Behind the Scenes at OE...Finding the Inspiration for our Collections

From the Runway to One Earth: finding inspiration for our collections

Discover how Terri-Lynn, one of our OE founders & Lead Designer, translates the latest trends to create one-of-a-kind pieces made by Artisans around the world.


When you begin to create a One Earth Collection, what inspires you?

I keep an eye on the runways of the world and visit the fashion capital cities of Europe often to have a first hand view of new designs.  I also love the designs and classic look of Kate Spade's pieces.  

Colours are also so important!!!  Both Bolds & Pastels find their way into our Collections.  Our Lala Satchel from Peru is a beautiful blend of many pastels from the colour wheel.  Our Casablanca and Ankle Wrap Flats from Morocco are bold and beautiful.  The One Earth woman, loves both.  

Patterns and design elements that pay hommage to the culture they are being created by is a cornerstone of our designs.  For example, our Leca Pouches have design elements that allow you to see the village they were handcrafted in.  


Tell me more about the design process. How do you translate trends to One Earth pieces?

I always start with thinking about our One Earth World Changing Consultants and their Clients, what do they love to wear and use?  From colours to fabrics, what do they love?  Knowing the trends is important, being able to balance them with the abilities of our Artisan Partners and the realities of North America and its climate is key. 

Our Collections contain so many colour and material stories. This season, we collaborated with Artisans in Peru to combine tagua and acai seeds. We worked with them to make some tagua seeds look unfinished and rough and others smooth and silky creating a diverse and unique look.  

To translate inspiration into new pieces, we sketch designs by hand. We bring these detailed designs to our artisan partners, and then they make samples for us all to look at. We then collaborate on process to improve the designs and functionality of each piece. We truly collaborate until each piece is just right!


Pastel was a huge trend on the runways for this season. How did you bring these softer colors into One Earth's collection?

I love pastel colours so this part was fun for me!! 

Jewellery and accessories are a great way to try a trend and match it with your current wardrobe. Our Inspire Necklace is a beautiful example.  The wire work is exquisite and the bead work matches everything! It is a piece you can just throw on, whether dressy or casual and feel good. It’s also easy to layer with other styles, and the colours go with everything.  Our Traditional Berber is an everyday scarf with flair. The pink or yellow colours are so easy to wear with everything!

Our new Clara Belts are a brilliant example of blending pastels with neutrals to create a beautiful on-trend look.  


As a founder of One Earth, you have the opportunity to travel the world to collaborate with artisans. Are some of your designs inspired by what you see on these trips?

I have the best job in the world!  Yes! Absolutely!  Being able to experience first hand,  new cultures, traditions and tastes can't help but inspire you to share and create.  

Spending so much time with our Artisan Partners in their workshoppes is such a blessing to the overall design process.  


How does One Earth’s commitment to long-term partnership with artisan partners influence your design process?

When I start to design a piece, you have to think about how we can create sustainable work for different artisan businesses. We know what different artisan groups are good at and what materials they have available.

If we want to work with Inca silver or woven pieces, it will be from Peru. Most of our leather and sequin work comes from Morocco.  Our hand blown glass work from China.  Knowing your Partners is important.

Always remembering that by partnering with artisan businesses over many seasons, we can help them grow their skill level, businesses and help their communities is so very important to the process. 

Is creating consistent colour stories a challenge?

Absolutely, Yes, we work with over 20 artisan businesses in 3 countries. Each country has it’s own way of specifying colour in design as well as the process to get to that colour. Depending on what materials each artisan has available, it can be challenging to match our colours. We communicate alot and show real life examples of the colours we like, we find this helps alot.  :)


Tell me about your favourite One Earth pieces.

Of course, I love them all!!  

I wear our Moroccan Silk Scarf and our Weave earrings all the time! Our Casablanca Flats are always on my feet and I carry everything daily in either one of our Everything Baskets or our Moroccan Carpet Tote.  Our MCT is made from up-cycled Moroccan Wedding Blankets.  I love that!!  I always use our Argan Spa Products as well!!   

Meet Terri-Lynn Woodhouse

Terri-Lynn is One Earth’s Co-Founder and Lead Designer. Terri-Lynn loves ethical fashion and working with our Consultants and Artisan Partners to grow their businesses. Outside of work, Terri-Lynn can be found playing tennis, drinking wine, watching documentaries and exploring her hometown of Niagara on the Lake with her dog Trudeau.

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