When I left 18 years of pastoral ministry behind not knowing what was next, I marked the end by planting my linen vestment in the ground. It seemed exactly the right thing to do – to return that good life to the earth with the hope that some new thing would spring from it.
Within months, clarity and a certain astonishment began to bloom about what was next. I would re-imagine vestments for the everyday moments in a woman’s life – ones that honor what is simple and true and real. I would wrap women in extraordinary garments made by global women artisans who still know the power of needle and fiber, warp and weft, hand and imagination.
At ibu, this is what we do. We clothe you . . . not with the latest consumer trend . . . but in timeless vestments made with hand and soul by which to re-imagine your days.
Vestments . . . starting with Vests.
Women are crazy about our signature Swing Vest (see top image). It seems to flatter everyone with its curves and undulations, it’s waterfall shawl collar, and it’s happy, colorful cloth – each one utterly unique.
For the young at heart, we created the Bella Bolero, which is all about fun. It seasons up even the simplest tee shirt and jeans.
And this fall, we’re introducing the Pocket Vest, which is all about, well, pockets! Great big delightful pockets that hold your mobile, keys, credit card, and lip touch-up so that you don’t even need to haul around a bag. Boxy and très chic.
All of these vests are made from hand-selected Kantha Cloth, which means that a woman in India has layered vintage cotton saris together (remnants of her past) and hand-sewn lines of running stitches through the layers until they are reborn newly, comfy, quiltish. A joy to wear.
At the ibu studio, we design and Jamie sews these into vestments for the everyday. So that you feel the difference – whether working a spread sheet, combing your daughter’s hair, or hopping on a plane – you know that any moment may be lit up, suddenly luminous. Because in all moments, no matter how ordinary, there is a fire at the center of your being wanting to blaze.
Which is exactly where the word vestment comes from: from Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth. Her attendants, known as Vestal Virgins, were charged with keeping the sacred fire going at all times. So, we, too, feed the fire at the center of our being. We in-vest in wonder. We cultivate humor. We breathe in light. We grow like a plant from roots tangled in all we left behind; tending the mystery of here, now, this unrepeatable moment. We dare to be lit from within. And to wear it out loud.