Anna, our copywriter, and Taylor, our merchandising assistant, got the chance to interview one of our artisans who is a true scarf specialist, Joyita of California, just in time for our Accessories Extravaganza. A self-taught artist, she is inspired by the childhood joy of painting with her grandmother. Today, flowers and leaves flow from her brush onto the silk, pairing glorious colors and patterns with exquisitely touchable texture.

joyita headshot

What has been your greatest artistic achievement, and why?

My greatest artistic achievement was when I saw my products being worn at Hollywood red carpet events. A Canadian actress Barbara Eve Harris wore an ensemble at the “Spiderman” movie premiere.

The legendary Mickey Rooney appeared in front of all of Hollywood at the 2014 Vanity Fair event right after the Oscars wearing a tie that he had chosen from my collection. He was photographed that night with Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, and many others and I was absolutely thrilled to see all the pictures had him wear the grey tie I had presented him at an Oscar gifting suite. That was his last appearance in front of Hollywood cameras.

For me, it was a realization that the highest strata of fashion in the world had appreciated my work and wanted to wear it and display it.

What does the handmade movement mean to you?

Globalization is a good thing, as we trade great minds, ideas among the entire world and mutually benefit each other.

However it should not be in a way that destroys local arts, crafts and ingenuity. I learned fabric painting and apparel art in India and I have read in history how Indian artisans were completely destroyed when the British Empire flooded the market with cheaply manufactured factory goods. It was an industrial revolution. History teaches us a strong lesson. The artisans in India continue to create beautiful work, but are constantly taken advantage by the globalization merchants who prosper from their art, without paying just compensation for their skills. My proposal for the US Handmade movement is that we should encourage all Americans to buy and support locally made products. It is time that the Handmade in America by US artists be exported to other countries.

This is a tremendous treasure of America, and we should support it wholeheartedly.

What do you hope your customers feel when they wear your products?

I hope that the colors I paint on my silk apparel give my customers positive energy and make them feel happy. My customers always tell me how they are always complimented when they wear my hand painted silks, whether at a wedding, cruise, conference, or just leisure. My silks have reached many homes through Uno Alla Volta and I always hope that they brought a smile of confidence to the wearer, and brought that extra spring to their step!

What are some fun facts about you that you think customers would enjoy?

I am painting masterpiece-inspired scarves and ties for the De Young museum collection in San Francisco. It is very interesting to look at the amazing works of Turner and other great artists and create inspirational collections of hand-painted silk scarves, ponchos, and ties.

Last year I forgot to take my scarves out on time and the heat burnt up a small batch of scarves in the steamer. At first I was totally disappointed and then I saw the perfect burnt edges of the scarves. When I started displaying them at shows, buyers started placing orders and now I have a collection of purposely burnt scarves, and it all started with a mistake.

See all of Joyita’s creations on her artisan page.