OWEN LEWIS joined the family business in 2003 after stints in hospitality and theater. Responsible for setting up production and quality control in our partner workshops, Owen also coaches artisan entrepreneurs at Aid to Artisans Market Readiness program annually at NY NOW. He has lived in the Philippines, Nepal and Bangladesh where he earned his title as "trouble-shooter." He has the patience and language skills to train artisans and dive deeply into our community development projects. He leads Himalayan treks twice a year and strives for continual improvement in places that require a lot of creativity and fortitude.
DOCEY LEWIS has worked for thirty-five years in over forty countries as a designer and sourcing consultant for commercial companies, governments and international development organizations. She began her career in San Francisco as a weaver and yarn designer, developing fabrics for fashion and interiors. In the 80s Docey founded IMA Designs, a weaving factory and commercial design studio in the Philippines with a focus on natural fiber wall coverings. Since 1981 Docey has worked with major high-end wall covering brands to both design and oversee sourcing with proprietary artisan workshops around the globe. Now based in New Harmony, Indiana, Docey and her son Owen operate a studio, DESIGN BANK 505, and are in partnership with mills in Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Morocco and Bangladesh.
Docey is the chief design consultant for 3form, Inc’s Full Circle product line. She has been a senior consultant to Aid to Artisans (ATA) since 1988, most recently working on organic cotton in Senegal and loom weaving in Mexico and has served on ATA’s board as well as on the boards of the recently formed Full Circle Foundation, Vital Edge Aid, the HandEye Fund (HEF), and the Robert Lee Blaffer Foundation (RLBF). She chairs both HEF’s Artisan Small Grants Committee and the RLBF Grants program. Docey established ATA’s Artisan Health & Safety initiative funded by the eBay Foundation, and is also a founder of Handmade Water (Guthi Nepal), a project to clean up dye effluent created by village dyers. She is actively involved with community development in the Solukhumbu region of Nepal in projects that include organic agriculture, artisanal cheese, a papermaking studio, weaving workshop, monastery restoration, education program and a Himalayan bed and breakfast. Her work with conservation organization CPALI for the past three years has resulted in a collaboration with artisans in Madagascar to produce unique wild silk cocoon artwork most recently featured at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen.
"With a fascination for natural materials and a fluency with textile structures and centuries old techniques, I use my skills as a designer, entrepreneur, and educator to collaborate with global artisans on products that provide needed livelihoods. This co-creation with nature, ancestral knowledge, artisans and the marketplace never ceases to bring both joy and a deep respect for our interconnectivity. "
"I have a deep respect for my family roots, going back to my 4th great grandfather Robert Owen. His former cotton mill in New Lanark, Scotland is now a World Heritage Site that preserves the philosophy of cooperation, humane labor practices, adult education, and continuous improvement."