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AMMA trains and employs mothers living in the Sri Lankan highlands to turn food waste and plants into natural dyes. Sustainable textiles, ethically handmade.


Mother's Day : The Maker and the Collaborator

Mother's Day : The Maker and the Collaborator

AMMA was started to provide stable reliable income to mothers. We employ 4 mothers and 2 young women (who are working to support their mothers). The majority of the mothers we work with are in their 20s and over the years we have seen a really beautiful connection develop between the mothers we employ, the mothers who we collaborate with and those who purchase our products.

So, in this special Mother’s Day blog post we wanted to interview both the maker and the collaborator - a cross cultural merging of mothers from around the world.

Collaborator: Devi

Devi is a wonderful graphic designer and the founder of Sambol Foundation, an NGO based in Matara. We had the joy of making the soft furnishings for her beautiful guest house ‘Sambol Setting’.

Photo by corinne schädler

Photo by corinne schädler

Can you introduce yourself….

I am Devi, born 1985 in Colombo and given for adoption to Zurich, Switzerland as a baby. I graduated in graphic design and since 2014 I’ve been self-employed. In January 2018, my husband and I moved back to Sri Lanka, together with our first born daughter, Mayuri. In November 2018, I gave birth to our second daughter Inaya in Colombo. Currently, we are living in Matara, the south of Sri Lanka. Due to my background and the stories my biological mother has experienced, we started to develop a community center to empower women and a shelter for those mothers who need to live in a secure place, because they suffer from domestic violence and sexual harassment. To be able to continue these projects for “Sambol Foundation“, which is registered in Switzerland, I still work as Graphic Designer.

What does an average day involve? Do you have a routine or is everyday different?

Due to the tight schedule of our daughter’s local kindergarten, we do have kind of a routine. Beside breastfeeding, cooking, teaching our puppies, cleaning, graphic jobs, working on the concept of "Sambol Foundation“, doing laundry, we also run a small beach bungalow in the south of Sri Lanka. Check-ins/check-outs, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to our beloved guests keeps us busy. This guesthouse we garnished with a lot of amazing stuff from AMMA.

What has been the most surprising thing about motherhood?

To give unfiltered, unconditional love, 24/7, which is the best thing ever.

Has becoming a mother changed how you feel about yourself?

Honestly I don’t feel that different. Probably I’m not that gangster anymore. We exchanged rap and dancehall lyrics for childish, dreamy songs.

Seriously, we continued our way of life - with a little more consequent and focus, but still with a lot of passion in what we are doing.

How did you hear about AMMA?

I researched about sustainable, handcrafted products from Sri Lanka, to fit up our guesthouse. The Team of AMMA and Josie’s wonderful project touched our hearts and matches perfectly with our ideology.


Makers: Kogila and Priya

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Can you introduce yourself…

My name is Kogila, I live on a tea estate close to Nuwara Eliya town and I have a son who is three years old and attends preschool. I have been working at AMMA for one year. I started working as a machinist at a garment factory when I was 17 years old but stopped working once I got married aged 20.

What have you enjoyed most about being a mother?

I like to care for my son, so I am really enjoying being a mother.

How has becoming a mother changed how you feel about yourself?

I feel happier, I like that I have progressed from being a daughter to a mother.

What is your favorite AMMA product to make?

The napkins!

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Can you introduce yourself…

I am Priya and I live on a tea estate which is 45 minutes away from the AMMA workshop by bus. I live with my husband’s family and our daughter. I grew up on the East coast of Sri Lanka and moved to Nuwara Eliya when I got married. AMMA is my first job and I started working at the age of 23.

What have you enjoyed most about being a mother?

It shows me how my mother cared for me, I want to care for my family the same way she did for hers.

How has becoming a mother changed how you feel about yourself?

I feel like I’ve been born again, that I am more valued.

What is your favorite AMMA product to make?

The patchwork quilts. When I make products for children, I think about the people who will be using them.




Collaborator: Rachel

Rachel is an artist and designer, who works with collage and drawing to produce beautiful prints and greetings cards under the name of Paper Covers Rock. Rachel is working with our naturally dyed fabrics to create designs that will be produced in the AMMA workshop by our team of mother makers.

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Can you introduce yourself…

Hello! My name is Rachel and I live on a leafy street in North London called Shepherds Hill. I share a flat on the fifth floor on an apartment building with my partner, Adam and our very busy ten-month old son, Isaac. At the moment, I enjoy taking Isaac to the park and meeting other mums and babies at the playgroups we attend. However, given a little time alone, I would probably go to a gallery, the cinema or simply enjoy a quiet, hot cup of coffee somewhere.

What does an average day involve? Do you have a routine or is everyday different?

Isaac was born on the 28th May last year and my days have certainly changed significantly since then. I find that most days look fairly similar with a baby but, as they are constantly developing before your eyes, you never quite know what surprises each day might bring. I find that little routines keep me sane so I start each day with a pot of coffee and we tend to always venture out, even if it is merely for a walk around the block. As I have gained my confidence, we have enjoyed trips further afield. I have loved showing Isaac different areas of London and taking him to some of the wonderfully baby friendly attractions that the city has to offer.

What has been the most surprising thing about motherhood?

Two things have really surprised me about motherhood. Firstly, the overwhelming, unconditional love and affection that I have for this little person but also how relentlessly hard it can feel. I don't think I was prepared for the complete spectrum of emotions that being a parent evokes, it is certainly the rollercoaster people describe.  

Has becoming a mother changed how you feel about yourself?

I think it is hugely empowering and has helped me put many other aspects of life into perspective. I have always worried unnecessarily about things being ordered and tidy: my home, appearance, work. However, Isaac is my priority now and other things often simply have to wait. I no longer sweat the small stuff.

How did you hear about AMMA?

AMMA and I were lucky enough to find each other through the inspiring world of Instagram. We share a love of delicate, muted colours and I have a great admiration for the skill and craftsmanship exhibited by Josie and the team at AMMA. I very much look forward to our upcoming collaboration, a collection of designs inspired by motherhood.


A huge thanks to Devi, Rachel, Priya and Kogila for sharing their thoughts on motherhood. We wish all the women who live out unconditional love on a daily basis a very happy Mothers Day, whatever your circumstances.

Priya and Kogila photos taken by Jordyn Saunders.

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