Conscious commerce is a state of mind. It is shopping with purpose, for items that bring joy to your life and help you express your inner light. It is in support of small businesses, of creators, men and women who are dedicated to their craft. To use your dollar with passion, thought, awareness and intention. It is bringing an end to mindless purchasing and creating a wardrobe + home that supports the life you dream of.
I first discovered Jess, the designer behind Willow Knows on Instagram and thus began my love affair with her incredible creations. Her collection of hand-dyed clothing and textiles bring together the elements; water, heat, pigment and fiber that result in classic, timeless designs that will be a wardrobe staple for years to come.
Each garment is unique, sustainably crafted with mindfulness and the end wearer in mind. The soft, muted colors created with low impact natural and foraged dyes on 100% silk fibers create the perfect mix of ethereal and feminine; dreamy and wearable.
Personally, I look for clothing that allows me to express my style, feel an ease of movement, sense of femininity and that will carry me wherever the day may take me. Her designs do exactly that. This is the kind of clothing you can move, breathe, and feel empowered in.
Jess is a beautiful, inspiring soul and a true reflection of her work. Her sincerity, love, and passion come through in everything she shares. Today, as part of the ongoing Conscious Commerce series, she is bringing us into her serene, dreamy world. Sharing everything from daily rituals to her relationship with yoga, foods that fuel her creativity, the design process each piece goes through and more. Willow Knows has quickly become one of my favorite brands, and I can’t wait to continue to support and follow Jess on her journey.
Can you please share with us your background and what led to the creation of Willow Knows?
My degree is in fashion and textiles. After school I moved to New York to find my way as an excited young creative spirit and ended up working in the film industry. Eventually, I realized NYC didn’t feed my soul as much as I had hoped and I moved to Virginia where I currently live. I then started experimenting with hand dying silk, a process I fell deeply in love with in school willow knows quickly took on a life of it’s own.
Who/what/where do you draw inspiration from?
First and foremost the natural world – without it, I would be empty. I also draw inspiration from my friends, who are each wildly creative and inspiring.
What motivated you to create a conscious, mindful company?
We need more work in the world that has heart behind it. I wake up each day feeling grateful that people continue to have an interest in mine.
Can you take us through the process each piece goes through from idea to finished product?
That most definitely changes from piece to piece. In our studio, we work with mostly the same silhouettes for a long period of time and the textile/dye job is the focus. So, a lot of time I will become mildly obsessed with certain color combos and things manifest from there. Or, I will work on a piece much like a painter would work with a canvas – adding and subtracting pigment, line, & texture until I feel it is complete. My process has always been very intuitive.
What are the daily routines or rituals that keep you grounded?
Ritual and routine are very important in keeping me grounded, which isn’t always an easy task. Mornings are my favorite time of day. I love routines and setting a tone for the day, week, or month. Generally, first thing I will light a candle or incense and set an intention for my day. I try to sit for a few minutes before doing anything else. Then I will maybe draw or write for a short while. Also, ayurveda morning routines. In the warm months I must be outside in the sun with my barefeet on the ground at some point in the day – this easy practice connects me to earth and keeps me grounded.
What role does yoga play in your life?
Yoga plays a huge role in my life. A true inspiration and love. It is home to me. I have been practicing consistently for about 6 years and am currently diving into a 200hr teacher training, focusing on tantra hatha yoga and ayurveda. The principles and philosophies behind the practice inspire my daily life and also the work that I do as full-time artist/designer. The practice has opened channels in me that have changed the way I perceive everything around me, and most importantly, the way I live in the world.
How does personal style tie into your view on wellness?
Clothes, art, & design are food for the soul – self expression ignites our mind in the same way food nourishes our bodies.
What do you see for the future of conscious fashion?
Bright things. I think there is a strong movement happening right now that is opening doors and raising awareness for conscious living in general.
What is your go-to outfit that you feel most comfortable in?
I feel most comfortable in the summer, when my vata skin, bones, and mind can breathe in the humid warm air. my go-to outfit is a willow knows silk dress, no bra, some special sandals, essential oil.
What are the staples in your holistic medicine cabinet?
Lots of herbal tea, sun potion tonic herbs – which i am completely hooked on, mineral water, essential oils – particularly products from two of my dear friends, kate of na nin and desiree of benshen – i wear both daily.
What foods help to fuel your creativity?
Fresh local vegetables steamed up mixed with quinoa & rice, avocado, spices, & some seeds – I could eat it every day.
What are the “jewels” in your life? (i.e. your passions, favorite topics, people, places, etc.)
My jewels are all of the things that fuel me. art, design, yoga, spirituality, creativity, connection, love. mind, body, soul.
What do you see for the future of Willow Knows?
busy, bright, & light filled.
Where can we find you to follow your journey + connect?
@willowknows on instagram <3