Ibulliance: Those Who Carry Our Stories

Here in Charleston, South Carolina—the headquarters of the Ibu Movement—the streets are beginning to buzz with the artistic energy of global performers. The Spoleto Festival, and its local counterpart, Piccolo Spoleto, are gearing up for 17 days of dance, theater, jazz, opera, chamber music, visual arts, and more—launching on Memorial Day weekend. Each year, talented artists bring their well-honed skills to our local stages to awe and inspire festival goers with their voices, movement, musicality, and passion. These performances foster a deeper appreciation of the arts, and a broader understanding of the human condition. 

All this preparation, practice, and hard work to create stunning productions reminds me of the creative endeavors of our artisan partners. Women, who have learned their craft handed down from their mothers and grandmothers—and practiced with nimble fingers to perfect their skills—are given an opportunity at Ibu to stand on a larger stage. Through our marketplace, the world sees their talent and can appreciate their extraordinary handwork and heritage. When you purchase their work, and wear it, you share the story of the technique, or perhaps even the community or woman who made it, and become a player in the narrative as well.

The Ibu Movement strives to foster a culture of connection, by elevating our artisan partners and sharing their talents along with their stories. Like YoYo Ma, sliding his bow across his cello strings, women in Uzbekistan thread their looms and adeptly pass the shuttle over the warp, making a visual music of pattern and color. Like dancers performing an adaptation of the timeless tragedy of Romeo and Juliette, Guna Dula women in Colombia stitch modern versions of heritage symbols that undulate across a bag or dress. Whether performance, visual, literary, craft, or other formats, these means of artistic expression carry our cultural narratives and collective knowledge. 


Let us celebrate and immerse ourselves in the talents of those who safeguard our stories.

With Gratitude, 

Lasley Steever