We believe we all need moments of calm, introspection, insight and beauty. And this holiday season, we were thrilled to partner with Adobe to create custom made gifts for their group of business ambassadors known as #AdobeInsiders.
Reflecting on both Adobe's values, and the group of tech savvy entrepreneurs, media experts and thought leaders that made up the group of ambassadors, we felt a laptop sleeve would be the perfect offering.
From there, we partnered up with friend and co-conspirator Lesli Robertson to highlight the Ugandan textile with royal roots, barkcloth.
Barkcloth is sourced from: Ficus natalensis, a tree in the family Moraceae, and is commonly known as the Natal fig, or "Mutuba" to locals.
The Mutuba trees are distributed from north-eastern South Africa to Uganda and Kenya, and their bark is harvested, without harming the tree, to make barkcloth, an environmentally-friendly, renewable material. Skilled artisans incorporate this unique fabric into many modern uses, including fashion, accessories, housewares, interior design, and art, and its origins hearken back to the robes of royal courts.
With our inspiration and star material in place, we named the gift:
The Mutuba Laptop Sleeve
Made with the recognition that the #AdobeInsiders' laptops were crucial to the work they did, and yet would be useless without their vision and heart, the Mutuba Laptop Sleeve married functionality with a story worth telling.
In addition to sourcing barkcloth from Fred Mutebi of BOFTA, we tapped into expert weaver Grace Birungi and her team in Mukono to incorporate barkcloth cotton and raffia into a natural fiber blend for the body of the sleeve. We also found metal artisans from Moradabad, India to prepare the hand emblazoned copper seals that would bear Adobe's iconic logo.
Finally, we sourced local dead stock for the sleeve lining and engaged the talented sewing team at Vickery Trading to assemble the laptop sleeves.
Barkcloth scraps were stamped with the Adobe mantra:
Creativity empowers transformation.
And included as special process souvenirs.
The final product was: hand crafted, zero waste and provided jobs for multi-generation artisans in Uganda, and India, as well as refugee women resettling in the States.
We couldn't be prouder or more excited by how much the #AdobeInsiders have appreciated the gift and it's spirit of generosity, collaboration and stewardship.