Part One: How Megan found her inspiration
For the next few blog posts, we’re giving you a very special insider’s view to our founder, Megan Risdon. She’ll be telling us her story of how EcoChic came to be, and give you a look at what she hopes to accomplish with our company in the future.
The beaches of Southeast Asia are everything you were always told they’d be: The waters are the kind of cool blue that looks so refreshing that, when you step in and feel the actual warmth of them, you’re transported altogether.
That’s what I felt, when I first arrived on Java. It was a vacation from my busy life at the corporate grind, but it turned into so much more.
I don’t like to vacation at resorts. I prefer to see and experience what the locals do. As I was walking through a secluded fishing village, taking in the postcard-perfect views of boats in the water, families working their livelihoods together, my eye was caught by the reflection of a mirror, hanging outside someone’s bungalow.
I was drawn to it immediately, and noticed the fine, mosaic-like coloring of the border of the mirror. I touched it, and the shocking warmth of it, just like the warmth of the Javanese waters, made me immediately need to know more.
It turns out, the mirror had been made from wood reclaimed directly from the fishing boats. In fact, many decorative items I saw outside of fishing bungalows and in homes had been made from fishing boats that were no longer sea-worthy. And the large number of decorative items I was seeing was due entirely to families having to scrap boats due to the tsunami that had decimated Indonesia in 2004. Families had salvaged what they could of their beloved boats that had served them so well, and made these items from them.
The warmth of the mirror’s border was due to sun-warmed teakwood, buffered and smoothed by years of waves and salt. And the gorgeous mosaic-like pattern? I only had to look as far as the beach and those intriguing blue waters to see where it had come from: Families in Indonesia take particular artistic pride in painting their boats so that they become imbued with that family’s own aesthetic.
From there, my path was clear. I wanted to be a part of this remarkable journey of healing; I wanted to make beautiful things from these already-beautiful boats and artistic tendencies, and, most important, I wanted to be able to show the rest of the world just how extraordinary this practice of making something extraordinary out of tragedy is.
Tune in next time to see what Megan did with this inspiration.