Kei & Molly Textiles: Useful, Lovely, and Big Hearted

If you’ve visited us anytime in the past several years, you’ve probably seen the joyful designs of one of our favorite makers, Kei & Molly. There’s the custom tote bag they designed for us, complete with rolling vineyards and oak trees. Kei & Molly only take on a few custom designs a year, so we were truly happy they agreed to work with us on that. They also did a playful tea towel complete with a musician playing the sax for people in front of the gazebo in the downtown park. (When we were working with them on inspiration for the art, they read about the hot springs, and the first draft had two people bobbing in a hot tub, without swimsuits from the waist up. We had to pass, being a G-rated store and all, but it was delightful, and those two people seemed to be having a really, really good time in Paso!)

Aside from their brightly colored tea towels and other textile creations, there’s a bigger reason we love offering their goods at General Store Paso Robles. Their business is centered around helping people.

Founded by Kei Tsuzuki and Molly Luethi in 2010, the studio was determined to show how a for-profit business could be sustainable and fueled by human-centered values.

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Their staff consists of trained artisans, immigrants, and refugees from around the world, working together in craft and production, screen-printing each design by hand to service orders from stores nationwide. Through Kei & Molly Textiles, they find a secure job paying good wages, with support in health and education, and opportunities for leadership and personal development. Working together, regardless of nationality, religion, or spoken language, they are reminded daily how we are connected in our humanity. They also print using only water-based, eco-friendly inks, use only 100 percent natural fibers, and even generate solar power for their electrical needs.

As a women-owned business, we learn so much from other women leading, growing, and thriving together. After almost 11 years, we are humbled and motivated by the reminder that success can be measured in many ways. Finding avenues to serve while accomplishing our business goals is always worth striving for. Thank you, Kei & Molly, for leading the way.

And a special shout out to the City for bringing lights to the park year-round! Charming and much appreciated!

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