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Ahead of our Holiday Artisan Fair 2017we would like to introduce you to one of our local vendors, Maria Janeff for Calliope.

 Image: Calliope

Why is it important to you to use thoughtfully sourced fabrics for your bags and accessories?

I care deeply about my choices and actions in this lifetime of mine. There is so much pollution and waste on our planet and the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter after oil.  The majority of our fabrics are from dead stock which is fabric left over from mills and garment factories (pre-consumer waste).  We also seek out organic hemp and cotton fabrics and do not use leather (tanneries create a pollutive cocktail of chromium that wreaks havoc in the surrounding environment.)

 

How did you pick the animal sanctuaries that you donate a percentage of your sales to?

For our last two collections we donated to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Elephants are deeply moving to me.  Through years of research, scientists have found that elephants are capable of complex thought and deep feeling.  It breaks my heart to see these very social creatures living (In some cases) alone in a zoo silently suffering.  The Elephant Sanctuary is a habitat for elephants that have been in zoos and circuses.  These magnificent creatures can live their lives out in dignity and peace at this sanctuary.

 Image: Calliope

What inspired you to start Calliope and what is the significance of the name?

I have always loved fashion and fine fabric.  Before I started Calliope I worked for a handful of local, self employed designers.  I stopped working for others  to raise my two children.  While they were young I started to design children's clothing and sold the clothing at the Temescal Farmer's Market.  That was the beginning of Calliope.  I chose the name Calliope because I like how it looks, sounds and the meaning.  Calliope was one of Homer's Greek muses, the muse of epic poetry.  Calliope means "beautiful voice".  I also learned that it is the name of an instrument, the steam piano.

 

Image: Calliope

What drives you to create?

I am a lover of beauty. Beauty in nature, beauty in art.  I am aspiring to create items of beauty.  I am very grateful to be able to design and create.