Arlington-based sisters Melody Parry Jones, 34, and Lindsey Parry, 32, spent six childhood years in Panama. So when Parry was looking for where to start her educational nonprofit, Sowing Seeds of Love (SSOL), the answer seemed obvious.
“I was living in Florida, working in the corporate world and felt a calling on my life to do something radical and different,” says Parry, who worked with a nonprofit in Guatemala before starting SSOL in 2011.
The clothing company Parry hoped would fund SSOL did not take off, but the nonprofit lives on through the sisters’ online lifestyle boutique, Luna Blu Mar, named after the sisters’ love of Panama, Florida beaches and Spanish. (Jones speaks some and Parry is fluent.)
“Jericho, my daughter, drooled and spit up all the time, and we just couldn’t find anything cute that would go with her outfits and look pretty,” says Jones, a mother of three, of their inspiration.
The sisters initially had the Panamanian women Parry worked with sew the bibs and burp cloths, but as sales increased after their August 2016 launch, the duo moved manufacturing to the U.S. The women in Panama continue to teach community sewing classes.
Today, an Alexandria seamstress creates the bibs and burp cloths, and a Los Angeles manufacturer handles bulk orders. The sisters also sell essential oils and shirts for women and kids purchased from Royal Apparel and Alternative Apparel, then screen-printed through Arlington’s Dynamic Advertising Solutions. Products can be purchased online, at pop-up shops or from retailers such as Arlington’s Covet, Nook and Xtend Barre.
A percentage of all sales support SSOL, whose scholarships help those living off of less than $2 per day purchase required school supplies for their children.
In February, Luna Blu Mar launched its Game Changer campaign to recognize uplifting, inspirational women, and in March launched a collection of T-shirts promoting positivity. This summer, the sisters plan to debut a new print, something they do twice per year.
“It was always one of our top priorities to have a company that contributed to the world, made a difference and had an impact,” Parry reflects. “It’s been this really beautiful evolution to see everything that [has] happened.” // lunablumar.com