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Well, hello there! You're looking lovely today, I'm sure of it. I’m so glad you decided to investigate Swatch Book, our new blog.

When I set out to build and launch the blog portion of our site, the same word kept popping up in my mind: refuge.

 I’m certainly not the first one to say so, but times are tough. And if I had to hazard a guess, things are only going to get tougher for a little while.

 The reality of working in the textile design industry, especially if it’s in fashion, is that we as designers are called upon to create fresh, new work season after season, year after year. And we’re required to do so in a less than stellar climate. For over a decade now, it’s been a race to the bottom to see who can source and manufacture for the least amount of money. I feel like I learn about another major clothing brand or retailer’s financial troubles every time I open my news app. While The Garment District, once a thriving ecosystem of independent suppliers, specialty shops, and craftspeople, is slowly being eroded by hotels.

 You might be thinking, “Thanks, Nikole. I really needed a reminder about how depressing this all is…”

 Stick with me, here.

 Change is hard. And for better or worse, our industry is changing. I’ve thought about this quite a bit over the years - heh, I even decided to start a business amidst all of this! But there’s a very good reason why I did: we can either sit back and watch as change happens, or we can roll up our sleeves, dig our heels in, and try our best to shape how things change.

 That’s why I decided to do things differently with cloth&curios. Yeah, times are tough, but I see that as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. Can you imagine what the fashion and textile industry would be like with even just a touch more integrity, humanity and transparency? It looks pretty freaking amazing, right?! I'm not the only one who thinks so, either. A quick Google search will present you with a list of start-ups, independent makers and companies who are all moving in that direction.

 As part of that effort, Swatch Book is where we will collect and open-heartedly share our thoughts, feelings, and work. A place of inspiration, intelligent conversation and useful resources - all for you. A place to visit when everything else feels like it’s just TOO MUCH.

 Refuge.

Nikole Batista