Connecting to the Tribe

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ST.July4 So proud of these savvy, kind, capable, and very funny campers showing off their self-made circle skirts!

This is the third year I’ve had the privilege of leading summer sewing camps for kids, but the first time we’ve run our Style Tribe program which is a full day fashion camp that I’m leading at JP Knit & Stitch in Jamaica Plain, MA. It’s a small yarn and fabric shop that I teach at often and I love it there because community centered creativity and support is as important to them as the quality of items they carry. That’s due in large part to the shop owner, Genevieve Day, who is an incredible woman with a talent and passion for being a force for positive change and collaboration. In designing Style Tribe, we knew the essence of this community should play a big part in shaping a different kind of fashion camp than what is usually offered.

The activities and tone of the program encourages campers of any gender to discover and explore their own personal style identity by empowering them with hands-on skills in crafting their own unique wardrobe as well as opportunities for positive self expression and collaborative fun. This camp takes the emphasis off of keeping up with fashion trends and instead focuses on developing individual confidence and comfort. It’s the kind of camp I wish I could have gone to as a kid.

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I was thrilled to see how much camper’s ideas about how and why people make different parts of their own wardrobes were challenged and expanded by the range of guest speakers we had during the week. It was exciting to see how the multiple perspectives opened up our conversations! Campers tried on vintage, heirloom, and handmade clothes, got to see pictures of makers growing up and into their own styles, and made punk style pins proclaiming their own interests and identities.

In gearing up to lead a camp like this single-handed, I know it will be one of the fullest but also most fulfilling weeks of the year for me. It can be a bit of a cliche, but I’ve found that it is absolutely true that if you try to invest openly and honestly in your students, you can learn as much from them as they from you and that’s what helps creates the best kind of environment for positive growth. This group from our first Style Tribe in July was a special one for sure and it was a great experience to be able to introduce them to the possibilities of self-expression and empowerment that come with learning how to craft wearable art with your own two hands.

I wanted to share a few favorite moments here on the blog, as there were just too many to choose from for Instagram alone! I also want to extend a huge thank you to everyone at J.P. Knit & Stitch who helped make this camp a reality and to each of the campers for being so supportive of one another and game for new experiences. I can’t wait for the next session of our Style Tribe!

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