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4 Generations Deep in Our Family Craft of Fashion!

Yes, can you believe it? We've been going for 4 generations now. It's so wonderful how a family craft can be passed down to ensure that success and purpose are fulfilled.

It all started with my grandmother Ernestine who taught my mother how to sew at age 8. I'm not quite sure that she understood the severity of the seed she was planting. I'm sure she would be amazed that she changed the trajectory of our family generationally.

My mother says she was beautiful and stayed dressed to the nines wherever she went! She drove a droptop convertible, wore sunglasses and a scarf tied around her shiny, wavy, dark hair. She always carried little handbags and finished the look with gloves and red lipstick. Ahh, a woman after my own heart!😍 {I think that's why I'm naturally drawn to vintage... especially the 1950's Hollywood era of fashion... I just melt!}

Anyways, my mother got to experience her strong influence of fashion and hasn't stopped since. Her mother passed at age 14, but not without leaving her with a skill that would earn her money throughout college, and one that would later help Maria & her 2 children to literally SURVIVE after a major injury.

Ernestine: 1st Generation!

Unrestored vintage picture of Ernestine.

Photo courtesy of cousin Shay❤

Growing up my mom always worked multiple jobs as a single parent to provide for me and my beautiful little sister, Jackie. That is until one day an accident caused a major injury to her and she was not able to work as before. Not knowing what to do, she dusted off her old sewing machine (that her mother had given her) to take her mind off of the pain. I remember my mother sitting at out dining room table making placemats to make our table pretty. A neighbor came by to say hello and to check on her. She saw the placemats and asked my mother to make her daughter a costume. The rest is history! She never stopped sewing after that. It's her literal therapy that still keeps her mind off of the pain, it's her love, and it's her gift. It was during this time that she began to teach me the family craft at age 12.

Maria Harper {aka "My Mommy"}: 2nd Generation!

I have worked in the fashion industry literally all of my life. I started modeling in the Chicago area at age 9 months and had modeling jobs, commercials, & local runway jobs throughout my childhood. My sister and I also had a little "friendship bracelet" business at the age of 10 to earn extra spending money for ice cream at school and other little things we wanted. Hey, we had a single mom, we had to use our ingenuity. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 I remember doing our homework then working on our little "business" in the afternoons before watching TV {so responsible for a 10 & 8 year old}. Mom would peek in on us with a giggle and just let us do our thing. I remember her purchasing our little yarns for us at 20¢ each and she never asked us to pay out of our little ice cream money, lol. We didn't know how expenses worked back then, LMBO. She even bought extra supplies for my cross-stitching habit that I did in my pre-teen free time. But how awesome was she! Right?❤

So, later when I began to learn how to cut, sew, & embellish garments at age 12, it was a natural progression that felt normal to me. It was easy, and it was (and still is) my craft!

Me, Joy Harper Ash: 3rd Generation!

I started with the cutting of patterns & garments, sewing on notions, doing cool hairbows, 5 BILLION scrunchies 😅 {I'm exaggerating, but it felt like it}, covered button earrings, and sewing on the straight stitch machine. This later progressed into constructing, serging, using industrial machines, and embellishing (with all kinds of mediums), and later draping and illustration.

In college I studied business, marketing, & merchandising. I've also had the opportunity to learn a wide array of other skills that I continue to apply to entrepreneurship every day!

I've worked in corporate capacities, of course... but some how destiny always placed me at the right hand of many entrepreneurs & small business owners (from childhood to adulthood). I was SURROUNDED by them, and was honored to learn everything I could because they were eager to teach and I was eager to learn. What a blessing!

So, you could say that God meant for fashion to choose me. I did not have the opportunity to choose it. I'm happy that it chose me though, because it is truly my passion. A passion that I get to pass on to my daughter Olivia who is now 4th generation in the family craft of fashion!

(And don't sleep on my son TJ who knows a thing or two also! He puts his gifts to work in the areas of Engineering & Animation/Art).

Olivia Ash: 4th Generation!

Watch out world, here she comes... with a lifetime of skills in tow baby!

Busted in Mommy's shoes, lol. Age 3

Me reviewing with Olivia how to thread a machine (machine is unpluged for safety). Age 8

Nana showing Olivia how to cut and hem. Olivia has her safety scissors, lol😄 Age 3

Olivia proud of her tiny cut piece of this wedding dress hem, lol.

In the studio inspecting Nana's ruffles, lol. Age 4

Olivia helping to prep fabric @Age 3
Olivia modeling @ age 5


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