Designs With Heart: 01

Posted by Aliyah Fajardo on

"While dreaming up this boutique, I found myself inspired by so many of the incredible individuals that have touched my life and shaped me into the person that I am today. As a small dedication to them, I present Designs With Heart: A Series." -Aliyah Fajardo, Owner 
The Path to the Heart is through the Heart. 

The Nina Hive Path to the Heart Tee is one of my personal favorite designs. I've talked a few times about how each of our original designs has a bigger meaning and this one is no exception.

My Great-Great-Grandparents were Punjabi pioneers. My grandfather, Puna, was one of the first East Indians to come to America in the early 1900's, searching for a better life. He worked on the railroads, obtained citizenship, and eventually bought a piece of land in Sutter County, CA- a place that reminded him so much of his home in Punjab.

He started his family and began issuing loans to others back in India, so that they could come to America for a better life, too. The sense of community is something that my great-grandmother told me about often. It is everything that I want the Nina Hive Community to be.

In 1923, The Thind Decision stripped him of everything that he worked for, because of his race. Despite the enormous obstacles he faced following that, he persevered and eventually won his citizenship back and went on to become a successful farmer.

His wife, Nand Kaur, who I had the pleasure of getting lots of snuggles from as a baby- was no different. She was one of the first Punjabi women in the area and despite being a fish out of water- she made the best of it. She was lonely but went out of her comfort zone to make friends with the Mexican wives of other Punjabi farmers but always remained true to herself. Her strength and perserverance has inspired me throughout my life and I feel honored to be her granddaughter.

One thing that Nand Kaur and Puna were particularly passionate about was the Gadar Freedom Movement back home in India. They attended meetings and helped support India in the fight to gain freedom from British rule.

One thing, that I Iike to think I inherited from her, is a love for literature. She would read everything she could get her hands on and taught herself to speak English. She instilled that same love for reading in her daughter, who instilled it in me. Growing up, my great-grandmother (Nina) would pick me up from school and take me to her house where we would read for hours.

So when I decided to make t-shirts for Nina Hive, I knew I needed to include something for Nand Kaur.

The text printed on the shirt is a line from her favorite Gadar poem.

"The path to the heart is through the heart,
I come from the heart to you.
The Gadar workers have strung together choice flowers,
I am a beautiful, fragrant garland.
From the collected breath of the compassionate ones,
I have made a river of nationalism flow.
Selecting pearls from the seven seas,
I have created a precious necklace [of verse]."

I love this design, so much, and I hope that you all do, too.