I have also enjoyed a few short runs/jogs this week... My new philosophy is to set smaller goals that are manageable and achievable. I came to this after deciding to make six of the same thing recently. I'm still working on this colossal sewing project and if I count up my time already, I'm easily 4 full days in. I think a smaller number will work better in future. I am hoping to reveal all soon and put one or two of my UK friends in the know after posting teasers on the Luluké facebook page. That's if they haven't all sold before I can post them up, I've already sold three of the six before they have been completed! Here's another teaser to keep you guessing...
After all the excitement of introducing The Button to you last week that was shared by Shop Shaker, I have been a busy bee getting prepared for a second highlight of local talent based in Cleveland Heights. I am pleased to introduce you to Mi Tesoro. ...
Baby hats and doll hats.
216-548-0578 (cell, for calls & texts)
In the 216
"Love wins” - Nelba García Márquez
Shari has been been sewing for most of her adult years, having learned how to darn when she was in grad school, and sewing quickly become a hobby. She then taught herself how to work on her parent's sewing machine. She used to hand-stitch baby quilts for expectant friends and family. She loved making things for moms as they anticipated their babies’ arrival and she enjoyed making things for her family. As a sewer, Shari has always identified with her grandmother, who was also seamstress and an avid knitter. Shari explains that her grandmother did intricate work for everyone in the family for as long as she can remember and Shari, her sibling and cousins all cherished the pieces she made for them over the years. Shari now has her grandmother’s sewing box and knitting needles which mean the world to her.
Shari began crocheting two summers ago, when her daughter was six. Shari’s learned to crochet when aged six so Shari figured that if she learned at that age, then her daughter could, too. Shari made it a goal to continue for the summer and quickly became hooked. She loved how easy it was to throw a ball of yarn and one needle into a bag, which then allowed her to be creative and productive while ferrying her daughter to sports practice. She played around with stitches, made things for her daughter’s dolls and tried to make hats.
The following summer, Shari started crocheting baby hats with big chunky yarns. She liked the look and found the work gratifying, completing a hat in one or two sittings. It kept her hands busy when she needed to sit with her daughter as she did her homework or other projects and it was a way for Shari to keep off her phone and stay by her daughter’s side. By the end of the summer she had almost fifty hats, so knew she needed to find a way to sell them.
There’s big smiles between us when Shari explains how much she loves the newborn era, how special it can feel being cozy with a tiny being who won’t stay tiny for long. She touches on how it’s a precious time that can also be a hard and lonely time, especially on the days when there is a lot of crying (and, by toddlerhood, a lot of refusing). Shari talks of the tenderness -- all parents understand -- of a favorite hat or an adorable lovey and how they become the silver lining that keeps a parent going. She explained “I love those keepsakes from when we had an infant — and I love creating items that will become keepsakes”. It’s clear during our discussion that this is the essence of what Shari and Mi Tesoro is all about.
When she decided to sell her hats locally, she thought a lot about the name that would go on her tags. She remembered how it felt when her grandmother held her near, kissed her cheek, calling her pet names in Italian or French. Shari can still conjure the memory of that feeling—her warm cheek, her hand on Shari’s face, and whispered words of affection in Shari’s ears, including “mi tesoro” – my treasure. With Mi Tesoro Shari’s goal is to endow each piece with the sentiment that its recipient is much loved and treasured by the giver.
The Mi Tesoro tags are attached with red and white bakery string, another tribute to her grandmother, pictured with Shari below. Shari recalls that in Brooklyn, cookies came from real bakeries, in white boxes tied shut with bakery string. Frugal and sentimental, her grandmother would save that string for later use, leaving little balls of bakery string in her kitchen drawers. When Shari moved away, her grandmother sent homemade sweets and treats in care packages tied shut with that same bakery string.
Shari knows that needlework, sewing and knitting were a labor of love throughout her grandmother’s life. An immigrant and then a widow, her investment in Shari and each grandchild, niece and nephew was paralleled by her investment in the details of every task she undertook. Shari says “Emulating her with this part of my life — seeing my daughter treasure the work — I feel like I’m carrying on a lineage and also making it into something new, something that I get to share beyond my family”.
I came across Shari last autumn, during our daughter’s soccer practice, always smiling with hands busy crocheting. I decided to reach out and highlight her because I love her work and what it stands for. She shines brightly in what she does and I adore her passion for creating treasured memories and keeping her grandmother’s legacy alive.
This Girl Tees