I grew up in Los Angeles in a large and creative family. As one of the youngest of 30 grandchildren, I didn’t spend much one-on-one time with my grandparents. When I was about 6 years old, however, my paternal grandmother - who in addition to bearing 12 children was highly-talented and imaginative - taught me to crochet and welcomed me into her crochet club famously named “The Happy Hookers.”
I fell in love with crochet, mesmerized by the beautiful patterns, textures and rhythms of the art.
I crocheted all the way into adulthood usually around the holidays, creating basic designs to give my friends as gifts. In 2014, I turned to crochet as art therapy to cope with anxiety and depression I had developed while working in anti-human trafficking in South and Southeast Asia. Counting and focusing on patterns pulled my mind away from the destructive loop it was trapped in.
I found peace in the repetitions and shapes of creating the stitches.
I started to make dream catchers, blankets and pillows and then decided to attempt clothing. I had no expectation of creating anything wearable. I unraveled multiple attempts, but as my skill improved, I was able to assemble my first top, skirt and then dress. By the time my first gown was completed I had been working on the design for two years. I was shocked by the positive response I received from friends and family and was inspired to attempt new clothing designs.
Since I don't design using crochet patterns, I began by designing through trial and error. I was accustomed to taking several attempts and unraveling hours and hours of work to find my vision. I constantly reminded myself that the goal was the time spent in meditation with my art.