When we bumped into Dana at our monthly women's entrepreneurial group it felt a bit like destiny. Her positivity and artistic passion radiated. Since then she has been wowing us with her distinct shibori designs over and over again. This month we take you into her studio to learn about how she got started and her plans for the future of Warp & Weft Dye Co. To shop her goods, click here!
Where do you draw inspiration?
Batik styles from Indonesia, block printing from India, and West African mud cloth.
What about your local community?
There are certain aesthetics—very clean and modern looks—that are very popular here in L.A. You see a lot of those design themes in floor designs in restaurants, billboards, window spaces. I’ve recently been inspired to figure out how to integrate those very clean and geometric lines into the dye process.
Do you plan out precisely what you’re going to do before you dye or do you let the creative process sort of take over?
Overthinking it really hinders my creative process. I’ve been trying to let it free flow and just let my pieces take form. When you just do it, it turns about better. That’s what I try to tell people when they take my dye class. It’s going to come out with really unique high lows no matter what you do. The uniqueness of the piece is what makes it exciting.
What do you think is your greatest strength as a designer?
I’m good at sourcing and finding different materials. I work for a denim company sourcing textiles from all over the world. It’s really fascinating to see what’s out there and understand what’s going on as far as in innovation in textiles. Textiles are the bread and butter of any cloth product. In order to have an amazing product, it has to start with the fabric. For me, that’s a really important piece of the dye process.
What do you think is your greatest challenge as a female small business owner?
My dream is to travel to India and West Africa to learn how they make textiles in the traditional way, but being by myself as a woman in those places is intimidating. You have to not be afraid. The greatest benefits come from taking a risk. You just have to go there and figure it out and that’s what I keep telling myself. But it is scary when you hear what’s going on in the world and how women are treated in those areas.
What’s your highest vision for yourself and your company?
I want to challenge myself. My vision is to have a storefront where I can sell home goods and gifts all with a textile focus. I also want to teach dye classes there and host workshops with other teachers. I imagine my store as a place where people can not only buy things but learn about how they’re made and why they’re important to the culture that they come from. Oh, and if I could live in the back quarters of the store that would be great because I think I’ll be broke once I open it.
Who is your ideal customer?
My customer is a woman who is passionate about learning and where and how things are made.
What has been your most rewarding customer experience?
Teaching dye classes is really rewarding because it makes people curious and ignites their creativity. It’s contagious. After learning, they want to purchase the dye kit and go try it with their friends.
Do you have any daily rituals?
Gotta have my eye cream. Gotta have my sunscreen. Then I’m good.
Is there something you do on a daily basis to take care of yourself?
I find it really therapeutic to come home from work and lay out my yoga mat and just stretch. It releases a lot of tension. I also love Headspace—a new app that gives you guided meditations. It’s a good tool to have in your toolbox to return to if you’re feeling frustrated or blocked.
If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be?
A beet. Because they are delicious, colorful, vibrant, and you can actually use them to dye fabrics!