Bliss for all. The story of the Red Sari.

March 21st, 2013

A gorgeous giveaway.

Meet my friend Julie. Not so very long ago, Julie had a lucrative and secure career in healthcare. Being a crazy person after my own heart, she said goodbye to all that, and went across the world to Nepal.

Julie West, The Red Sari owner/designer.

Julie West, The Red Sari owner/designer.

Here is some of what she saw and learned:

To walk the streets of Kathmandu’s morning market is to swim in a sea of red as women draped in crimson saris and scarlet glass bangle bracelets go about their daily business…The saris are more than beautiful garments —  they represent the transformation from adolescence to womanhood.

…Because of the enormous significance the color red holds for a woman, losing the privilege of wearing it when her husband dies is devastating…The red sari and other bright colors, jewelry and embellishments of a married woman are banished from the widow’s life. Drab-colored clothing broadcasts her shame, marking her as dry, empty and barren.

Julie fell in love with Nepal and its people, but not with its patriarchal tradition of confining a woman’s social and economic worth  to marriage and treating its widows as ghosts. She set out to do something about that, by creating fair and meaningful work for Nepalese women.  Oh yeah, and exquisite fashion accessories for you, made from vintage sari fabric, reclaimed and reworked with a unique felting process that combines contemporary design and ancient handicraft techniques.

With each Red Sari purchase, you connect to the lives of the women artisans in Nepal and play an integral role in supporting their quest for self-determination.  Company profits support Our Home Women’s Hostel in Kathmandu, providing housing, education, and training young widows and other single girls in Nepal.

I am so thrilled to be sponsored by this amazing company for the Blissdom blogging conference this weekend, where I will be returning for a second year as Community Leader. I will be proudly wearing an array of Red Sari products, and telling the story of them to anyone who shows the slightest interest. If you are at Blissdom, please look for me, say hello, and give this fantastic enterprise a shout out with the hashtag, #RedSariBliss

Wherever you happen to be this weekend, do check out the Red Sari catalog, and bookmark it for gift-giving (Mother’s Day, anyone?) and self-indulgence you can feel doubly wonderful about.

And before you go, leave a comment on this post to be entered to win one of two $75 gift codes for something in it that catches your fancy. The winners will be randomly drawn Monday at noon CST.

Good luck, and have a great weekend!


Raiding The Red Sari stockroom for samples. Henhouse, meet fox.

Raiding The Red Sari stockroom for samples. Henhouse, meet fox.

 P.S. If you are reading this from the Blissdom Conference, my book also makes a great Mother’s Day present to yourself, a girlfriend, or according to one reader, “your Mom, if your Mom is cool.” A limited number of hardcovers and paperbacks are for sale at the conference bookstore, and I would love to sign it personally. Just tweet @KyranPittman and we’ll make it happen. 

25 Responses to “Bliss for all. The story of the Red Sari.”

  1. Mir says:

    Beautiful! The scarf you’re wearing in that picture really suits you, too. 🙂

  2. Cid says:

    They are gorgeous, what a wonderful and meaningful thing to do. Thanks for introducing us to her.

  3. enjoy your conference!

  4. darah says:

    those are beautiful. i so admire her adventurous change!

  5. My husband took one look at this and was, like, BUY THIS STUFF FOR YOURSELF. He’s always encouraging me to wear more Indian-inspired clothing (it’s my birthright after all). You will look GORGEOUS at Blissdom! What a great partnership! xoxoxoxo

  6. Gorgeous scarves and what a brave and wonderful thing to do. How fine to do something life changing for her and the Nepalese women she works with.

  7. Alexandra says:

    count me in.

    Anyone pursuing passion in combination with bettering the world, I’m in.

  8. Tina says:

    Ooh, love all the colours!

  9. Stacey says:

    I love Red Sari pieces! I’ve given them consistently as gifts for the last several years. We are also hoping for a trip to Nepal in the next two years, so Julie’s vision is even dearer to my heart!

  10. erniebufflo says:

    Was super happy with the Red Sari scarf I got my mother for Christmas!

  11. Jenn says:

    Absolutely beautiful.
    Glad to learn about Red Sari.

  12. Helen says:

    I love everything in the Red Sari shop!

  13. lomagirl says:

    What a wonderful company- love the orange one you have in your hands.

  14. Norah says:

    Inspiring . . . making beautiful things and people’s lives more beautiful at the same time.

  15. Lee Cockrum says:

    I love all the wonderful colors!

  16. Becca says:

    Beautiful idea and beautiful fabrics!

  17. That is such a great scarf on you. Site bookmarked for upcoming gift season – in our family June is a big month!

  18. Jacqueline says:

    The colors are so beautiful, as are you.

  19. Sarabeth Jones says:

    These are even more gorgeous in person. Loved seeing them this weekend!

  20. Ines McBryde says:

    Love this empowering work! And love red.

  21. suzanne monteiro says:

    absolutely gorgeous!

  22. Gini Freemyer says:


  23. Congratulations, lucky commenters #15 and #20! I’ll email you your gift codes shortly!

  24. […] isn’t that how it goes? At least this kind of excess was something I could feel good about. When I visited Julie in her stockroom, she told me that the fashion industry is one of the top polluters on the planet. By re-claiming […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.