the capital that you need to put in, and the possibilities that you can reach is immense, immense. Absolutely. I

Dondrill Glover:

couldn't agree more. On winter 2021, I had the great privilege of working with you on your deeply curated and impactful press covered by movie presentation and handmade for the MENA people are still talking about it. It was really amazing. I'm incredibly proud of that project and your willingness to create such a moving piece of work for New York now, in taking us through those regions. It was really, really amazing. And we were it was so informative and colorful. And you really brought us to the region. Yes, trends, but there was this incredible history. And you gave us a deeper understanding. I think that it really made looking through that lens of handmade for those regions in a just a stronger way. I mean, it really taught us more. And I think the more that we can learn about the products we buy, where they come from the people in the culture, the more we can impact our customers and share those narratives as they're buying into something that is really, really meaningful. So I have to thank you again, for working on that because it was it was pretty amazing. In that presentation, you reference, we did Kemal pomares, extraordinary 50 years in the making book, threads of identity, I ordered a copy immediately. It is I think I sent you on WhatsApp, I sent you a picture like I got it, I got it, I got it. It is such an incredible body of work. It's so treasured. I'm beside myself for owning such a piece of significant handmade literature for artists and now To this day, be around the world are still often trying to define their story, protect, particularly when they're creating and bringing a product to market. So what would you say for global artists and still searching to connect their own threads of identity through the preservation of culture and heritage? in their work? What would you say? Okay, so first, I know, it's a loaded question. But I had to ask you have such great references when it comes to books. So I, you know, want to connect that.

Unknown:

Yeah. So actually, first, I would say to them, keep doing what you're doing this is from the outset, but at the same time, I would say to them, they need to understand what makes them different from others, what is their signature, what is their brand, and this is now me, the brand, consultant talking because I do branding. Also, you know, what? It is not just, it's not enough to have great skills, people, I mean, great skills are sometimes a talent, but often they can be acquired, and they can be nourished. And so it's not enough to have great skill or a great idea, you need to work hardly on your work, and you need to work on differentiating your work from other people. And often the differentiation, as you just said, tongeren, the differentiation comes from the story, the story of the people of the culture, the story of, you know, the history of the country, and the context, during which this piece is created. This is what makes it different from all other pieces made around the world. And so once you embrace your story, instead of like being shy or being, you know, you have to emulate story, to be able to tell it properly to be able to differentiate yourself from others and find your way in the market.

Dondrill Glover:

Excellent. I agree. 100%. You know, very often, I think we're, we're taught to think at times that we have to somehow look outside of ourselves, to find our story. And you reference something earlier in our conversation, when we're talking about textiles and the region. And you said, almost taking it through the traditions for granted. They're all around you. And I think it's being attuned and looking again, going well, I'm here. It's right there and going through that lens, a very powerful message. I'd love to just share to talk about what's forward for kinship stories. I you know, where are you going next? Of course, in it for a span, what can we look forward to? Or what are you looking forward to in terms of growing those two incredible spaces that you occupy and lead with partners?

Unknown:

Okay, so with kinship stories, I mean, in terms of exhibitions, I have seven things. I am especially glad and happy that I'm going to go to be part of the salvage word fair. So that nastic Oh, they do incredible work. Oh, my God, it's amazing. I'm very lucky. And then in terms of in terms of collections, I am looking into collections that will mix the old and the new, I am trying now to experiment, mixing very contemporary pieces of plastic. Why are things like that with very, very old 100 years, 200 years old tassels and embroidery and things like that. I want to try and mix them together. So I am experimenting a little bit on the production side with this. While on the distribution side I am doing exhibitions like the savage World Fair. So that's kinship stories about his past. And I'm really very, very glad to say that we have just established an in house boutique is not on board at this space. And we sell both online to the world and in person when people come to us to do we sell the work of our students and the work of our instructors. And the idea is to teach our students and our instructors that that is sustainability through the arts and so We have the opening coming up on Wednesday, this Wednesday. Shaping Yes. Now the boutique and I will be sharing with you the Instagram account in case anybody from the USA.

Dondrill Glover:

Yeah, please do that. That was my next question. You know, how can our listening audience connect with you and

Unknown:

sit down I guess is the easiest way. My my kinship stories account is at kinship stories. his past one is at his past he s p A, C, E, underscore, fa n. Okay, so I think you can also write it down.

Dondrill Glover:

Oh, yes, I will definitely be doing a recap of how you were you can follow yes mean, at the end of our podcast, so don't worry, we'll make sure that you get connected. Yes, I mean, as I said to you yesterday, and today, and on many other occasions, you know, I could do like a two hour miniseries on the body of work that you do, there's so many things that I wish we could have tapped into with just touches the surface. But talking with you, as always, it's you know, deeply revealing and reflective, you know, you truly embody the creative abundance. And I, as I've said, you know, visionary brilliance. And it was really been a privilege having you join us today in this series of journeys and narratives and global handmade, I'm sure there's more conversations to come. But this was it was a really wonderful talk today.

Unknown:

Thank you so much. I enjoyed it so much. And I really, really want to thank you, Andre, personally for for being the champion of everything handmade and everything artisanal around the world. I know what, and I know you very well. So I know how much you love this and how much you're passionate about it. I also want to thank New York now for being such an amazing platform that connects people around the world and makes people understand the value of these things, not just from, I mean, on one side from the market value, but also on another side from the story value. So that's also an amazing combination.

Dondrill Glover:

Oh my god, what will take all of it? It's such a pleasure and we look forward to collaborating with you in the future. We have so many stories and talents to share with us, you truly visionary so that for me means so much. And until the next time and shoe Bella Hill. No, thank you finding hailing and handmade in Beirut, Lebanon with yasmeen Debbouze. Thank you for joining us for today's episode of journeys and narratives and global handmade. To learn more about yasmeen and the kinship story collection, visit kinship stories.com and follow on Instagram at kinship stories. To learn more about a space and how you can support the artisans follow on Instagram at East space underscore fan. Thank you for listening to the New York now podcast. Make sure to tune in weekly for engaging and insightful conversations touching on the most relevant topics facing our community today. Is it through your mouth comm to learn more about our market, and how you can join in on the conversation