Cultural Cloth est. in 2009
founders Mary Anne Wise and Jody Slocum
Cultural Cloth is a social enterprise that works primarily with women artisans around the world who weave, quilt, embroider, stitch, hook, bead, print and dye handmade home décor and personal accessories. We sell their hand work in our online store and in our shop located in Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, population 99, on the shores of beautiful Lake Pepin on the Mississippi’s Great River Road.
Our passion is to travel the globe in search of marginalized artisans whose handwork merits a wider audience. With over 60 years of textile production experience between the two of us, including representation of our handwoven rugs in national design showrooms, we apply our expertise and offer training to these artisans. We work together to co-create products that retain cultural identity and, to create products that will meet with success in the global marketplace and thereby create revenue streams for the artisans and their families.
Our work is informed by Jody’s 25 year long volunteer work and friendships with Maya members of Farmer to Farmer, and, Mary Anne & Jody working together as co-founders of Multicolores, an artisan non-profit in Guatemala, established with Reyna Pretzantzin and Cheryl Conway Daly. Using locally sourced materials, through Multicolores we introduced rug hooking as an income earning opportunity to a group of Maya women in 2009. The project transformed lives and in 2019 Multicolores was recognized by the International Folk Art Market with their Community Impact Award. (Mary Anne’s award winning book, co-authored by Cheryl Conway Daly, Rug Money: How A Group Of Maya Women Changed Their Lives Through Art and Innovation tells the story of this work, published by Thrums Books, 2018.)
Mary Anne Wise, President & Co-Founder
Mary Anne Wise is an esteemed American textile artist, curator and visionary advocate for indigenous textile traditions. She is nationally recognized as an accomplished weaver, inspired creator of one-of-a-kind hooked rugs, and, as a rug hooking design teacher.
Her work is in numerous corporate and private collections throughout the US. In 2009 she co-founded Cultural Cloth to promote sales that support women textile practitioners from around the world including her Guatemalan rug-hooking students.
Jody Slocum, Operations & Co-Founder
Jody Slocum worked as a rug weaver for over 15 years. She studied weaving and dying in Japan. She has traveled extensively throughout the developing world. The combination of her passion for social justice and textiles brought her to join the NGO Farmer to Farmer in 1992. For over 20 years Jody has been on the board of directors of Farmer to Farmer. Today that work focuses on selling coffee grown by Mayan women farmers and raising money for school scholarships for Maya families in Guatemala.
In 2009 she co-founded Cultural Cloth to promote sales that support women textile artists from around the world.