Interview with MADRE Founders Shay Carrillo and Jeanie Kirk
In celebration of our first The Post Supply x MADRE Napkin Collaboration we sat down with the Founders of MADRE to discuss their values, motherhood, capitalism and the future of linen in the USA. We adore their ethos, their products and we hope you enjoy learning more about this incredible brand and these female leaders.
Where to start - there are so many incredible qualities that set MADRE apart - the design and aesthetics, of course, in addition to the stunning linen. We use MADRE everyday in our homes for these reasons but we also stand behind your philosophies and would love to hear more. How and why does MADRE source and produce domestically grown, processed, woven and sewn here in the US?
Currently, MADRE’s linen is grown in Belgium, and produced in Lithuania. Woven in a mill that runs on green energy, it is also Oeko-Tex certified. That said — we (Shay and Jeanie) dreamt up the idea for MADRE in 2019 from a simple premise: to create linen home essentials that are as close to 100% domestic as possible, meaning: grown, processed, woven, and sewn here in the United States. We soon learned that our now friends and linen collaborators, Shannon and Angela, of Fibrevolution and the North American Linen Alliance (NALA), had already begun to trailblaze pathways towards restoring and re-shoring the long-dormant American linen industry, right here in Oregon. Now, we are working with folks across the continent towards welcoming flax back to the Pacific Northwest and the day when all of our linen products will be created with domestic linen. We think about MADRE in several ways, and one of them is as an educational tool: until Oregon linen is rolling off the looms, each and every MADRE purchase serves to signal to the farmers, state, and myriad other linen industry stakeholders that the demand for Oregon linen is steadily growing.
As mothers, how does mothering, creating a home and setting a table "ripple outward" and impact our family and the world? Why is it important to "set a table"?
As two women deeply stirred by mothering, both beauty + breakdown, homemaking, and food, nourishment is at the very center of MADRE the brand. The inverse of "hurt people hurt people" might be: "nourished people nourish." In this way, we get to this idea that a nourished home can ripple outwards to support and honor our children, our collective human family, and the natural world. Setting a table allows for moments of intention before gathering your family and friends for a meal. We set our tables, and try to gather our families for dinner together each night. At its simplest, a napkin is really very utilitarian. First folded with your utensils atop, it transforms, becoming a vehicle to wipe your hands and face, a catchall for inevitable spills, a tool to clean a messy baby. MADRE lets you bring some beauty into these moments of intention, connection, and nourishment.
We all eat, and we all rest, therefore MADRE strives to offer linen home essentials that support food, rest, and our community.
Can you speak to your anti-racism stance as it relates to themes of decolonization and dismantling capitalism and the patriarchy?
We are keenly aware of the difficulty that comes with working to dismantle white supremacy, which truthfully requires the complete destruction of capitalism and the dreaming of something new, and also needing to house/feed/clothe/support our families. MADRE is committed to listening, to decolonizing our own ways of being in the world, and to continually striving towards anti-racism.
MADRE is a feminist brand committed to embodying our aspirations for a feminine economy. We believe we are mutually indebted to each other and to our one true madre: MAMA EARTH. Therefore, we commit to our customers, to our partners, to ourselves, and to the plants, lands, and waters, to embrace the obligation of our core values: integrity, honesty, transparency, collaboration, and radical inclusivity.