If you have shopped with us for very long, you’ve likely seen the precious dresses we carry that are handmade in Madagascar. Year after year, these beauties are one of our best sellers…and it’s so easy to see why.
Each dress is made by Tentely, a seamstress we met working in the Malagasy market in Antananarivo. Not only does Tentely make each dress, she and her family smock and embroider each one by hand, creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces.
We are especially fond of her designs of children playing. They really are heirloom pieces that can (and should!) be passed down from one generation to the next.
We wanted to introduce you to the talent behind these beautiful gowns so, say hello to Tentely!
Q: TENTELY, WE’RE SO HAPPY TO TALK TO YOU! TELL OUR READERS ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY.
A: In 2005 I started working with my mother. She died in 2007 and I continued alone until now. We are of very simple family and I have 3 children with my husband, Randia. Miaro, my eldest son, is 10 years old, my middle child is 3 years and Hir'aina Itokiana is 1 year old.
Q: YOUR WORK IS SO BEAUTIFUL. WHEN DID YOU LEARN TO MAKE DRESSES? WHO TAUGHT YOU?
A: I learned to make dresses in 2010. I started with a simple little dress in ecru fabric with an embroidered little man. After, I learned how to smock with a friend who taught me.
Q: TELL US ABOUT MADAGASCAR. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT LIVING ON THE ISLAND?
A: Madagascar is a beautiful island. Life here is very simple but somewhat difficult. I love the nature here…and the food.! My dream is to enlarge our house.
Q: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY TO WORK WITH HOPE ARTISAN COLLECTIVE?
A: In our life, so much has changed since we started working with you.
Q: What is something you've seen...in your own life or community...that gives you hope?
A: I have had difficult times in my life and in my community, but God helped me to beat them and I pray every day that God gives me strength. I hope our working relationship will last long. Merci, and I hope we will meet again soon!
We are so grateful to be able to support Tentely and show off her amazing talent! And, seeing that spring is fast upon us, you should hop over to Hope Artisan Collective to get your hands on one of these beauties before they’re gone. We only make the trip to Madagascar once a year, so once these are sold, we won’t be restocking until October.