Design Counselor

Helping artisans become more self-sufficient through better design

Beautiful new textile designs at Artisan Resource @ NY NOW™ came into being as a result of a collaboration between Zardozi, an NGO which creates market opportunities for Afghan artisans, and Jacqueline Gerretsen, a skilled textile and product designer. For the past year, Jacqueline has been an active participant in the HAND/EYE Fund Design Council, which is a collaboration between the HAND/EYE Fund and ByHand Consulting. This program is comprised of a group of seasoned design professionals from the home, fashion and accessories industries who are committed to helping artisans worldwide become more successful and self-sufficient through better design.

For well over a decade, Jacqueline Gerretsen has had a passion for textiles, leading her to work for many reputable companies including Madeline Weinrib, TJX, and now her own textile company, Beacon & Bowery. Jacqueline’s eye and expertise have been incredibly beneficial for Zardozi, as she has acted as a design mentor, not only developing new collections inspired by traditional embroidery techniques but refining and developing existing product lines. 

Jacqueline adds, “I really enjoy seeing the finished product as well as the collaboration between my artwork and the way the artisans interpret my designs. This outcome is really amazing to see. Overall, believe the artisans at Zardozi translate my artwork beautifully. Additionally, this process has been quite seamless. They are really easy to work with and respond well to my feedback.”

Tahira Afridi, the General Manager at Zardozi states, “Jacqueline’s aesthetic made our embroidery look updated and fresh. The whole concept of our home furnishing line changed, for the better. Working with US designers has been an eye opening experience and a very pleasant one. Our team has learned a lot from these collaborations. For example, we learned how to present sketches, play with color combinations, and structure the pieces in a more professional manner. I love the learning experience as well as understanding the new layout of embroidery and how to give a product a more finished look."

To view Zardozi's new Winter collection, visit Artisan Resource @ NY NOW™ February 1-4, 2014. 

For more information regarding HAND/EYE Fund Design Council, please email Keith Recker at keithrecker@gmail.com.

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