After years of working on the fashion frontline and travelling back and forth from Los Angeles, New York and Paris, Kimberly Hartman set off on a global quest and returned having found her passion. The result- JADEtribe, a line comprised of handcrafted jewelry, clutches and handbags. During a stay in Laos, Hartman found herself in a weaving village and the pieces began to fall in place. In an effort to help the women in the rural crafting community, she purchases the handwoven textiles at a fair price and, in turn, hires women at a fair wage to sew the goods. Hartman now returns three times a year to design and oversee production.
Hartman considers herself a spring/summer gal and JADEtribe's fall collection is an extension of the spirit of spring, just warmer and cozier. The brand's focus is still heavy on travel- whether it is Aspen or Jackson Hole to ski or snowboard or a warm weather getaway to Bali for the holidays. The handwoven Laos textiles used a white warp for spring. The fall styles use a black warp and take on more of a Native American or South American Aztec feel. "It is quite surprising how rural ethnic tribes all over the world have similar aesthetics" says Hartman.
Other faraway destinations at the top of Hartman's list to travel to and source from include South Africa and Bali. "Africa needs so much help that if I provide sustainable incomes for women there, it would be amazing." JADEtribe's tagline to "dream, imagine, explore, discover, inspire, love, grow, share" is more of a mantra: Dream your dream, imagine what you can create, discover people and ways of achieving your goals, inspire others along your journey, love freely and love what you do, grow as a person spiritually as you grow your idea, company and brand, and share your story and experience with others.
JADEtribe is set to launch e-commerce on the company's website very soon. Hartman is excited about the online store since it will allow her to offer more one-of-a-kind items crafted from rare recycled textiles which are impossible to wholesale as the quantities are too limited. Plans to expand the JADEtribe offering and include apparel are definitely in mind. Hartman wants to do sexy beach dresses and envisions a JADEtribe version of a caftan. Her travels continue around the globe in search of the right group of women to work with on her next venture.