Charllotte and Sophena Kwon. Together they are a dynamic teaching team with decades of natural dye experience and a long history working with artisan dyers.
Charllotte is the owner of Maiwa Handprints Ltd. and the director of the Maiwa Foundation. Through Maiwa, Charllotte also runs a textile archive and research library located on Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada. Under her direction Maiwa has produced four documentary films and a number of print publications. She also guides Maiwa’s substantial online presence.
Charllotte travels extensively each year to research handcraft, work alongside artisans and master craftspeople, and to supplement her natural dye research. Always looking to extend natural dye use, she also teaches dyeing workshops with artisans around the world and has planned a series of natural dye master classes to bring exceptional artisans together.
Sophena grew up with Maiwa as the family business. She has learned much from the artisans Maiwa collaborates with (including master dyers in India, Africa, Peru, and Mexico) and from experimenting alongside her mom, Charllotte.
In 2009 Sophena studied with Michel Garcia in France. She has taught natural dye workshops with Charllotte (including at the Penland School of Craft and at Shakerag Workshop U.S.A.), and developed and taught workshops for the Maiwa School of Textiles. In an effort to bring natural dyeing to a new audience, she founded the immensely successful Indigo Social in 2015. In 2016 Sophena was invited to present at the Mood Indigo Exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. In addition to her natural dye work, Sophena is a skilled photographer and is the lead designer behind Maiwa’s clothing collections.