After teaching in Madrid, Spain and earning a master's degree in fashion management from SKEMA Business School in Sophia Antipolis, France, world-traveler and designer Katie Schmidt landed in New Orleans, where she was director of Tulane's IN Exchange shop from June 2011 to May 2013. The nonprofit shop sells fair-trade crafts from around the world. This year, Schmidt branched out with her own ethical women's apparel line, Passion Lilie (www.passionlilie.com). She designs the patterns and fair trade-certified groups in India create the finished product.
All garments are hand-woven and many employ hand-block printing in which hand-carved teak blocks are dipped in dye and used to stamp a design on cotton or silk fabric. Schmidt says she is glad she can provide a commercial demand for the ancient Indian artform.