Where to eat, shop…and surf.READ MORE
“I kind of wanted to build houses,” explains Harper Poe, who got her start in construction and interior design but eventually tired of the job’s monotony. And while the penchant for laying cement didn’t last, the allure of building something with her hands most definitely did. Eager to get out of New York City for a stint, Harper took off for South America, on the hunt for some perspective and adventure. And while volunteering in Chile, she found both.“I fell in love with all the indigenous materials there, and I knew I wanted to do something with them,” Harper says. “I came back really inspired—but not sure how to turn that into a business.” Dozens of late-night brainstorming sessions later, she unveiled her line Proud Mary and established its guiding principle: “Pride, not pity.”She started in Guatemala, working with local artisans to celebrate traditional aesthetics and give them a modern spin. These days, Harper’s set up in five countries—which means some major travel. But you won’t hear her complaining about jet lag. “I have a serious case of wanderlust,” admits the designer, who now calls South Carolina home. “I was always anti being at a desk.” —mattie kahn
BEHIND THE SCENES
Get Outta Town Take an Awesome Trip to Cote d’Ivoire With Harper Poe
You’re gonna go nuts for the textiles she found.
This designer has gone global in a big way.