Lilybead is a labor of love and Lily is at the forefront. Without her, Lilybead wouldn’t exist. However, she didn’t create Lilybead for herself, rather she created it to fill a need that already existed. Lily has carved out a path for Mayan women around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala to live sustainably. These women have continued the legacy of Mayan weaving traditions, but Lily has guided them into new opportunities. She helped them bridge the gap between centuries of tradition and modern times.
In the past, women would spend all their time weaving scarves and table runners to sell in their shops around the lake, but now they are also focused on weaving jewelry. This is so important because weaving jewelry not only allows the women to broaden their assortment in the shops, but they are able to create jewelry in a vastly reduced amount of time. Instead of spending weeks weaving a traditional scarf, the very same women could easily create 50 bracelets. With this transition to weaving jewelry, these Mayan women can be proud to still honor their traditions and also have the opportunity to sustain a living and support their families.
In the towns around Lake Atitlan, where Lilybead stems from, women continue to wear the colors associated with their culture. Mayan women are most often seen in black and red garments to indicate their heritage. Tradition is folded into the fabrics they wear, and it’s beautiful to see how history plays out in the modern generation as if unobstructed by time.
And this is where Lily fits into the community in a really lovely and organic way. By adopting the weaving and translating it into jewelry, the beads are harmonious with tradition. There are varieties of beads in each piece, and while this alone adds a textural component, it’s really beautiful to see the beads when they catch the light as if they were selected purposefully to do so.
The Lilybead Collection is delivered in a rich aesthetic that is brilliant on its own, but the even richer history behind the evolution of weaving beads as a part of honoring traditional practice is something really special. Not only has it allowed women to thrive in their communities today, but it allowed them a pathway of not having to compromise their cultures to do so. Lilybead exemplifies beauty by combining heart and soul with gorgeous jewelry for the modern woman.