VK Lillie is a mother-daughter collaboration between Kira and Vanessa Lillie, which grew from Kira’s desire to bring her mother Vanessa’s wisdom and the traditions of healing to the world at large.
At the heart of this collaboration is an exploration of the healing properties of the Earth and our innate human connection to this healing. The cornerstone of their collaboration is their medicine bags. Vanessa started making her first medicine bag in the early ’80s, a result of her fascination with beadwork, Native American culture, and a desire to create intentional jewelry to be worn close to the body. The bags were lovingly crafted for friends, continuing to develop in craft and style through Vanessa’s twenties and into her thirties when the tradition was passed on to her daughter, Kira.
After years of perfecting her own beadwork techniques and over a decade in Milan and Paris working as a photographer and honing her eye in fashion, Kira developed a contemporary iteration of the medicine bags, which she and her mother still produce by hand. The design of the bags has been updated, but the purpose has stayed the same: vintage leather and hand-selected stones worn close to your heart to perpetually evoke a personal energetic intention.
Bridging the worlds of aesthetics and healing, VK Lillie naturally attracts art lovers, aesthetes, and those who share a desire to infuse spiritual intention into their daily lives and practices.
Vanessa Lillie has dedicated her life to the study and practice of healing. Born and raised at the base of the Flat Irons, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Vanessa connected profoundly with nature from an early age and immersed herself in the study of Native American culture, spirituality, and herbology. Her mother is the President of the Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture, based in Boulder, Colorado, and her father taught Co-Counseling, and is now a Trauma Release Practitioner in Ireland.
Honoring the Earth as our Mother, with a deep desire to influence love and peace on this planet, Vanessa has been inspired along a path to develop a multidisciplinary healing practice, which today centers on Biodynamic Craniosacral, Acupressure, Reiki, Essential oils, and Yoga. Early on in her journey, Vanessa learned beadworking technique from her mother, along with wild flower and herb identification from her father. She incorporated these skills into her reinterpretation of medicine bags—leather pouches she created and filled with combinations of stones, crystals, plants, and herbs for their healing properties.
Over the past 30 years, Vanessa has dedicated her life to expanding her spiritual awareness. She has studied the teachings of healing masters from all over the world, traveling in the Yucatan to the sacred sites, for the 11/11 ceremony, with Mayan Shaman Humbatz Men. In the ’90s she studied with a Native American teacher named Red Eagle, attending sweat lodges, shamanic journeys, and hoop drumming ceremonies. In Guatemala, she studied meditation and astral travel at Las Piramides del Ka. She also attended the United Nation’s World Conference on Women in Beijing with a group of Co-Counselers. Her life has been a continuous journey of learning about the spiritual aspects of different cultures.
In addition to creating the medicine bags, Vanessa is a Registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist and teaching assistant, training in Pre and Peri-natal Education. During her time in Santa Cruz, California, she developed and taught a unique acupressure program, Pre-natal massage trainings, Charkra Balancing classes, Doula trainings, and Foot massage workshops at Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts. Vanessa has also studied Zero Balancing body-mind therapy, Hypnotherapy, Dream work, Earth Energy Healing, Tui Na, Connective Tissue, Shiatsu, Thai massage (in Thailand), Breema, Swedish Massage, and is a Reiki Master. She currently has a private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Kira Lillie comes from a family of healers. Throughout her childhood, her parents taught her about alternative medicine. Her father, Karl, is an Acupuncturist, river guide, and musician. Her mother, Vanessa, is a massage therapist, teacher, and Biodynamic Craniosacral practitioner, who taught Kira about massage, energy, healing, and the traditional beadwork she would eventually engage to create their VK Lillie medicine bags.
At the age of 18 Kira moved from Santa Cruz, California to Florence, Italy. This began over a decade-long journey into the worlds of fashion photography, filmmaking, and performance art - spanning Italy, France and Germany. She infuses her passion for the Earth and an understanding for the energy of our planet into all of her projects, with the desire to garner not only an aesthetic impact but an intentional energetic impact as well. Bringing these ideals together led her to create Vk Lillie in collaboration with her mother to formally bridge their two worlds: fashion, aesthetics, luxury, and art, with the world of alternative medicine, healing, energy, and intention.
In 2010 Kira won A Shaded View of Fashion prize for her film “Waters,” which investigated the symbolism of this precious liquid within spirituality and religion with a desire to unify through our common need for water and self-realization. She continues to express herself through photography, film, and performance art, including the most recent project, a multi-sensory CHROMO dinner series & performance piece.