EPISODE 7 - The Karen Arthur
I first attended the Tuesday Thrills Craft Circle organised by Karen in September, and that was it. I was totally charmed and struck by her kindness, her genuine care for every single one of us and by how close she truly stood by her values.
Her values of freedom, creativity and honesty feed her whole life. She talks openly about her passion for creativity, her struggles with mental health and her journey through menopause as a black woman.
She is raw and she is warm. She is honest and she is kind. She is real, she is brave and she is caring. She is truly one of a kind.
I invited her to the Series because she champions slow living and clothes that take the time to be created, that mean something to you and just to you.
And she will make that happen. She is very a very conscious of where she stands, her origins, her voice and what she fights for. A space for a black strong woman to stand her ground, to have a voice, to make a difference and not to hide a bit of what she is, what she always was.
She vows for a slow Christmas where personal connection matters more than possessions and presents . Wrapping her presents with fabric that you can reuse afterwards and poems written for the ones you love.
I leave you here a brief video for you to learn how to use a plastic bottle and left over fabric to create a beautiful bracelet.
Thanks Karen. For being you. For being strong. For being the voice of so many women out there.
Karen Arthur in her own words.
MEET REDDSKIN FOUNDER KAREN ARTHUR
I have always possessed a creative streak, influenced by my Barbadian mother, who made many of her clothes when I was a child. On a trip to our local fabric emporium when I was in my teens, my mum bought my first sewing pattern and some crisp white cotton to make a stylish pair of wrap waist trousers.
A flame ignited.
I worked in Secondary education for over three decades, first as a Dance specialist, then a Textiles teacher and finally as a Pastoral leader. My talent for sewing and designing has been an asset and a joy, cathartic and creative, and my business has grown from selling fabric bags handmade from colourful Ankara fabric to working exclusively with women on Bespoke handmade clothing.
I moved on from my long career in education in 2015 having realised my passion for helping women to feel special and valued especially as they get older. I am a Designer, Maker and Educator focused on building a legacy in Fashion with an emphasis on beautifully handmade clothing for women who, like myself, are not afraid to stand up and stand out.
Over the past few years I have found my speaking up voice more.
I talk openly and honestly about my own struggles with mental health and promote the positive links between fashion and good mental well being - Wear Your Happy®
I am committed to raising awareness about Menopause and diversifying the landscape surrounding this topic.
As an older black woman with silver locs I am learning to take up the space that I deserve. I encourage other women to join me!
Freedom - free from fashion and trend constraints. Free from outdated expectations and sterotypes.
Creativity -awakening your individuality. Wear what makes YOU happy.
Honesty - Being true to yourself and to others. To be courageously authentic.
I am passionate helping women to find their voice by creating beautiful, handmade pieces that evoke fond memories and a sense of heritage. Each remarkable woman has her own unique story to tell; My creations reflect your journey. I champion slow fashion ethics; quality clothing that is worth the time.
I want EVERY woman to welcome aging and menopause as a new adventure to be celebrated and not feared. I try to lead by example and encourage other women to do the same. I welcome a time soon when children learn about menopause as part of their curriculum so that we are all aware and prepared to support this transition successfully.
I continue to pass on my love of creativity, whether through teaching private sewing classes, holding space for connection and healing at monthly craft socials or using craft to combat loneliness with Craftmoves.
Sustainability is part of my vision. From encouraging the use of pre-loved fabrics, wearing or upcycling clothing I already own and utilising beautiful packaging that can be recycled or re-used.
The Karen Arthur's Website and Links
THE SUSTAINABLE 2020 CHRISTMAS IG LIVE Episode 7 for you to check