Just outside of Marrakech’s all encompassing magnetism is but another level of living ~Starting my day venturing away from the bustle of the souks towards the climb of the snow capped landscape of the Atlas mountains is truly soul enlivening. One of my favorite parts of our work in Morocco has become our visits with the women artisans of The Eve Branson Foundation. Their berber village along the cliffs of these majestic mountains hosts a creative center for the local community to learn and grow their artistic skills setup by the Branson family and outstanding staff.

Just before working on a project I experience this familiar inner “excitement” as to how things will go, which direction it will take and hopeful it will be successful for all of those involved…you see, every effort is that of a community here in Morocco. This trip was yet another reminder that we all need one another for survival and success to abound. It is in this humble and artistic community that I find I am continuously learning almost more than I’m teaching while I visit for a workshop. My designs are inspired by my surroundings here and it is a joy to see them translated through the handwork of the artisans in this collaborative process. Just opposite the enchanting Kasbah Tamadot Branson hotel, the foundation offers the locals programs on seamstress work, embroidery, woodworking and a now hand loom for women, traditionally a craft of men. The growth of the center is inspiring and we’re thrilled to be a part of the journey. From color theory workshops to new clothing patterns, as Mushmina grows so will our ability to provide artisan employment opportunities with a focus on women’s empowerment while offering inspired pieces in partnership with EBF and beyond.

Something I’ve learned in this unpredictable work which continues to propel me is that when you follow the pull of the universe, in this case into the lure of the mountains, you will be rewarded with confirmations. I’m easy to please and the spirit of the women I meet is reward enough but I’m not opposed to a glass of wine at the end of the day while soaking in the energy of the Atlas Mountains on the veranda of Kasbah Tamadot. Life is majestic.

Cheers,                                                                                                                                                                    Katie O’Neill                                                                                                                                             Mushmina, Creative Director

View our collections at www.mushmina.com

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We invite you to be a part of the Flying Camel Movement!

Mushmina’s Flying Camel is a Women’s Training Center in Oued Zem Morocco – a space where women artisans  gather to sustain their crafts, train young women in the community, and work together in efforts to attain financial stability; thus enabling their families, their communities, and their culture to prosper.

Workshop Oued Zem (5)According to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index Morocco ranks in the lowest percentile in measuring economic participation (128th of 135 countries) and educational attainment for women (115th of 135). Many women in Morocco do not have bank accounts and are often forced to stay in bad marriages because they do not have the economic resources to make other choices. We recognize how crucial education and new skill development is in equipping women with the skills necessary to participate in the labor force, thus enabling them to have more power over their lives.

Based in rural Morocco, the Flying Camel Women’s Training Center serves thirty women in the region of Khrouribga, Oued Zem and Boujad in learning employable skills; sewing, pattern-making, computers, and business 101 for artisans.

Contact us to find out how you can be involved in fundraising, training, and empowering women: info@mushmina.com

www.mushmina.com

Workshop Oued Zem (6)

Flying Camel Workshop (16)

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From the Window to Morocco Series by Yvonne King and Heather O’Neill 2013

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