Conceived in Lockdown . . .
During the first lockdown, the weather was amazing in Ireland, the world was quiet, we could hear the birds, the rustle of the trees, inhale the clarity of the air. If we were lucky. Many of us felt very alone, isolated and frightened. My uncle who was cocooning took to video calling and coming on my walks with me and my dogs. In the beginning, I thought it’d be insensitive to share the great outdoors but he asked me to show him where I was. I’d hold up the phone so he could see the view. He took to calling at my usual walking time, asking, “Where’s that?” I’d do the 360-degree views – it’s a wonder I didn’t fall off the cliffs, or into a ditch. On the switch side, mostly I’d see the top of his head. I also became very familiar with his ceiling light shade. Yet, here we were. Apart but together on our virtual walks. I thought, imagine if I could capture this, share these scenes that were not just beautiful but imbued with healing energy that lifted spirits. It was one morning I had my a-ha moment. I’d been looking for a new career direction but it wasn’t a new career at all – it was returning to my roots, fabric and design. A scarf, I thought, as if wrapped in the energy, a virtual hug, the beauty of this place. My excitement was palatable, I took out my phone to capture the moment.
Born with Resilience . . .
I was excited. I reached out with people I used to work with – it felt like I’d never left the clothing trade. This time, I wanted it to be different. How could I bring to reality a thing of beauty that made the wearer feel wonderful while being mindful of our environment? It would have to be sustainable, close to home. I set about my research. The lockdowns around the world proved a challenge. I grew up with the ‘rag trade’, I’d vast experience, which helped me navigate the pitfalls. Still, communication was slow. I hit many roadblocks. Trade fairs were cancelled. No face to face meetings. Initial samples, disappointing. Design techniques and sales had moved on considerably. We were in the middle of a pandemic. I kept going.
Created with Love . . .
After months and dogged determination, some things started to fall into place – the Universe started to play ball. And yet, each day it felt like it was one step forward, two steps back.
I couldn’t have done it without my family and blind faith that I was on the right track. I’ve become friends with people I’ve never physically met. I ordered and paid for stock without as much as seeing a sample. My experience backed me up and trust got me over the line. I hope my authenticity shone through.
When I saw my vision from that spring day in lockdown, I couldn’t believe that the a-ha moment, when I snapped the sky with my phone was now a scarf in my hands, as soft as a whisper, so I called it “Whisper to Me.” Conceived, Borne, with Love all the way, from me to you.