AND SO IT BEGAN
If reviews are a cannon for determining wether something is valuable, Ellen Amiryan’s response to my request that she say something about her experience of the Conscious Design+Culture program is priceless, “Umm, it changed my life, Nicole.”
Ellen, a talented student at Parsons School of Design, visited Mallorca in June 2022 for the beta run of this program. It began with a request from a client who followed my career for years. Araxi, also Ellen’s proud mom, would say to me on occasion, “I wish I could send Ellen to spend time with you, just to see how you do things..”
When I moved to Mallorca to make a new base, it dawned on me that my recent studies in women’s leadership facilitation, combined with my full career as an independent creative working in fashion, artisan and heritage textiles, and conscious design – qualified me as a pro mentor! I woke up one day and sat down to make some notes on what I would arrange for Ellen if this were to actually happen, and my notes quickly transformed into the program.
A few things we did over the week:
Visited with the founders of a growing, local, circular wool project
A workshop with traditional basket weaving pro’s
Sustainability and career path counseling
An artist identity workshop
Cliff top acoustic concerts
Meeting makers across the island
Learning to make a skirt from scratch
Mallorca is a good place to get a leg up, a cultural microcosm in which smaller, sustainable design and production models can be experienced closely, surrounded by layers of history and magical landscapes. Participation in these activities provides a dynamic, holistic understanding of how things work – and a unique, closer look at business opportunities, operations, materials, sourcing, supply chain, marketing, sales, human resources, and more.
Reflecting on the experience after Ellen went home, I was satisfied that offering this type of experiential mentoring and education to students was a solid way to activate youth around sustainable design and enterprise, and to activate them, period. It served as an intro to independence and a real life orientation towards future professional and personal missions. Students would return having peeked into their future..
Nomadic Thread Society’s main mission points found a home in this program, powered by a strong synergy of timing, intention, and experience. As I flesh these out, this branch of work that is taking shape is migrating intuitively to a broader demographic. I’ve come to understand that experiential education in sustainability for professionals already active in the world in every sector of business, design, and life is a powerful service.
There is a struggle to understand and own the concept of sustainability pushing itself to the forefront of conversation across the globe, as most are limited to studying it in white papers and online courses. It can be so much more simple at times, when meeting the smaller, more nimble enterprises and players in this global shift, committing to being the solution from the get go.
And so, version 2.0 of the program is ready : SLOW DESIGN & BUSINESS IMMERSIONS, re-debuting in 2024 in their new and expanded form. These are purpose driven, grassroots, professional retreats supplying active educations in sustainable design, business and culture. We invite you to step from your company HQ’s into the fields and studios where the sustainability revolution is rooted.
By popular and continued demand of parents near and far, version 1.0 will be offered going forward in both a local camp format and a retreat or immersion for visiting students.
Keep an eye on our Instagram to follow along as things develop!