My name is Cathy and I am a full-time Realtor in Mount Pleasant, SC and missionary nurse. For more than ten years I have been visiting Lake Atitlan area, specifically San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala twice every year on a medical mission. From a young age, I have always been motivated to reach out to help others. I have always wanted to give back to people across the world the gift that is inherent in me and to help people with the skills that I have acquired through years of study on the medical field.
As a result, I made it an obligation to volunteer every year as a missionary to Guatemala and other parts of the world. Going to Guatemala has been such a wonderful experience and I have had the opportunity to help these great people, get to know them and involve myself in their craft and art most especially their textile making processes. Over the past ten years, I have been collecting these Guatemala textiles and I have had the opportunity to embrace their art and amazing craftsmanship.
The very first time I saw these textile designs, I was left in awe of their amazing beauty and extreme quality. I loved the vibrant colors and natural cotton fabrics. Most of the fabrics are done with the weaving technique of the back-strap, treadle and the foot loom. These Mayan Artisans are indigenes who produce these weavings and sell them to sustain their families, especially to support their children to get a formal education.
Pillows by Jane was born out of the motivation to give these women a larger and more profitable marketplace. I want to help expose their spectacular work to the world and help them make more money to fend for themselves and their children. The name “Pillows by Jane” was inspired by my mom who is now passed. Her name was Jane and she was a very gifted artist and seamstress. Also my late sister in law, Jane was a very talented weaver. Finally, another inspiration for the name was my sweet niece, Lauren Jane, who left us way too soon. Their memory is my motivator and my inspiration to weave all of my friendships together for women supporting women to make our lives a little more colorful and connected!
I believe I am different because I have met fabulous weavers over the years and have wonderful friendships with them through the fabrics and also the nurturing I have provided with my nursing. I don't speak Spanish or any of the Mayan languages and it truly does not matter, for some reason we communicate just fine (sometimes through a translator). I love designing and making the pillows here South Carolina, as it keeps me connected to the talented women I help to support.
When there is a need, I’d like to fill it. When there is a problem I’d love to be part of the solution. My husband, Ed and I have been sponsoring children’s education in Guatemala for 10 years and with the pillow business, it will help to provide more education opportunities.
I want to be part of the change and you too can make an impact if you place an order for these beautifully designed pillows.