bandana story: All Y'all

bandana story: All Y'all

by jenni earle

The second new style of the season is ALL Y’ALL! 

The best-known word in the southern vernacular is y’all. But if you are speaking to a larger crew you gotta go one step further and use, all y’all. While y'all may refer to an indefinite set of members of a group, some have defined it as 5 or less, but ‘all y'all’ definitively includes everyone.

A little personal history with the phrase: I have long been wanting to use the mantra “fuck all y’all,”... ya know, for the holidays. But it just never felt quite right. I’m the first one to throw out a “fuck all y’all” when someone says i can’t do something or there’s too many opinions in a room and i can’t hear myself think! 

I say it mostly in my head, but it has become a phrase that gets me back to square one, back to my voice and style. 

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But it doesn’t read that way to everyone. Also, I didn’t start this company and begin to build this brave community to create negative mantras... SO it evolved into “All Y’all” and I’m so happy it did. 

I was meditating on the phrase, which is often how I start the design process and I began to feel a warm sensation. I was raised by hippies so I have long been a believer that we are all one. 

All Y’all, within this meditation, started to feel like a beam of light reaching out from my heart to the wide world. 

If you are a lil’ woo woo like myself, you know that the heart chakra is green so that light was like a big floodlight of cool green light. It made me know that we would be connecting our brave hearts together as we step into this new decade! 

The illustrated part of the design came from another kind of “all y’all,” my family. We are southern West Virginian 6 generations back. We come from hard-working, common-sense over-book-smarts type of people. As I’ve told you, my grandfather Earl has always carried bandanas and hankies with him. So for Christmas, he and his brother worked together to find some of HIS father’s bandanas! My great grandfather, D. F. Puckett, had a stack of bandanas that were used so much and washed so thin they feel like touching a cloud! They are stacked on my chest of drawers now and I touch them every morning and feel him there with me. 

The day after Christmas, my special someone and I took a trip to the beach. I took the bandanas with me so I could study them like an archaeologist. I laid them out on the floor of our airbnb and with my sketchpad handy, drew parts from each design. There’s one bandana that is so faded i could hardly make out the design so I laid it on top of a piece of white paper to distinguish the light blush from the white (I think it started out navy and white, if i had to guess.) I combed through the vintage designs and new patterns began to emerge that became a part of this new bandana. Each line and leaf and moment is mined from my great grandfather’s bandanas. It made all the more meaning of the words “All Y’all”.

I see in this design, all the people who had come before me. Certainly, the people who have loved and fed and supported me thus far in my life. But also those who challenged me, like really challenged me to step up or step away, to redefine my beliefs because when tested, they just didn’t hold up. 

Those who were able to stay open and accepting of me as I fumbled my way through the darkness. Let’s not forget the writers, singers and artists that have shown me truth when I couldn’t quite articulate it for myself! ALL y’all! I mean ALL of ya have been meaningful as I navigate this life of mine. I hope that you can hold this bandana and be mindful of all the people who have helped you form your opinions of love and hope and kindness. I hope you can hold this and feel all the souls in this community that are rooting for you to be brave and dig down deep into that wild heart of yours and hear all it’s secrets. 

We are all one, all y’all. 

I’m so grateful for each and every one of y’all!

jenni earle

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