12
Nov
08

Seamstress Karen

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure to meet and befriend a fabulous seamstress who owns an alterations shop near my office. I’ve been meaning to talk about her for a while now! (But like many other blog posts in the planning stages, it was delayed by all my time spent actually sewing!)

Karen started sewing a little over seven years ago, when her son had a seizure at birth which caused damage that required a great deal of therapy in the early years of his life. She quit her day job, and started working for an established seamstress while she learned the trade, so that she could begin working from home. And, focusing solely on alterations work that she aquired from a chain of drycleaners, Karen was able to make a very reasonable living while doing the very important work of caring for her son (who is ENTIRELY healthy now!)

I was excited to hear Karen’s story because I can sympathize and relate to that burning desire to be home with her child so that she could meet all his needs. And, when she let me know what she was able to earn from home, I became all the more intrigued. Suddenly, the idea of sewing for ‘extra’ income when I become a stay-at-home-mom seemed far less like a pipe dream, and far more like a very realistic goal.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Karen had hoped for a long time to be able to help teach and mentor others, the way that she had been taught, in order to pay it forward and empower other women. So when she heard that I sew, she was ever so eager to offer to teach me “anything you want to learn.” Um, that would be everything. “Okay then, everything.”

I’ve been visiting her shop several times a week, watching her work, showing her things I’ve sewn. She is extremely impressed by the custom sewing I have shown her (and I’ll admit, I love it when people compliment my work). For all her truly impressive ability and her very successful business, Karen has never ventured into custom work and continues to strictly do alterations. And so, she has offered me a few custom jobs now that have come in from clients she would previously have turned away. Soooo wonderful!

I’m amazed at my good fortune to make such a wonderful friend and business contact! And while I continue to feel that the benefits there are a little more one sided than in most of my relationships, Karen assures me that having the opportunity to talk with another sewing enthusiast, and get input on challenging jobs that come in, is a delight.

I’m sure I’ll talk about this more in the course of blogging about what I have sewn, but I wanted to make an introduction. This is what has inspired the shift in my thinking, from sewing just because, to sewing because it will one day mean I too can be home with my kids. And really, that’s the most wonderful thing of all.

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