In my travels, I found a blanket of the most brilliant colors I had ever seen. I threw it on the back of my horse and thought it was fantastic. I then began the search for this fabric. This took me to trails unknown.......
I learned that the blankets were hand loomed and hand dyed by the Mayan Indians of Central America. I traveled to these villages looking for the brilliant colors and their makers. I found many of the villages that had a small quantity and the process was fascinating. They dye the threads with the mushroom, berries and fruits from their regions. This is how they obtain their patterns, as they are dictated by the local colors available. In the process of this, I saw a great need in the beautiful artisans that create this craft. They hand loom, mostly on dirt floors, with an open fire in their homes for cooking. Their sweet nature and beautiful clothing almost makes you forget the circumstances which befall them. SoulShine was then born!
I wanted to help these wonderful Indians and keep their craft alive! Also, to give them an outlet into the world to sell their beautiful work. Since then, SoulShine has helped hundreds of people and villages to obtain food, education, housing and medical care by the goods they sell.
Niki Kristmann, the designer and founder, as quoted in English and Western Today , is "The Indiana Jones of handbags, as she tromps through the jungles of these third world countries", to check on the items and see what new things we can create together. They are primarily made by families, that she now knows well . It is a blessing and act of love, as she personally goes and checks every shipment, approve the remnant's purchased for new goods and most of all leave culturally full of beauty and love of these people.
Thank you for being a part of SoulShine and all your patience, appreciation and support.
~The SoulShine Team &
Niki Kristmann, Designer
CEO SoulShine Horse Wear