The SamSara Story
Samsara Gear was born out of a relationship between a father and a daughter. Alex died in June 2016 by suicide at 32 after a twenty-year battle with an eating disorder. Her father, Frank, became determined focus awareness about the peril of an eating disorder. He also wanted to raise funds to provide educational resources and foster medical research about the underlining causes of eating disorders. But how ?
In 2018, Frank traveled to Nepal retracing Alex’s incredible journey undertaken when studying abroad in 2004. He visited sites where she prayed and scattered her ashes in the holy rivers of Kathmandu. Alex found connection and peace in the Himalayas. While on this trip, Frank also journeyed west to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Frank was riveted by Buddhist culture and the ancient tradition of weaving sheep and yak wool by back-strap loom. The resulting fabric is known as yathra. These textiles -vests, jackets, capes, shoulder bags, pocketbooks and yoga mat carrying bags- can be found nowhere else in the world. Frank sensed that the textiles in both Nepal and Bhutan could bring light, joy, optimism, and enlightenment to people in the USA, as they did for him.
Frank’s relationship with Alex was inextricably linked to their passion for Buddhism and yoga. Yoga was a major source of support for her eating disorder. Alex taught Frank poses and gave him a grounding he had never experienced before. With the Himalayas being the genesis of both yoga and Buddhism, the feeling Frank had for the people and their textiles intensified.
Frank envisioned a new fashion brand that would be stylistically and spiritually transcendent. In May 2019 Frank returned to the Himalayas and established relationships with local farmers, designers, weavers and tailors. Samsara Gear now has over 100 items on its eCommerce platform, www.samsaragear.com. Samsara Gear is donating a portion of all profits to organizations that raise awareness for and support recovery of Eating Disorders These include the Academy of Eating Disorders(AED), the Multi Service Eating Disorders Association(MEDA) and a charitable trust that he stood up in Alex’s honor, Heart Your Body.
Due to the relationships Frank cultivated in Bhutan, he is the only designer and importer of Bhutanese goods into the USA. His business partner resides in Bhutan, supporting capacity and production, including design and customization requests.
Today, SamSara Gear offers lines from both Nepal and Bhutan. Products from Nepal are moderately priced, their quality is superb, and their style is extraordinary. In addition to helping overcome eating disorders, every dollar spent aids the people there who endure poverty and human trafficking. From Bhutan, Samsara Gear offers a private label of enlightened fashion that is breathtaking and flattering. SamSara Gear designed and holds the intellectual property on patterns for its exclusive Life Vest from Bhutan,
SamSara Gear is flattering, high end fashion. The collections are from wool, cotton and silk, all hand-woven, and vibrant. It is truly enlightened fashion.
There is another dimension to this amazing fashion line that cannot be found anywhere else. Because the products are 100% sourced from Nepali and Bhutanese textiles - and because they’re handmade using traditional methods - they possess a spirit.
Indeed, “samsara” is the Buddhist concept of life - from birth to death to rebirth. Samsara Gear embodies this principle and the story of the human experience. The stories of the Himalayas, Frank’s connection with Alex, the stories of every weaver in Bhutan and Nepal, the stories of every person struggling to overcome eating disorders - they are all alive. Each deserves life and life needs them. This is SamSara Gear.
Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram @samsaragear.
Samsara Gear is a registered name of and owned by P3 Development Partners LLC.
Samsara Gear supports the Health at Every Size Initiative, HAES®, and accordingly will offer the Life Vest in all sizes. If a size is not presently available on the store site, we can order it from our weavers in Bhutan.
The Health At Every Size® Principles are:
- Weight Inclusivity: Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
- Health Enhancement: Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
- Respectful Care: Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
- Eating for Well-being: Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
- Life-Enhancing Movement: Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.