Earth Day, April 22, 2022
A message from Michelle Engel and Gina Pantastico,
Co-founders and Co-owners, Cloud9 Fabrics
We founded Cloud9 with a commitment to producing organic cotton fabrics and we have been doing so for over 13 years. You may not often hear us talk about our motivation, but it is not because it’s unimportant. From our perspective, it is just what we do and we don’t feel the need to boast about something that makes us who we are. Right now, however, we will take a moment to pat ourselves on the back, because over these last few years it has been a struggle to keep a business like ours afloat. As you probably know, organic cotton is more expensive to produce and therefore more costly to buy. Global rising inflation increases it further. Yet, despite the challenges we have stayed the course on products that are less harmful to the environment and we remain committed to thoughtful sourcing and production practices. Our world could use more kindness and compassion, and we genuinely feel that in our small way we contribute to that.
We feel great joy in offering beautifully-designed, high-quality fabrics with a conscience. Based on our history of success, we can see that you value our efforts, too.
Cloud9 continues for one main reason: You. We are grateful for the support you’ve given us. Thank you for the encouragement to go forward even when we felt it was a challenge. You give us optimism for the future.
When purchasing Cloud9 products, you are supporting a team of seven energetic women who drive Cloud9 through their boundless talents. Consider all the things that need to happen in order to run an international fabric company: design, production, sales, distribution, marketing and communication. All of that, and more, is carried out by just a handful of committed people. We hope it’s apparent that all of us here love what we do.
When we, Michelle and Gina, struck out on our own, we promised ourselves to create a pleasant working environment in reaction to the hectic 9-6 jobs we held in New York City for years. We value family, mental health, flexibility and down time, for ourselves and our team. Even during the pandemic, we tried to float above the current with resiliency and lightness. We did what we could to keep the product moving, but we always put our staff first despite the challenging setbacks of the times. We are so thankful to each of the hard-working women who helped us keep our fabric available to you.
After 13 years, we are delighted with the business and work environment we have created, the connections and relationships we have built, and the product we continue to produce. And we’ll say it: we’re proud of ourselves; two women who wanted to do our part for the world by producing mindful materials.
At Cloud9, there are three ideals we strive to stand behind.
MINDFULNESS – Life is a series of choices. What we choose to say, how we act and what we do have impact. The products we choose to use matter. Being MINDFUL requires a moment of reflection or contemplation in order to put one’s best foot forward and it rewards all.
KINDNESS is imperative when we interact with all living creatures including ourselves. Unfortunately, we haven’t always shown kindness to the Earth. Although she can be amazingly resilient, that does not give us license to abuse the planet we call home.
CONSIDERATION – Being CONSIDERATE is placing the interests of others before one’s own. A thoughtful word, an outstretched hand or a moment of empathy enriches us far more than living only for ourselves. Choosing practices that are less damaging to the Earth benefits us all and is an experience that can feed the soul.
Thanks for listening. We have to get back to work!