Fragrance in the Desert by Debbie Fowler


Darn Good Yarn is pleased to announce that we will be partnering with author Debbie Fowler to sell her book, Fragrance in the Desert, that raises awareness of human trafficking issues. Debbie shared a bit about herself, her book, and how she came to find Darn Good Yarn. Enjoy!

Hi! I’m Debbie Fowler.

Because I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, I am writing here today to share what has profoundly changed my life. And you may very well wonder what this has to do with fiber, felting, and knitting.

I like all things artsy, crafty, and messy. My bookshelves will tell you that I want to try it all. I paint with water color and acrylics and finger paint when the grandkids come. I know how to crochet, but knitting is still frightening. There are books on how to write books and make books. The drawers in my desk are full of pencils and markers, stencils and stickers. Art journaling is fun with crazy collage stuff found in the back yard and using magic markers, colored pencils, gel pens etc. I sew. There are shelves of fabric (the stash) and baskets of yarn and embroidery projects. My oldest daughter told me several years ago upon surveying the conglomerate of stuff in my craft room that I should focus. My comment to her was that wouldn’t be any fun and besides, “You kids are out on your own. I can do what I want now!” I had the best laugh just the other day when she told me her craft room looks like it has ADHD. Now she gets it!

I live in the country, Galway, NY, on a little over an acre about a 20 minute drive to something going in any direction. We like it. My husband is an artist of sorts too….his canvas is the yard. It is wonderful! We have gardens in the front yard and in the back, he is building a pond and there is a fire pit and lots of room for our dog, Milo, to run. This is where I live, this is where I retreat and feel my home is a refuge to the outside world. It would be so easy to get lost in that world and stay there; however, the passion that accompanied that profound event has a life of its own.

At the end of 2009 I joined my husband for a two year work assignment in the Middle East. We moved to Kuwait. Wondering what I was going to do while he worked, I, thankfully, learned of the KTAA. The Kuwait Textile Arts Association is a non-profit multinational organization which aims to bring together individuals interested in textiles and the fiber arts including appliqué, embroidery, knotting carpets, quilting, silk painting and weaving. Members include a number of talented decorative artists who hold classes throughout the year. To me this was the jackpot. They like and do things I like and there are new things I can learn. I was invited to the quilt group meeting. Although I sew, I wasn’t a quilter. I am proud to say that I am now.

Through this group I learned of a shelter that provided food, housing and protection for abused runaway maids. At that time there were 24 women of all ages from Nepal and 2 from Ghana. I spent two days a week with these women.

This was my culture shock. Having been awakened to the truths of human trafficking and personally touched by the dear ones who have suffered from this crime, I was profoundly changed. I made a vow to “my girls” that I will not only do something for their sake, but for their sisters, friends, and children to continue to combat the fight of human trafficking. Thus, I wrote “Fragrance in the Desert”.

My first introduction to Darn Good Yarn came from one of their customers while I was visiting family in Rochester, NY. Sue stopped in at my sister’s home. In sharing her love for fiber arts, she revealed this new product regarding recycled saris. The mention of saris had my attention. Very quickly we found that many of our interests overlap and we soon found a common thread. When she explained they came from Nepal and India, I was beside myself. I shared the topic of my book and of the women from Nepal. She excitedly told me of DGY and their mission. And when I found out they were so close in Schenectady, I knew there must be a reason this had come to my attention.

Usually when a connection is made like this, I get chills…I wasn’t disappointed! (something is unfolding) I read through the web site and blog posts of DGY and was delighted to learn of the business resolve to not only provide quality product, but give dignity to the women of Nepal and India the opportunity to become autonomous and self reliant. The next chills producing discovery was when reading the bio of Jessica, one of the staff members. She shares of when reading Half the Sky by Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WaDunn in 2011 that her worldview changed and she wants to do something more. Another “coincidence” ? I read that book in 2011 as I was flying back to the US after living in Kuwait for two years.

There may be many reasons for this unfolding to have occurred. I believe, today, it’s to stand together, women helping women, supporting one another and passionately together we will make a difference.

“One person cannot save the world

and solve all its problems. But many people living in service

to their highest calling will collectively lift the world and create light where it is most needed.

–Christine Mason Miller

In the midst of the horrors I discovered the sweetness of innocents who provided fragrance in the desert. My eyes have been opened and I am changed forever.

Proceeds in the sales will be donated to Maiti Nepal, an organization that is providing education, prevention, protection, healing to the women in Nepal who have suffered of this exploitation, and other like organizations working together to end modern day slavery!

I am thrilled to learn of others like Darn Good Yarn that share the same passion!

You can contact Debbie via



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