At the age of 13, I picked out the names for my children. Jax and Zander. Both boys for whatever reason. I thought it was a little strange, but the more people I talked to, the more I realized most young girls named their future children. There is power in a name. There is connection in the right name. There is beauty in the perfect name.
Every little thing we do at By Grace has purpose. We want every action to be intentional, thought out, and well-executed. The naming of each of our products is not something we take lightly. When naming the different goods in our Ghana collection, Emily drew upon the names instilled in her during her childhood spent in Western Africa. Some of the pieces were named after specific women in our organization, others after women and girls Emily had known as a young girl. Our India collection was different. Neither of us grew up there, nor have had the pleasure of meeting any of our seamstresses in person (as of yet). This left us with the daunting task of identifying names that spoke to both of us, and did justice to the beauty of our new skirts.
Fortunately, we only needed a couple of names to begin. We liked the idea of sticking to women’s names, because we feel it pays homage in some slight way to who we are and why we do what we do. After all, one of our favorite labels and hashtags is #womenforwomen. We also wanted to choose names that were indicative of the region in which the garments were created. And we wanted to select names that had a deeper meaning.
How does one achieve all these goals? Google. Like any sensible entrepreneurs, or you know, people with access to the internet, we started reading about popular names of girls in India. We quickly liked the idea of using Hindu names for our skirt collection, because there is meaning in each name. We ran through hundreds, discussing which felt right, which ones we thought our customers could remember, which ones we could spell. Ultimately we landed on Vimala and Lavanya. Beautiful names (that are easy enough to pronounce for us Americans in the group) with lovely meanings.
Lavanya means grace and beauty. We are pretty obsessed with the concept of grace, as you might have noticed, and believe that every woman should feel beautiful. Our Lavanya skirt is a feminine blush color with a warm, golden pink pattern. It is strong, but delicate. It is comfortable, but elegant. It allows you to move gracefully, while feeling stunning. There could not have been a more appropriate name. One of our goals with By Grace is that every woman realize how beautiful she is. We believe the right outfit can assist with shifting your mindset, and helping you realize that your existence and your soul are simply gorgeous.
Vimala means pure and clean. Considering the skirts are created in a country where women are often seen as unworthy or inferior, and where the caste system is still an issue, we felt purity was indicative of many things. One, we felt it showed new beginnings. Two, we felt it showed value in each woman, a woman who is perfect and pure both in our eyes and in the eyes of our God. Three, we believe that no matter how chaotic or cluttered your life can seem, it’s necessary to take the time to appreciate that you are doing the best you can. Get dressed up, put on your favorite outfit—perhaps an emerald green maxi skirt that can be dressed up or down—and acknowledge that life is messy, but the state of your heart is what matters. A pure heart will lead to peace of mind, and we hope to remind ourselves of that in some small way with the naming of our second skirt.
So when you're wearing our India skirts, walk in purity. Walk in grace. Walk in beauty.
Until next time,