When I asked my friend, Kate, to model Ibu, I knew that I was getting not only a beautiful blonde, but a woman of substance and style. Kate Nevin is a true ibu, having turned her considerable energies on the gentrifying Upper Peninsula of Charleston, founding non-profit Enough Pie to bring creativity and connection to the underserved residents there in the midst of rapid change.  

Kate slipped on the fresh, colorful ikat skirt, above, which we designed with a little flounce peeking out above her booties - thereby multiplying the fun and flair. Adorable. Then she turned to her daughter, Grace, and wrapped her in whatever Ibu she could find until she looked as smashing as Mom.  

Across the Atlantic in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Muhayo Aliyeva and her team of women are whipping up more skirts for Ibu like the one Kate is wearing. We sat together last summer in Santa Fe, sketching new dresses and skirts in her notebook, while her daughter, Mohinur, experimented with her own drawings nearby. I was floored to see up close the creativity of this woman’s imagination poured out in her private pages, the sharpness of her business acumen, the strength in her marketing. All of this she has done on her own to support Uzbek women, some of whom are forbidden to leave their own home, and to support her daughter, who wants to one day to be like her brave mother, owning a business of her own.

When I see the light in a daughter’s face, basking in the radiance of her mother, I understand how Ibu women inspire the next generation to unfold their own remarkable gifts. This is a valentine mothers daily shape for their children - the gift of selfhood and sovereignty.

Mohinur’s name means the light of the moon. Grace’s name means, well. . . could it be more lovely? To know that these two girls are growing in grace, led by the light of the moon, connected to one another through our movement, and walking into a wider world where they belong to one another . . . this gives me such pleasure and hope. I had to share.  

All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker