There are people that come into our lives and completely change us. Maybe it’s a teacher or a coach who really believe in us and encourage us in ways others haven’t. Or maybe it’s a friendship… a friendship that starts under unusual circumstances or in a place you’d least expect… but that friend becomes someone who changes your life. That friend teaches you something about the world around you and teaches you something about yourself. That friend challenges you to do something radical… not in like that “party hard” way… but like, the world-changing, community building, life-altering way. Maybe it’s just that friend you can have real conversations with – that you can speak life and truth to… Can you think of that friend? Now, what if that friend didn’t even speak your native language?
My guest this week is Amy Blair, the founder of Batik Boutique! After moving to Malaysia in 2007, Amy befriended a single mother who helped to teach Amy the language and through their friendship, conversations, and the opening of doors, Amy began Batik Boutique… a business with a vision to provide sustainable income opportunities for women and artisans in Malaysia. I loved my conversation with Amy and I know you will too! Enjoy this episode!
Amy Blair is the Founder and CEO of Batik Boutique, an award winning social enterprise based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Amy has lived in Malaysia for 10 years with her husband and now 3 kids. Amy started Batik Boutique as a response to a gap in the local tourism market and the story of trying to help a local friend who was a single mother trying to make ends meet, and who happened to own a sewing machine.
Batik Boutique uses hand-dyed Malaysian textiles to impact the community by:
To date, there are over 150 artisans including batik producers and seamstresses trained. Amy saw the struggle of women, especially mothers, who did not have sustainable work opportunities, and she started a sewing training centre located in government subsidized housing to offer employment women in marginalized communities.
Amy leads her Batik Boutique team in corporate projects with companies like Volvo, BP, and Starbucks Malaysia supping customized corporate gifts. She worked to establish an international partnership with a US fashion label, establishing Batik Boutique the Malaysian artisan group. She was selected as “Top 50 Expatriates You Should Know” by the Expatriate Lifestyle magazine and was selected as Texas A&M University’s “Top 12 Under 12” Alumni for her contribution to empowering artisans globally.
Her life motto is: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” ~John Wesley, Theologian
You can purchase Batik Boutique products online and all products are available for shipping directly from the US. Use coupon code MOLLY20 for 20% off your purchase throughout the month of November.
Connect with Amy and Batik Boutique: