Kera Thompson: Interwoven

Kera Thompson didn’t set out to start a business, it just blossomed in the most organic way possible; following her passion. As an American lifestyle blogger chronicling mommyhood and running, she started to write about her new expat life in Abu Dhabi. With a background in interior design, Kera was drawn to the local souks, sharing artisanal finds with her readers. Of particular interest were the textiles she unearthed – kashmiris, kilims, kanthas. This proved to be a common thread (pun intended, sorry) with her social media followers, who wanted to get their hands on the same pieces. Thusly, Interwoven was born.

Working her way up from local merchants to connect directly with suppliers around South Asia and the Middle East, Kera has spent the last year personally curating a stunning collection of rugs, pillows, throws, and quilts, many of which are one-of-a-kind.

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What has been the most rewarding thing about your journey?

The exposure I’ve had to the textile artisans of the Middle East. I had no idea there was such history and beauty literally woven into everyday fabrics. And I’m not the only one, so connecting west with the east felt like a natural step. Also, as I got to meet almost all of the artists themselves, I’ve seen the pride they have in their work and I try to tell the stories and show the places behind each piece. Connecting everyone, hence, Interwoven.

What has been the most challenging thing?

Looking back, it honestly hasn’t been very “challenging” in the typical sense. This is something I love, a real passion. I guess the hardest thing to do is controlling and running the entire process. Not just the fun parts where I get to travel, play with gorgeous textiles, and meet with my suppliers. But also overseeing the marketing, personally styling each and every piece, and dealing with accounting. Staying motivated to do what doesn’t come so naturally to me.

What would you love to learn?

To dance like Beyonce. No, really. I’d also love to be able to draw and paint, but honestly: Beyonce.

If we invested AED 1 million into your company, what would you do with it?

I would hire a videographer and travel to the source to tell their stories. Right now I’m the only one who gets to sit and listen and I share as much as I can with my customers, but having video would be priceless. I’d also fund my next travel goal to the Atlas mountain range in Morocco for a buying trip.

What book would you recommend?

Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts) really echoed with me, but honestly, I would urge, beg, plead, and bribe anyone in the creative field to watch the TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love). Her words came at a time when I needed it the most and have become my touchstone of creative energy.

What is your favorite indulgence?

As a mom of three kids, it would have to be getting a little spa time.

All images were provided by and copyrighted to Interwoven
Note: This interview was originally published in the April 2014 issue of the Moms Guide Newsletter

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