How It Began
In the mid 1970’s the seeds of Nomadic Traders took root in South America when Len Shemin and Anna Bridge crossed paths in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. In these happenstance meetings they discovered a common love of travel, textiles, and local cultures. This led to a lifelong relationship and ultimately, a business partnership.
In the early years, buying sweaters in the Bolivian markets was a week-long, dawn to dusk, odyssey of trying on every single item, carefully selecting only the finest alpaca handknits and accessories which we sold out of the back of our van at craft fairs and flea markets throughout Colorado and California. With a smile, we can recall memorable moments of quality control with Doña Ana, our original supplier in La Paz, in her hillside home, perched high above the city.
Initially, Nomadic Traders was a sweater company buying ethnic designs in local markets. But by 1981 we were ready to create our own products and our wholesale business was launched specializing in woolen handknits.
Fast forward to the early 90’s: lured by travelers’ tales of the mystery, beauty, and creativity of Bali, we decided to introduce a Spring line by working with the local artisans there. The outcome was a collaboration between their traditional techniques of batik and hand embroidery, and our knack for fresh interpretation to embrace fashion trends. As a result of this partnership, we designed a collection which not only bears the hallmark of comfort and style, but also allows centuries-old craftsmanship to flourish amid rapid changes in the world of clothing manufacturing.
The Current Moment
We’ve listened to the voices of our customers and responded to the call for “Made in America” goods. Since 2001 we’ve expanded into manufacturing our clothing in the San Francisco Bay Area by working closely with a few independent, locally-owned factories and using a variety of domestically-produced fabrics. Though the production platform is different, the collection stays true to our “Nomadic DNA”, producing clothing suited to the casual lifestyle of the contemporary woman.
Who We Are
Nomadic Traders is a small community of dedicated people. We value the importance of manufacturing quality products ethically and taking care of everyone who brings Nomadic Traders to life. The key to our continued success lies in the cherished relationships we have with stores, sales representatives, suppliers in different parts of the world, and of course, our loyal customers.