Mata Traders bring India's Beauty & Craft to America | Awakened Aesthetic
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There are so many wonderful things about mothers. I know for a fact that Jennifer and I have two of the best mothers on this fine planet. I’m sure your mother is great, too… But Shelley and Jerri? They’re pretty amazing.

Not only are our mothers abundantly stylish (my mom excitedly showed me her new leopard print shoes yesterday, while Jen’s mom, Jerri, consistently and perfectly rocks a historically hard-to-pull-off short haircut), but they are unbelievably strong, independent, intelligent women who are happy to go the extra mile to help us, their friends, or their neighbors out at the drop of a hat.

Mothers are eager for you to grow, learn, develop, follow dreams, believe in yourself, and above all – be happy. All of these things flew through my mind in an instant as I read the story of Mata Traders – a Chicago-based outfit (coincidentally down the street from my last apartment!) that takes the Hindi word for mother, Mata, and truly honors it in the cutthroat and sometimes devilish world of retail.

These ladies, Michelle and Maureen, consider mata to be the bountiful and beautiful country of India – calling it “Mother India.” After an initial trip, post-college, these best friends eventually decided to go into business together – purchasing from India with social consciousness in mind.

Our mission is to work with organizations that educate, employ, and empower women. Spending time with these groups has helped us realized that even the most traditional women, when given the opportunity, thrive in a sphere of meaningful work that is outside their homes and families. We have also learned that equality in the workplace IS possible in a country as socially stratified as India.  Whether a beginner sewer or the marketing director, all the women that make our clothing and accessories have a voice.  We are so proud to be a part of that voice by bringing you their quality handiwork in a high fashion, fairly traded product line.

After thorough consideration of these ladies’ devotion to their cause, it would seem that the “mother” title went not just to India, but to both Maureen and Michelle for giving their time and care for such a beautiful cause.

Moving away from the mushy stuff, the clothing that Mata Traders bring into our lives is not just beautiful, but highly unique and covetable.


Princess Dress
$59

This is so “every-day”… You could wear pretty much anything with it and look amazing.


Shirt Dress
$59

This is the kind of dress that a girl ends up living in. It looks so comfortable and easy – I love the way it’s styled here!


Bolero Jacket
$46

This is so incredibly simple and chic – it’s just a huge extra bonus that it’s consciously made!


Lotus Top in Pink
$39

I want to see this tucked into a brown, tweed pencil skirt.


Mela Top in Purple
$49

I had to include this one after i saw it underneath the bolero jacket… So beautiful!

I love that these are so clearly handmade and carefully constructed, but they’re also eternally versatile and timeless.

See the rest of Mata Traders’ inventory in their shop! (& a note to all shop owners – these ladies are ready to talk wholesale with you! Add some conscious clothing to your stock! – Mom would be proud.)


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December 15, 2010 |

File under: Ethical Designer Profile



2 Responses to “Motherly Love”


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  2. [...] have to rush through the typical one-day sample sale, I can take my time deciding exactly which Mata Traders dress I have to have, knowing that my purchase does something good for multiple eco-aware [...]

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