Jacaranda Living is a privately held company founded by Cathy and Martin Deale in 2004. It is headquartered in Wellesley, Massachusetts (a suburb of Boston). Cathy and Martin were born on the Kwa Zulu Natal coastline of South Africa and grew up there until 1997 when they moved with their two young children to live in Boston, Massachusetts. Cathy has always had a passionate interest in fine linens and enjoyed doing her own needlework. Jacaranda Living has enabled Cathy to convert her passion into a thriving North American business that also helps support producers whose personal circumstances are less fortunate than ours.
It all started with Cathy’s admiration for the high quality of workmanship produced by talented local Zulu women along the South African coastline. She became determined to try and help them expand their market horizons beyond South Africa. Jacaranda Living (named after a beautiful lilac flowering tree that is prolific in South Africa) was established to support these many wonderful people and their families, who suffer daily with financial hardship and live in an environment that is further compromised by crime and AIDS.
On a trip back to South Africa, Cathy suggested to some embroiderers that she show their beautiful linens to some shops in North America. Of course they were delighted. So, armed with her basket of samples, Cathy walked in and out of gift stores on Newbury St in Boston and nearby Wellesley in Massachusetts. The first orders brought “whoops” of delight, and even more so when those shops reordered after selling out of their towels in only a few weeks.
From those humble beginnings, the company has been able to expand its product mix and introduce other items made by different groups of African women living under similar circumstances. More recently, new items made by women in other countries have been added. All our products are made of natural fabrics - pure cotton, linen, bamboo and silk. Our look is classic European – beautiful embroidery both by hand and machine, whispers of cotton lace, applique or simply unembroidered. In every case we strive to remain true to our mission – to produce beautiful, high quality linens and gifts in a socially responsible environment.
Cathy, Martin and the Jacaranda Living team are committed to supporting their customers with outstanding service. Martin handles business development, marketing, strategic organization and direction. Cathy's tireless energy focuses on the fun part of client interaction and product development. "It's a happy, exciting and fun place to work because our clients have become our best ambassadors" says Cathy.
We hope our products bring a little joy to your home; we know your support will enrich the lives of the women who made them.
Cathy and Martin Deale