Long Term Love Affair
In 1996, I left my career in banking for a short-term sabbatical in Mexico. My plan was to stay two weeks. I stayed a year.
Unexpectedly, I had fallen in love with San Miguel de Allende, taking art and language classes, as well as traveling throughout Mexico. When a dear friend arrived to see just exactly what her former corner-office-loving colleague was doing somewhere in the middle of Mexico, everything changed. Strolling the 17th century streets through the artisan shops and markets, she turned to me and said, “You know, your paintings are alright, but you have to get focused - this jewelry, it’s incredible. Start designing.” This was the spark that brought my business to life. After collaborating with master metalsmith artisans, my jewelry business took root. After a pause of dedicated time for family and motherhood, I’ve relaunched under the name Cornelia Lively, my grandmother’s name.
Behind the Name
Today Cornelia Lively is a living representation of the steadfast values my grandmother possessed. Her sense of style, elegance, love of travel, appreciation for textiles and jewelry, as well as her masterful skills at the sewing machine, will always be legendary in our family of Texas women.
Growing up making clothes with all of her family members, she could never have imagined that the clothing industry would some day become second only to petrochemicals in exacting harm on our environment. So, in this respect, the "why" of our business is inspired by someone who created beauty in clothing, but lived by "waste not, want not." Beauty we wear expresses who we are, but it’s our responsibility to make sure damage is not created for the sake of beauty.
Our Environmental Impact
Today what was a growing jewelry brand in Dallas in 1998 is reimagined with a broader mission, one in which our commitment to sustainability informs every design and every decision. Moreover, we remain firmly committed to the protection, support, and financial empowerment of the artisans with whom we partner. Using responsibly sourced metals in our jewelry, natural dyes and pedal loom methods in our textiles, and best practices sourcing for our limited-run dresses, we strive to be a part of a broader community of emerging brands dedicated to the slow fashion ethos.
So join us! Join us on the path, as we continually introduce an ever-evolving line of artisan jewelry, naturally dyed textiles from Oaxaca, and now, our capsule collections of slow fashion dresses made in both Denver and NYC.
Emily Greer Henderson
Founder, Cornelia Lively