We're on a mission to introduce ourselves. Last time you met Dan, East Fork's facilities manager. Today I talked to Sarah, sales associate at our store in downtown Asheville and a seamstress with a budding alterations business, about five special objects she chose from her home to share.
First off, what do you do at East Fork?
I work at the store! I sell and help with other functions of the store: receive merchandise, keep up with customers, merchandise the store, arrange flowers...I started working for East Fork last November, so I’m approaching a year here.
SARAH'S FIVE THINGS
So tell me about the objects you chose.
I’ll start with the scarf, which I chose because, one, I really love it! I think the colors and the parrot are awesome. I found it at a thrift store in Hendersonville. I really like thrifting and finding gems - I call it treasure hunting - and that’s one of my favorite pieces. I go thrifting with my mom; when I was little I hated going to thrift stores with her, but now I kind of love it.
Do you like to thrift mostly in Hendersonville?
There are a couple spots in Asheville I like, but honestly I always find great things in Hendersonville. And I’m from there. I think things aren’t as picked over and a lot of retirees move there who have interesting things they’re giving away.
What about the bracelet?
The bracelet my friend Kinsey made. She’s been one of my best friends for nine years. I met her in New York through a mutual friend my first year there and she later moved to San Francisco. She’s a jeweler and we are very similar - our work and our life experiences parallel each other in many ways. We’re both makers and we’re always there for each other to talk through things and help each other map our roads. She makes really cool jewelry and she’s my best friend, so I pretty much wear this bracelet all the time!
Yeah, I recognized the bracelet! I didn’t know your friend made it. Tell us more about your work and what you make.
I sew, so I’m a seamstress or a tailor or whatever you want to call it. I’ve been sewing my whole life on and off and I went to FIT in New York for two years for fashion design after undergrad, but I just started an alterations business in August. My grandmother sewed and I think that’s what inspired me. I’ve been enjoying the alterations work, I’ve been enjoying the customers that I meet. I think it’s really interesting doing it here in Asheville because there’s not a lot in the way of apparel here - the people I meet haven’t had tons of options for working with their clothes before. I’ve really enjoyed doing it here; I think there’s a market for it. I like helping people dress and I like working with my hands, making things, and working with cloth.
Are you still interested in making your own designs?
I’ve always wanted to design and make new things, and it’s been an interesting path figuring out what that looks like for me; it’s not been very direct. I’m less interested now in making statement pieces or collections for people to consume and I’m not really interested in being on a fashion calendar. I’m more interested now in making original work in a more organic way - sort of like alterations, I’m more interested in making my own pieces because people need well designed pieces.
I think that fashion and dressing don’t have to be exclusive - they can be accessible to people and catered to their lifestyles, and I’m interested in listening to people and helping them fit their clothes to their lifestyles.
Okay, so what’s left is the book and the plant.
The book is an autobiography of Andrew Wyeth, and the page shown in my photo is a painting that my parents had a print of hanging in our house growing up. They didn’t have much art hanging up and I didn’t have much exposure to museums growing up, but we had that print in our house and I really loved it. There was something special going on there, beyond it being just a creepy old barn. Ever since then I’ve loved Andrew Wyeth and beyond that I really enjoy art now - I love going to museums; it became really important to me in New York, and it still is.
The plant my friends Christian and Calvin gave to me as a housewarming gift in my apartment here in Asheville. It’s a Prince of Orange and I’ve got a few other plants and I’d like to get more, but mostly I chose it because it reminds me of my friends, and especially friends not here. I spent all of my 20s in New York and moving to Asheville in my 30s has definitely been challenging in terms of finding my community. I do feel like things are slowly coming together in Asheville, and it’s nice to see relationships continue to be strong even when you’re not together. It’s like I’m starting a new life but I still have really strong relationships with my old friends.
If you'd like Sarah's help with your clothes, check out SRW's website here.