Mantra Cuffs from Colombia

My dear and brilliant friend, Jill Weeks, looks at our popular cuffs one day and wonders aloud, Why not have words woven into them?   A month later, we find our way to Magno and Reinel of a Zenu artisan group in northern Colombia, learning about how their cuffs are woven out of caña fleche fiber in ageless symbols which bind their lives together.  Can the artisans weave words as well as symbols, we ask?  

Hearing Yes! was just the beginning.  Which words might we choose to define an ibu?  I made a long list and fussed over it for days.  I sent it to Team ibu who quickly nixed some, added others.  Together, over time, we came to agree on 31 nouns and verbs that might give you a language with which to play.  Make your Own Mantra is the idea.  To wear on your wrist something close to your being - not a designer’s logo - but rather, a symbol of your own.

The next thing I know, an enormous box of cuffs arrives at ibu.  Each team member promptly digs into the piles and crafts her own mantra.  Before we can even get them on the shop floor, the cuffs are flying out of here, one strong word after another, swinging into the world on the arm of an ibu.


Imagine Peace     Be Curious     Practice Respect     Fashion Revolution
Create Joy     Respect Yourself     Be Kind     Stay Golden     Work Strong
Inspire Revolution     Stay Sovereign

We included some cuffs without words so that you can mix them in:  2 with words and 3 without look great together.  Our creative Ambassador, Ali MacGraw, chose the mantras she loves best, mixed in some decorative cuffs, and wrapped them up with a personal card from her:

Imagine Change
Love Wins
Be Yourself
I am Ibu

I love seeing the creative choices people make as they ponder over words for their children, their hair stylist, the members of their book club.  One inspired ally came and bought every cuff on the shelf that read Revolution - to give to all of her friends - a call to act!   And these are for men as well.  Ali wrapped up a handsome men’s scarf and added two cuffs to hold it:  

Be Uncommon.  

Well, yes!  We love uncommon men.  A flattering gift, in every way.

For this vulnerable moment in time, as our city relives its tragedies through the courtroom, we have that that say simply CHS. STRONG.  Because we must be.

It is such a pleasure to debut these at a time when you may be wondering what to do for those last few people on your gift list.  Buy 5 of these for a friend and we’ll give you an ibu cuff to wear proudly yourself.  And we’ll wrap 5 of these up in our charming decorative box and you have a perfect, meaningful gift for around $35.  And you will receive the thanks not only of your lucky recipient, but of the Zeni artisans as well.  

In every way, I am hoping for you, and for all of us on this small planet, that we can live by these words we choose -  symbols of our hope and convictions.  Mine is this:  Practice Joy.  It is a thought I return to throughout the day, my wrist leading the way.  And for you, our ally and friend who has joined us on this way together - may you continue to Be Kind.  Choose Love.  Stay Strong.  

All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker