When I was a child, my mother sewed all of my clothing, as well as her own. My grandmother was (and is) a voracious knitter and crafter. Although the knitting lessons never worked, I did absorb the basic rules of sewing, and I learned how a handmade item has more personality and durability than mass-produced products.
I took the traditional path of going to college, getting the liberal arts degree, going to graduate school, getting the professional degree, and then working, working, working in a busy hospital. Then I had kids and needed to be home taking care of them.
All the while, over the past ten years, I’ve been sewing. I made baby quilts and bibs for friends and family, curtains, placemats, table runners, and lots and lots of pillows. I don’t like my things to look like everybody else’s, so I made them myself, but it was a long process. When I made my first handbag, however, I was instantly hooked, because it was a project I could finish in a few hours, not weeks! Now my kids are getting bigger, giving me a little more time and energy to be creative. Also, for the first time, I have a designated workspace (not my dining table), which has made all the difference.
In addition to her sewing enterprise, Genevieve Orne Boehme is a graduate of the State University of New York, College at Geneseo, and the Boston University School of Social Work. Though not currently in social work practice, she maintains an LCSW in New York.