A year ago I stumbled across the Instagram gallery of artist and Block Shop Textiles co-founder Lily Stockman. Her photos offered a colorful glimpse into her life as a painter, business owner, avid reader, dog lover, plant aficionado, and part-time resident of beautiful Joshua Tree.
Together with her sister Hopie, the Stockman girls form the textile company Block Shop. Each Block Shop scarf is hand printed with carved wooden blocks and dyed by a cooperative of 20 master printers in Bagru, India using mostly vegetable and mineral dyes. No two scarves are exactly alike, adding to the feeling that you are truly wearing a piece of art.
Supporting the community that helps create their products is a must for the Stockman sisters. Block Shop puts 5% of its proceeds into a fund that provides basic health care for the families in their printing co-op. Last January they held their first mobile health clinic for the Bagru community, supplying over 200 people with medical treatment, 67 with corrective lenses, and eight with cataract surgeries.
The burgeoning company has a devoted following of #blockshopbabes donning their scarves all over the world: on horseback in the deserts of New Mexico like fellow artist Stella Maria Baer (check out her moon art while you're at it); as a head wrap for Local Milk blogger Beth Kirby while she's drumming up recipes in her Tennessee kitchen (like her latest Apple and Rosemary Buttermilk Quickbread); and atop a camel in Morocco with roving floral designer Amy Merrick.
As of this Christmas, I--and the frozen lakes of northwestern Ontario--are among the ranks with my coral sundial Block Shop scarf.
Through my tiny iPhone screen, I am transported from L.A. to Joshua Tree to Jaipur as I follow along with Lily (@lilystockman) and Hopie (@hopiestockman) while they work towards expanding their company, creating new designs, and pursuing other artistic endeavors.
Like Lily's paintings. Her paintings reflect the colors and patterns found in the architecture and fashion of India and the desert landscape of Joshua Tree. I'm no art history major, but there is something about the cheerful palette and patterns she creates that make me...well, happy. You can check them out here.
Now that my "girl crush" on these inspirational sisters is fully apparent, let me leave you with one last tidbit. Lily wrote a piece for Vogue last October entitled Portrait of a Marriage in Wartime: Why One Military Couple Left Life in New York and Embraced Desert Life in Joshua Tree. I highly recommend you read it. It's honest, moving, and beautifully written.
If I've introduced even just one person to the magical world of Block Shop Textiles and the Stockman sisters, then my work here is done. Their continued success is something I am truly rooting for.
Images 2-9 from Block Shop Textile's Gallery.