Lorna Watson founded STELAR knowing that she didn't want to start a brand that doesn't give value to the people that make the products, and has since produced sustainably-made accessories that are constructed by Balinese artisans who use age-old native techniques. "I have been coming to Bali for almost 20 years, inspired by the extraordinary skills within the artisan communities here," shares Watson. "However five years ago, I discovered that the future of these communities and their unique skills were under severe threat due to mass manufacturing. As a result, more and more artisans have been forced to abandon their craft and find unskilled work elsewhere." Each accessory comes with a unique code, that when inputted into the website reveals the story behind who made the bag. "We like to bring the people behind our bags to the forefront of everything we do, to ensure a renewed and elevated sense of value for their skills and to support next-generation artisans to continue a lineage that dates back several centuries."

And now, Watson is embarking on a new endeavour with STELAR, a crowdfunding capsule that's raising money to ensure this craft continues to survive. Buying one of the ten accessories will raise funds to train the artisans in new additional skills, and the brand will be able to invest in Block Chain technology, enabling them to be more transparent and to integrate more information about the life of everything they create. Watson says that this will ultimately ensure that they can "support sustainable livelihoods on a long-term basis and encourage these communities to thrive." And with 83% of their £20,000 goal raised, their edging nearer to making these steps a reality. 

To find out a little more about Watson's life in Bali, we put forward our 8Qs for her to answer.

What is a book that you always come back to and why?
Travels with my Aunt by Graham Greene. I first read this book more than 20 years ago and was immediately drawn to Aunt Augusta’s unapologetic and unconventional life, and her and Henry’s subsequent world of travel, adventure and romance. I still find it beguiling because it reflects the expansive and transformational experiences that traveling brings.

What is your morning ritual like?
Like most people here in Bali, I wake up as the sun rises. I have been practicing yoga for 20 years so my day always starts with this, followed by coconut water to rehydrate and then coffee. I live on the edge of a rice field and love to watch Wayan, our local farmer, tending to his crops while I have breakfast and plan the day ahead. Then it’s all systems go!

What is the best piece of advice you've received?
Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What is an ongoing goal of yours?
To witness real, measurable change in the fashion industry, that brings people and purpose before profit.

What's your party trick?
I make a mean lemongrass mojito.

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?
To Scotland to visit my family.

Name something that you're grateful for.
My friends and family who have always encouraged me to keep going.

Name three things that you can't live without.
Nature, laughter and coffee.

Shop STELAR's crowdfunding collection here.

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Tags: 8Qs , STELAR , interview , bags