Harper Poe is the founder of Proud Mary, a beautiful collection of handmade products created in partnership with global artisans. Enjoy our Pillow Talk interview with Harper below and then head over to the Proud Mary website to learn more about their incredible impact and of course to see (and shop!) all of their beautiful products including the fringe slide sandal which we featured in our Island collection photoshoot.
1. Why do you love what you do?
I get to travel the world, meeting amazing people, an develop unique handmade products that support marginalized artisan communities. It's a perfect combination for me!
2. How did you get to where you are now?
I left my job in NY working for a residential contractor and went to South America to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I was introduced to some ladies weaving and making scarves and bags and fell in love with the process and the potential to use traditional craft as a means of providing sustainable economic opportunities. I got back to NY and started putting together a business plan with a friend and then we launched our first collection a year and a half later. I started working in Guatemala and have expanded to source, develop, and produce home decor, clothing, and accessories in 10 countries throughout Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. I've learned a ton but feel like I have a lot more to learn which is great for me. I never want to stop learning.
3. Who are three of your style muses?
Jane Birkin, Mari Guidicelli, and friend Whitley Floyd.
4. What is your next travel destination?
Morocco and/or Mexico.
5. What is currently on your bedside table?
Hand cream, a picture of my son Ever and I, a notebook, and a stack of books (fiction and non-fiction) that I am trying to get through.
6. Tell us something that people may not know about you!
I studied Construction Management in college. I wanted to be a builder and wear a hard hat everyday.