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Meet Amanda Daum of Sticks in Design District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Daum.

Amanda, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Dallas, and shortly after college moved to New York City. In my young twenties I was ignited by the fashion industry. I craved being surrounded by creatives and peering into the landscape of an artist. So, I found a tiny walk-up apartment on the corner of Thompson Square Park in the East Village and began working. I did just about everything, from assisting designers, styling photo shoots, working fashion shows at fashion week- I just dove in.

A few years later I wanted to explore again, I’m a perpetually curious human. A friend and I decided to backpack through Latin America, beginning in Mexico. A month into our travels we landed in Guatemala. It was warm, tropical, and rich in culture and color. I ended up staying longer than expected- four years actually.

Living in Guatemala, I began studying textiles and craft techniques. I would travel to villages by bus to work with indigenous women in their homes. It was through these years of learning that Sticks was born. I could feel I had tapped into something special and unique.

Right now, there is a fragmentation of the fashion supply chain that is making it difficult for fashion brands to keep track of where and how their products are made. Yet there I was, through those years, directly producing hand woven textiles; no machine, no waste, no harm needed. I thought; “couldn’t this be a way to elevate humanity, by making beautiful products in a better way?”

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s certainly not been a smooth road, both literally and figuratively. I’ll admit- I like a challenge- and I’ve probably chosen a uniquely difficult path. But I love that quote “Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking.” by Antonio Machado. We all make our path as we go, and no one path is easy.

I think to try to change an industry, and move towards better, you’re going to have a challenge. Initially, it was just very difficult for me to produce my products. I work in remote villages, where the only two means of income are agriculture or craft. Getting to these handicraft producers can often be difficult and dangerous. But I turned a blind eye for years, knowing that we were creating jobs that could sustain the traditional way of life in those communities.

Please tell us about your business.
Sticks was born out of a desire to create hand crafted clothing by cultivating the use of heritage craft techniques around the world. We produce high-quality textiles, celebrating authentic practices that are environmentally and socially conscious.

Sticks provokes a conversation about what it means to be sustainable, what it means to care for others through our decisions as global consumers, and ultimately, where those ideas intersect with being fashionable.

At Sticks, we are trying to do better, so that collectively we can live better. We aren’t perfect, but we’re trying. This is what we are most proud of. We want to be a solution to the fashion industries problems by making garments with integrity, transparency, and heart every step of the way.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
It depends on how you define success. I live by the belief that success is a matter of authentic empowerment. When the personality aligns with the purpose of the soul. My intention as a human being in 2020 is to do my best. To live from a place of unconditional love, and openness. When I achieve that each day, I feel successful.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Chelsea Paigen Photography @chelseapaigenphoto
Allie Jorde Creative @alliejordecreative

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