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24 Hours with Boriya & Co.

A Day in the Life of Macrame Artist Amie Philliips

Article by Kelli Ruhl

Photography by Brit Tucker

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

The story of Boriya and Co. is as layered and intricate as the macrame pieces its founder, Amie Phillips, creates. Phillips, who has long been a versatile artist, began Boriya after spending three years living between India and Colorado, as she ran a non-profit income generation project for Rajasthani women in the South Asian country. Born of the convergence of Phillips desire to earn an income while staying home with her then six-month-old, and her wish to continue her work with her community in India, Boriya was for its first year a platform for the artwork of India’s Jogibasti community. Eventually, it became clear that it was easier for the Jogibasti women to sell their wares directly to tourists, and so Boriya evolved into a channel for Phillips’ own creations. Phillips was drawn into the world of macrame after seeing beautiful pieces showcased on social media, and she utilized her background as a river guide—and the extensive knowledge of knots it had imbued her with—she began to make pieces of her own. Three years in, Phillips now spends her days juggling life as a wife, mother and small business owner. As if her various wholesale accounts and the slew of custom and commercial projects on her plate don’t keep her hands busy enough, the artisan also teaches macrame workshops multiple times a month. In the years to come, Phillips hopes to find herself living in the mountains with her family, with a full-fledged studio, a few co-workers, and, hopefully, the opportunity to once again work with her community in India. In the meantime, her days are full to the brim, as she good-humoredly explains: “the phrase ‘a woman’s work is never done’ ran through my head before I became an entrepreneur, but now it’s reached a whole new level!”

7:00 AM: Wake up to the song “Staring at the Sun” by TV on the Radio and hit snooze.

7:10 AM: Time to really get up. Pull back blackout curtains to let the sun in, do some asanas and read the daily liturgy in Book of Common Prayer while the tea kettle heats.

7:20 AM: Open the front door to get a few breaths of cold fresh air and greet the day. Back to my closet to pull on my “work uniform”: a pair of Madewell overalls I wear more often than not and a goldenrod t-shirt.

7:30 AM: Putz into the kitchen to make my usu-mate’ latte with grass-fed butter and a green smoothie (flax milk, handful of greens, half an avocado, spoonful of almond butter, half a banana and collagen) and start eggs and toast for Imogen and Michael.

8:00 AM: Wake Imogen (my spunky and sweet 3.5-year-old) up, snuggle her then talk her into putting on daytime clothes.

8:20 AM: Pack Imogen’s lunch while she eats in the sunny breakfast nook and finish getting her ready for school.

8:45 AM: Take Imogen to preschool—it’s called Parents Day Out, and I sure take them up on that.

9:00 AM: Scan Classpass to pick a yoga/barre class. Decide on Samadhi Vinyasa 9:30-10:30 sesh.

10:45 AM: Drop off wholesale plant-hanger order at Green Lady Gardens (great new houseplant shop on Santa Fe).

11:30 AM: Back at my home studio. Look over planner and flowchart to prioritize what I need to accomplish today.

11:45 AM: Check some emails while snacking on celery and almond butter. Get an email from California requesting a custom plant hanger to accommodate a large, sprawling plant. Yes, I can do that! Get measurements and send design ideas.

12:00 PM: Email Delanie at The Craftsman and Apprentice about spring macrame workshops. Turn on new Gregory Alan Isakov album “Evening Machines” and squeeze in an hour and a half on a custom wall hanging (a birthday gift for someone’s wife—how sweet!).

1:30 PM: Lunchtime: chicken over beetroot and greens salad with lemon juice and olive oil.

1:45 PM: Imogen is home from preschool. Quiet time for her and productivity time for me (more macrame).

3-5 PM: Another yerba mate’, dabble at my projects while juggling Imogen, household chores and dinner prep.

5:00 PM: Dinner with Michael and Imogen. We eat a regular favorite: buffalo burgers over spaghetti squash with cilantro pesto.

5:45 PM: Follow dinner with homemade spiced hot cocoa to satisfy my chocolate craving.

6:00 PM: Play a couple of rounds of speed scrabble with Michael before the bedtime/clean-up swap.

6:30 PM: I take dishes, Michael ushers Imogen to get her ready for bed. 

7:00 PM: Imogen's bedtime. Clean up the lingering toys and socks and return to finish the wall hanging.

8:00 PM: Pull out another ongoing custom project—a giant textile rainbow for a hip family’s LA home. As I work, I shuffle through podcasts before turning on the next episode of Tidying Up. I have only succeeded in “Marie Kondo-ing” what we affectionately refer to as “Mt. Saint Laundry” thus far.

10:00 PM: Brew a cup of tulsi tea while chatting with Michael, then curl up to read the book my friend Lisa Gungor recently published: The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen.

11:00 PM: Hit-the-hay.

  • On finding inspiration: “Leonard Cohen said it best when he said, 'if I knew where inspiration came from, I’d go there more often.' I do try to make space for quiet, so I can listen for the ideas as they come. I find when I fill my world with noise that it taints my ability to be guided by creative inspiration and Spirit.”
  • Five words to describe yourself: “Amiable, adventurous, nurturing, free-spirited, resourceful.”
  • What’s in a name? “Boriya is a berry that grows in northwestern India’s harsh, desert climate. Originally when I started, I was working with women from Rajasthan, and they reminded me of the succulence of this fruit-thriving regardless of the desert climate and lack of opportunity.”