The Story of My Life
The story of my life. Not just a catchy tune that you sing at the top of your lungs while working away in the kitchen (at least that’s what you’ll find me doing in my kitchen ;). This story includes 4 countries, 4 generations and 85 years of handmade love.
My Grandmother was born on a farm in rural China. The eldest of a large family, she was charged with caring for her siblings and tending to the fields. At 16 she was married to my Grandfather in an arranged marriage. Upon meeting her, my Grandfather ran in the opposite direction scared of my Grandmother who teetered toward him wearing her first pair of high heels.
He eventually came around with the prodding of my Great Grandmother and more practice for my Grandmother on those tricky heels. 30 days after marrying she was whisked to South Africa to begin a new life in a language and culture she had never known. There in South Africa she raised 5 boys while starting and running multiple businesses.
My Grandmother was the most stylish lady in town. Always dressed perfectly with her hair done in a chignon, she went about her days in outfits that she had created in the small moments of calm in her life. My Father tells stories of my Grandmother pulling out her old Singer sewing machine and placing it on the counter of their hardware store in-between customers.
Sewing with Singer
There she would create beautiful outfits for herself with whatever fabric and supplieswas available to her. She was an incredible seamstress taking clothing pieces she would find on sale that were at least 10 sizes too big for her (no joke!) and working her magic on them for the perfect fit. Although no longer with us, she sews with me every day in my studio. Her antique Singer sewing machine sits behind me, it’s handle still worn by her touch. She is my inspiration and the beginning of my story.