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I found the Descalza Kickstarter through a friend’s post on Facebook. I was in tears watching Caro’s powerful message that verbalized an inner struggle between pride and belonging that has lived at my core for much of my life. Although our stories are different, the values and messaging of Descalza resonated deeply. My parents are both immigrants from separate countries. Navigating those separate cultures while living in the United States has not only given me a deep sense of pride in the values that have been imparted to me by my ancestors, but also has pushed me to understand that belonging doesn’t mean ‘fitting in’ or ‘being the same’ as others. This can be true for anyone—recent immigrant or not. The experiences you have make-up your unique cultural heritage, informing your values and the ways in which you think and act. Descalza invites you to embrace those differences and belong to a movement that recognizes the power of uniting through textiles.
Each time I wear my scarf, I’m not only reminded of my heritage and the power of my voice because of my experiences, but also of the powerful voices that surround me as I go about my day. It’s a reminder to listen, just as I took time to listen to Descalza’s message and found that there were so many ways that I could learn from Caro’s heritage. My favorite thing about the scarf is its versatility. I’ve worn it around my neck in casual and professional settings, on my head like a hairband or tied to my purse as an accent. Anytime I need a little reminder that I belong or am feeling extra confident in who I am and want to impart that belonging to others, I find a way to piece it into an outfit.
Because the world works in amazing ways, a friend connected me with Caro soon after seeing the Kickstarter. I enthusiastically asked her on a girl date for coffee. What I thought would be an hour ended in three hours of laughing and sharing, listening and learning. Words are powerful but actions gain trust and I can confidently say that Descalza stands behind its values in words and actions. Caro and I may have different stories, but we both believe strongly that our differences are worthy of celebrating together.