Ladies and gentlemen: we’d like to introduce you to our friend Kelly Moe-Rossetto, founder of Cardamom Collective. Kakaw Designs and Cardamom Collective have been cooking up handmade collaborations together, and it has been so much fun! We think she’s quite an incredible person, and we wanted to hear more about her story. We’re sure you’ll like her as much as we do after this interview:
1.What inspired you to start Cardamom Collective?
Cardamom Collective was started via a Tumblr blog several years ago. I had finished graduate school for Art Education and International Education. I loved being back in school and spending time talking with people who cared about the same things I did, it felt so exciting to be engaging in the world this way. In graduate school I studied a Swedish form of folk craft which is also an educational curriculum called slojd, and I fell in love with handcraft, experiential learning through understanding the process of things and appreciating really well made home goods and textiles; functional art. At the same time, I had traveled quite a bit by this point and was really drawn to the crossover I saw in many cultures of motifs, flavors and traditions, so much of that was a result of the Silk Road and Spice Trails and I began to explore those. I wasn’t sure which form this would all take until I went to India while working at Khazana Imported Arts and Textiles and stepped foot in the printing village I did my first run of hand printed scarves with. The moment I got there, I knew it was where Cardamom Collective would begin.
2. Your products are wonderfully eclectic – gorgeous scarves, handmade paint kits, little pouches… We love it all! What’s next?
Thank you! It’s hard for me to narrow it down, I love trying everything! I’m currently designing my own ikat weave which is in the process now, and I am very excited about that. I’m focusing on finding a way to bring textiles into peoples homes in purposeful and sustainable ways. There are many traditions of textile use around the world: Japan, India, Uzbekistan, Peru, Guatemala, and many other countries have special cloths they use for specific things in the home and their daily life. I love the idea of being able to incorporate small pieces of art and ceremony into the day. I’m also looking forward to offering more travel essentials, pouches and children’s items!
Thank you for your kind words, I just love taking photos and have since I was little. I used to take entire rolls of Kodak film of just the clouds in the sky! There are so many incredible images and photographers out there, it’s part of what I like about social media, being able to experience how others see the world. One thing that I try and do is take photos when I see something that inspires me, even if I’m not sure why at the time. Maybe it’s a color combination or a play of textures. Another thing I try not to do is tinker too much. It’s not to say that I never arrange things artfully but I try not to obsess about catching an image, and make an effort to stay in the moment. If the light pours through the window in a special way or I’m excited about an element I hope to capture it, but if it’s just not working or I find myself “curating” too heavily, I just let it go. I think people end up responding to what really inspires you, and often times if you are listening, looking and being present in the world, others seem to be having similar experiences and appreciate the photos that much more.
We love our collaborations – Cardamom and Kakaw go great together! We’ve made pendants and pouches so far, and we look forward to working more with Kelly. We’re also so excited that she will be carrying Kakaw goodies at fairs as part of Cardamom Collective. Make sure to go say hi to Kelly this weekend in Minneapolis: