One of the things I love most about owning a small business is getting to meet a diversity of people. After several years of working in a corporate setting, I began to resent the monotony. Going to the same place every day, sitting at the same desk, seeing the same people. My world felt so small. But when you own a small business, connections and relationships are not only customary, they are important to your business’ success. Take, for example, my new friend Eva.
Eva joined us at our photo shoot a couple of weeks ago, and served as the extra set of hands we needed to ensure everything ran smoothly. I have known Eva’s mom, Riika, for a while now but I first learned of her daughter’s talent when Riika read about Threads by Nomad. She messaged me on Facebook and asked me if I might have time to chat with her daughter about our project because, you see, Eva designs and makes her own clothes.
At age eleven, Eva is headed into the sixth grade in the fall. Half-Venezuelan and half-Finnish, she has always lived in Del Ray, Alexandria–just a few miles from my house. Riika sent me photos of some of her pieces, and I was floored. Her talent is exceptional, especially at such a young age. She recycles fabrics to bring to life the pieces she wants to wear, paying close attention to details such as contrasting seams and exposed zippers. Her most recent designs include a coat made from the bottom half of her curtains and a vegan leather skirt. She has also walked a runway in her own recycled designs–a head-to-toe look made from her mom’s cashmere sweater and a yoga towel.
I invited Eva to work with us on the photo shoot, eager to meet her and express to her in person my admiration. She was everything I hoped she would be–eager to contribute, well-spoken and able to communicate her ideas confidently. She let me know when she thought a photo wasn’t coming out the way it should, and got appropriately excited when everything came together in the end. The photo shoot would never have been as successful or as fun without her.
I asked Riika if I could tell our followers of her extraordinarily talented daughter, and lucky for me she agreed. So, Eva, if you are reading this, know that I think you are amazing. Never lose your passion for creating or your confidence in your own design instinct. What you have is special and I can’t wait to see where your future takes you!
I look forward to working with Eva again–I hope she will eventually intern for Threads by Nomad! In the meantime, however, here are photos of Eva wearing her own designs. Please leave her an encouraging note in the comments!