In the Summer of 2012 I visited a small group of female artisans living in a village on the outskirts of Bhopal, India who do hand embroidery work for a local workshop. The women did not have much by means of materialistic items, so when I asked a struggling single mother what she would choose if she could have anything in the world, her answer surprised me.
The woman very modestly answered, “Happiness and prosperity for my children”. My heart was truly touched and so I asked the workshop owner if it was appropriate to give her money. He said, “No, they don’t want charity. They want jobs.” At that moment, I realized what was to be my mission in life. I went back to New Orleans, put the pieces of the puzzle together and by January of 2013, Passion Lilie started to bloom.
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I create all the patterns, samples and technical drawings by hand. My heart and soul go into every piece.
My color inspiration for the prints comes from nature. I am very in tune with my surroundings and I believe that by wearing colorful, happy prints and patterns it will brighten your mood. I am fascinated by the ancient Indian artisanal techniques of dyeing and weaving. The print and color patterns allow for a plethora of design possibilities.
I use streamlined silhouettes with a flair for the vintage and retro. I design for all ages and body types and every season my goal is to create a collection that will inspire confidence in the woman who wears it.
Our founder and designer, Katie Schmidt, is a global traveler, philanthropists and experienced designer. A California native, Katie holds a B.A. in Drama from the University of California, Irvine, and M.S. in Luxury and Fashion Management from SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France. She has extensive experience working as a costume designer as well as working in the fair trade industry.
In 2012, as the Director of a fair trade organization, she visited India and helped a small workshop become fair trade certified. After seeing first hand the many benefits of fair trade, Katie decided to create her own women’s fair trade clothing line.
“My mission in life is to improve the world I live in, and because of my love for design, I have chosen to do this through fashion.” –Katie Schmidt