Many thanks to David Peter Simon, from Holiday Matinee, for stopping by my shop last week. He posted our interview  on the HM blog today, for small business Saturday, and included some of the photos that he took inside the shop in Johannesburg.

He starts the interview by saying that he heard my sewing machine clattering when he walked past the shop--for those who haven't been there, I have a window next to my sewing machine that has a little hatch that I open while I'm working. I do get a lot of passers-by who are eager to talk with me about my machine (usually because they also own one and love it). It's a 1972  Bernina 830 Record--widely viewed as one of the best sewing machines ever made. I'm very happy it captured his attention!

Here's one of David's photos that didn't make it into the blog:

And for those who are curious, I will be posting more shop photos once the finishing touches are complete...stay tuned.

Minutiae and Momentousness

I have been in production mode for the past few weeks, getting ready for Renegade craft fair in Brooklyn next month.  This week I am finishing up five linen dress shirts (more info on those soon).  Production mode is quite different from design mode, in that I do each process involved in building a shirt five times in a row (make five collars, make ten sleeve plackets, etc.).  Today I concentrated on some of the benefits of repetition, such as the process of perfecting skills.  It's amazing to me that, with barely any conscious action, once I get to the fifth shirt, the results are not only better, but faster than the first shirt!  Repetition, such a huge part of our everyday lives, can also be comforting and confidence-building.  So, I was taking a meditative approach to the work all day.

Then, half-way through the day, my meditative reflection on repetition was interrupted by a reminder of the big picture of the work that I'm doing.  I received a package from another independent designer, Fischer, containing a shirt I'd ordered!  I savored the experience of opening the beautiful packaging and getting to know my new shirt!  A personal note and surprise gift were included as well, which made it even more special.  I know this piece of clothing will be in my life for a long time, and a regular part of my week.  While immersed in the construction details of each cut piece of fabric, I had temporarily forgotten that the work I am doing is part of a larger movement of locally designed and made clothing, and remembering that allowed me to appreciate each part of the process even more.