Our Partner Stories: WVN Home Textiles feat. Kylie Misa and Yvette Gaston
In Our Partner Stories, we highlight journeys, advocacies, and communities of the like-minded people, brands, and organizations that we work with. We are inspired by these partners every single day and we sincerely hope that their stories are meaningful and helpful to you, too! We do know that, at this point in time, the world needs to hear more from these voices.
The second of this series features WVN Home Textiles, a social enterprise with Filipino weaves at the heart of their ideas. They advocate for a shift in the way the younger generations value weaves and awareness of the beauty of our local handloom industry. Here's a conversation with its founders, Kylie Misa and Yvette Gaston.
What year did you start?
BOTH: We started WVN Home as an on-the-side passion project in 2016. We both had full-time jobs and wanted to start something that had meaning to us and would create an impact on others.
What was your biggest inspiration for starting? Or who was your biggest inspiration for starting?
BOTH: The weavers!
What obstacle almost stopped you but didn't?
KYLIE: Being full-time for both WVN and my previous job. It was difficult to juggle both at the same time.
YVETTE: Time management. I still have a full-time job and trying to give your 100% to both is difficult.
What was the most surprising lesson you have learned in doing what you do?
KYLIE: I've learned so much! Working on WVN has taught me about the joy of meaningful work that not only helps others but fills your soul. <3
YVETTE: That your efforts will reap benefits. To quote, "Nature never hurries but it gets everything done."
What keeps you going when the going gets tough?
KYLIE: Remembering why I started doing this.
YVETTE: The communities we've gotten attached to.
Do you have a favorite product from your brand?
KYLIE: I will always love our primary product, which is our blanket towels. They're gorgeous and one-of-a-kind!
YVETTE: The Linea Blanket Towels and our Christmas blankets––they are so cozy!
What's next for you and your brand?
BOTH: We intend to establish the social impact part of the business in 2019. Exciting times!
What is your biggest dream for your brand? The milestone that will make you say that you have finally "made it" (does not mean you'll stop)?
BOTH: What compelled us to start WVN was that the weavers told us that in 10 years, weaving in that community could die because none of the younger generations wanted to inherit the craft. So, in 10 years (that's in 2029), we hope to say that we were able to stop this from happening.
The book you remember the most
KYLIE: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by Fr. James Martin.
YVETTE: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant.
The sustainable practice you are trying to keep
KYLIE: Not leaving my house without my water bottle and metal straw!
YVETTE: I drink coffee every day so having my tumbler is a must and packing my own healthy lunch every morning so I don't have to order takeout or have food delivered at work. Too much wasted single-use packaging.
The person or people you want to have drinks with, dead or alive
KYLIE: Misao Jo, the woman who started Saori Weaving!
YVETTE: My grandmother.
Photos of the weaving community by Risa Barcelona of Things That Matter partner, MAD Travel.