We love how you say that you have "arrived at a place of creating with consciousness". How does this make your work easier or more fulfilling? Has it complicated your work at all?
Amy: The work is heartbased. It flows effortlessly from a place of love. I don’t really consider this “easy” but I do feel that it is joyful.
On different trajectories and timelines, you’ve both moved from L.A. down to New Mexico. The stunning topography and palettes of the desert seem integral to the Orenda Tribe perspective. How important is sense of place to your work?
Lily: Deciding to move to New Mexico has been very much this experience of creating space to grow, connecting with the earth, and learning more about my heritage and traditions. That has definitely influenced my work and focus in a way that’s very important to me.
Amy: It was deeply important for me to come home to the land of my ancestors, to reconnect and learn ancestral wisdom and the Diné lifeways. Being authentic has allowed me to focus.
How has this commitment to authenticity informed how and why you design the way you do?
Lily: It allows me to create things that bring me joy and not let the pressure of what others think affect my decisions as much.
Amy: It has eliminated noise. BE STILL and the EARTH will SPEAK TO YOU. This is everything. And it allows for our daily process: processing our emotions through color.
In terms of business-work and life-work, it is so marvelous (and rare) for mothers and daughters to be working together. How do you see the threads of matriarchy, femininity, and community in play through your work?
Amy: My work as a solutionary (a.k.a. a revolutionary problem solver/inventive activist) is completely focused on community. In response to the pandemic, we founded the Dził Asdzáán (Mountain Woman) Command Center, a collective of Diné matriarchs to spearhead grassroots efforts to bring aid. As women we are protectors. And women…well, we get sh*t done. We also are working with the Amá Dóó Áłchíní Bíghan (translation: Mother and Child, ADABI for short) domestic abuse shelter in Chinle, NM, which has seen both cuts to funding and an increase in need due to the pandemic. The women working at these shelters are our front line, ensuring that our Diné communities are safe and cared for. Our hope is to assure these matriarchs can continue their vital services to our communities…To share this journey with my own daughter has been truly amazing.