Join Living Threads Co., hosted by The George Washington University, as we engage in a panel discussion about the importance of the global artisan economy, the preservation of traditional artisan crafts, and the value of sustainable production.
AMANDA ZEHNER | Founder of Living Threads Co.
Amanda Zehner founded Living Threads Co. in 2014 with a mission to do good through small business, supporting artisans while directly connecting consumers with the women and men who weave. Through her work in the non-profit sector over the past 10 years, Amanda has been privileged to learn from and develop relationships with the amazing people that make up what is today our Living Threads Co. Amanda not only fell in love with the vibrant textiles that these groups create, but also with their stories, culture and the opportunity to empower them through the support of their work and businesses. Today Amanda travels the world building and sustaining these relationships through partnerships, training, microcredit, and investments in the Living Threads Co. community.
AMANDA FLAYER | Co-Founder of La Puerta Abierta Learning Center | Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala
Amanda taught bilingual elementary education in Oakland, California. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a focus in education and Spanish. Amanda arrived in Guatemala in 2003 as a Peace Corps volunteer. While she never imagined that she would be planting her roots in rural Guatemala, she couldn’t be happier living in a colorful rural village with her husband, two rambunctious daughters and equally rambunctious dogs. Amanda is Founder and Co-Director of La Puerta Abierta, a local center dedicated to early childhood education and primary school, where she spear headed the formation of the Mother’s Artisan Group, a partner of Living Thread Co. She also coordinates all staff and programs in Guatemala for The Sparks Foundation. Amanda feels fortunate to have work that is creative, meaningful, and keeps her connected to the playful spirit of children.
ANA MESIA | Artisan & Early Education Support Staff | La Puerta Abierta
Ana Mesia from Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala is a Living Threads Co. partner artisan through the Puerta Abierta Learning Center. Ana is a teacher, a mother of two young children, and currently enrolled in university courses at the Universidad Panamericana de Guatemala. Ana self identifies as indigenous Maya and learned to embroider and weave on a traditional backstrap loom as a young child. Today Ana is an expert in her hand craft of embroidery, passionate about education, and a valued partner, educator and artist.