Deepgreen is a knitting business that provides work for women who have suffered injustice. The desire is to see these women empowered with the internal capacity & external resources to grow professionally, personally and spiritually and to make independent changes in their lives.
When I learned that Jon & Elissa are working in Asia to bring hope to victims of social injustice through the fiber arts, I wanted to know more.
Interview with Elissa of DeepGreen
Was knitting a hobby of yours before moving to China in 2009?
Actually, I am still just in the early stages of learning how to knit! Before DeepGreen, I had always wanted to learn how to knit, so that sort of became part of my incentive to getting things going with DeepGreen. Our knitting teacher, and even all of our knitting team far exceed my skill level, so I get to learn from them. I think it’s a great dynamic for our team to be learning different things from each other – I think they enjoy that they can teach me things I don’t know about knitting, and I love having to look to them for help.
How has your personal outlook/philosophy on knitting been affected by DeepGreen?
I was excited to begin learning how to knit. I had seen through my previous work with a jewelry company that giving impoverished women a chance to create something beautiful with their hands can bring great fulfillment to their feelings of value and worth. I don’t think I realized that I too, could feel a similar sense of value as I began to create. It was quite refreshing.
You mention on the website, that you discovered that knitting was a popular hobby in your community. What sort of knitting is traditional to your region?
I’m not sure if there is just one type of knitting that seems more popular than others in our community. I’ve seen women using dozens of different materials and techniques to create everything from a simple stitch to an elaborate pattern.
How did you come to choose The Rocking Yak as one of your suppliers?
We learned about the Rocking Yak from our good friend Bret. Actually, it was our relationship with him and his project that caused us to have some interest in yak wool. We really believe in his project, and wanted to support it in some way. We figured if we could get our knitting business going, we could funnel some support to him through buying his textiles….which we do! We love their unique, rugged natural quality.
Another aspect to the work you do in your community is your treks. Tell us more about those. What inspired the summer 2012 trek?
Our summer 2012 trek was the inaugural DeepGreen Trek. Our vision for the first trip was to just get college students outside, experiencing God’s beauty, and engaging them in meaningful discussion about life. We worked with local universities to invite students and professors, and brought our team of native English speakers to lead the small group discussions as we hiked. We learned a lot on this first trek, and look forward to creating even better experiences in the future. We are working on a curriculum to bring students through that allows them continued opportunities over a semester, to hike, learn, engage and act. It will be an exciting year.
Are these treks intended for local students in your community, or foreigners to come join you, or both?
These treks are created mainly for local Chinese students in our community. However, we welcome visiting teams of foreigners to work with us in creating special weekend trips to offer the students.
If a reader is inspired by the work you are doing, what are some ways they could possibly become more involved?
We invite people to be involved in The DeepGreen Project in a number of ways! Here are some current ideas…
- Buy a product! http://deepgreenproject.org/storefront/
- Donate to DeepGreen: http://deepgreenproject.org/donate/
- Sign up to receive the DeepGreen Newsletter: http://deepgreenproject.org/get-involved/
- Join us as an intern for a season: http://deepgreenproject.org/get-involved/
- Join our social media outlets: http://deepgreenproject.org/contact/
There is a lot more information about DeepGreen, Jon & Elissa’s story & the company’s philosophy on their website
The women at DeepGreen take great pride in their work, even adding their signature to every piece they have made. Their hope is that you will find their work lovely, comforting and enjoyable…just like the time they spent creating it. When you purchase a product from DeepGreen Threads, you invest in their future, bring them hope and give them life.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” -Chinese Proverb
DeepGreen is generously offering one of their Saundra Lee cowls to one of you in a giveaway! For your chance to win, leave a comment. The winner will be announce on Monday (1.21.13) ~ Good Luck!
don’t forget. . . “follow The Fiber Nest” for your chance to win a box of Valentine Truffles
CONGRATULATIONS to Breezey514 for winning the giveaway!
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