What you see is not just a simple scarf. It is part of a larger story – one that has brought together experienced Nepali artisans with globally renowned calligraphy artists whose work is featured on Schalmauer products. Together, they have created a unique handmade pashmina scarf, infused with vibrant colors and extraordinary artwork. Every scarf has a message and a story that wants to be told!
Schalmauer is a German word that officially translates into Sound Barrier. In the adaptation of the word, Ranya Nehmeh, who studied at the London School of Economics and currently lives in Austria, brings together two concepts that are at the very heart of what Schalmauer wants to do – producing high end scarves -Schal – breaking down cultural walls and barriers of poverty – Mauer
It started on a recent trip to Nepal, through a chance encounter; Ranya met a local man employed in the pashmina industry. After spending some time with him, he showed her around the working site, where she witnessed the pashmina making process from start to finish. This was such an eye-opening experience, and it’s not every day that one gets to see how high quality products are made. As interesting as that was, it was the women working in this industry that left the most lasting impression on her – disadvantaged, uneducated and barely managing to sustain themselves and their families. It was then that the idea of Schalmauer was created – what if she was able to create a product that combines art and fashion with our desire to help those less fortunate?
At Schalmauer, the artisans of Nepal – mostly women – are at the core of this story. They are the ones who make the whole cycle of breaking down these walls and barriers possible. With every scarf you buy, you will be contributing towards improving their working and living conditions by providing them with opportunities to increase their skills. You are not only empowering them, but also increasing their future employability.
“I like knowing who made my scarf.”
– Cynthia Samuel
The scarves themselves cater to different styles and tastes. For the “Schal Art” collection (scarves with artwork), Schalmauer has cooperated with Rachel Mohawege, a Lebanese artist and other two remarkable artists, with Middle Eastern origins. Their signature calligraphy artwork is featured on the scarves. At the center of these pieces is the universal theme of love. Ranya credits her Lebanese roots for appreciating this type of art and being inspired by the flowing forms and complex shapes of Arabic calligraphy. In fact, the visual beauty and intricate detail of this art form allows everyone to enjoy it, even those who don’t read or speak the language.
“I think Arabic calligraphy can be used as a means to bridge the cultural divide between Europe, where I am based, and the Middle East, where I am from,” said Ranya.
The added value of a Schalmauer scarf is therefore that it provides customers – or Ambassadors – as they like to refer to them, with a wearable piece of art that also gives back to the artisans.
Be part of the journey…