Ken and I had one of those quiet, non-interrupted dinners last week where the conversation kind of swims around from pizza to work to friends to – hey, what are we doing with our lives? It’s a rare occasion these days, because sometimes big ideas come up and my body is just kind of too tired to think them through, so I like to redirect the tide a bit. I’ll say “Man, these tomatoes are insane good,” and “Hey, thanks for taking the trash out last night!” so the weight of the unanswered questions doesn’t swallow the night into a double digit bedtime. Which, is lame, because the byproduct of a good conversation is an energized soul, and sometimes the only way to energize your soul is to deplete your body’s thirst for sleep.
But on this one night, my soul won. We fought the tired and jumped into the questions and waded around for a bit, and it was cold and I’m pretty sure a fish brushed my ankle, but other than that, it was fine. We survived. And there was a recurring theme in those waters that seemed to surface again and again: what story is our family telling?
We do a lot of things differently in this family, for a lot of different reasons – and sometimes we forget to think about the weight that carries. Ken thinks about this often – why he’s passionate about what he’s naturally passionate about. How personal events and struggles have changed his story, his perspective. How he can share that story with others in the most effective way possible.
And it hadn’t quite hit me about how important this is until I stumbled upon the talent behind Raspberry Plum, a clothing collection manufactured in Serbia. After suffering an incredibly tumultuous political turmoil over the past twenty years, the founders of Raspberry Plum decided to tell their story: to promote a once-thriving apparel industry and to re-establish Serbia’s roots as one of survival and redemption. To create a renaissance, no matter how small.
It was harder, to be fair. Founder Aleksandra Stasic lives and works in London now, having relocated from Belgrade to England as a student, later graduating from Royal College of Art. But her roots remained strong and her wings remained light, dreaming of a collection that might someday celebrate her mixed identity and honor the weight of her story.
Raspberry Plum is this collection, and it holds influence in both London and Serbia – past and present, former chaos and future peace.
And it’s living, wearable proof that our stories are all the more beautiful when shared with each other.
Image Credits: Raspberry Plum
p.s. Another soulful start-up.