Sara Hood is the sole designer and creator behind Indianapolis based Vivie & Ash. She focuses on modern, comfortable, organic children’s clothes. And they are so stinkin’ cute! I love the simple designs and beautiful fabric patterns. She’s also a loving mother of two who, surprisingly, started off her career as a professional ballet dancer. Read on to learn more about this talented and creative seamstress.
What do you do?
I design and sew organic cotton children’s apparel and baby clothes.
Why do you do it?
It’s taken me quite a while to figure out but I feel like I was born to create, it’s very difficult for me to sit still. If I’m not physically creating it, I am dreaming it up in my head.
What do you love about your job?
As much as I love what I do, the thing that I love the most is that it gives me the flexibility I wanted to be able to be home with our two young children. They are the reason the business exists and on the days that I might feel like giving up, they are the reason I push on. I can’t bear the thought of being away from them 5 days a week from 7:30 am to 6 pm. I’ve been there and it didn’t work for me.
Was being a working artist always your plan or was there an “aha” moment?
It’s kind of crazy actually. I was a professional ballet dancer straight out of high school for 5 years before I decided to go to college. I quit dancing cold turkey and made up my mind to go to business school. I pictured myself as a professional woman wearing a business suit with an upper level position in a global company someday. I was somewhat on my way there (although I found out I hate suits and made my way through interviews without ever wearing one) and then we had our first child and reality set in. My priorities did a complete 180 and I found out that I really wanted to be a mom and work from home. After many work from home opportunities didn’t pan out I decided to create my own. And now I can wear yoga pants to the “office.” Every day.
How do you work, and where?
I work at home whenever I can find the time. I’ve taken over half of our kitchen table and dream of the day I can have a littttttttle more space. Some days are set aside to get things done while I find things to keep the little ones entertained but the majority of my work is done while they are sleeping. They are not the best the sleepers so that’s one of my biggest challenges!
If you could swap lives with another artist and live as them without anyone knowing that you were really you and not the other person, who would that person be?
What makes a handmade object valuable?
Every handmade object no matter how large or small has a story. I’ve found that most makers share a common bond, one of self doubt but also of perseverance. Great work does not come from giving up, you will never create your best work if you give up. So I think the value comes in the history of the creator, the story that is behind the item. Every handmade piece is a labor of love in one way or another.
Using that definition, what’s the most valuable object you own?
I lived in New York for a short time and purchased a piece of artwork from a man that was drawing on cardboard with colored pencils in the subway station.
Tell us one true thing about yourself that people don’t believe when you tell them.
That I taught myself how to sew by doing a lot of googling 🙂
How do you choose your fabrics?
I have a few designers that I love and I tend to use the same ones from season to season although I also love discovering new ones! I am inspired by fabric to create certain pieces. I see something I fall in love with and usually feel right away… this needs to be a dress, a shirt, a skirt.. whatever it is. It takes a lot of time searching online and many times I’ll find something that isn’t right for what I am doing at the moment but it’s something I come back to later.
What is the biggest challenge in making children’s clothing?
Can I say everything? Haha, not really! I think the most challenging to me is staying true your own self and style while keeping up with trends but also being unique. Those 3 things are what makes it challenging for me.
Any new designs on the horizon?
I am inspired daily so we will see what happens! My biggest fear is that I will hit a point where I am not inspired to create something new, like the moment of inspiration for the next season just never comes. I am starting to design SS 16 and we’ll see if I can pull it off. Each season starts with a tiny little idea and it grows from there so when you see it all together sometimes it’s hard to believe you actually did it. This Fall is the first time I really feel like I designed a “collection.” It was challenging, but I loved it! Vivie & Ash has evolved fairly quickly so who knows what all will be happening by next summer.
Thank you Sara for sharing with us! Be sure to follow her on Instagram @vivieandash or on Facebook @vivie-ash. You can purchase her lovely creations here at Homespun or at vivieandash.com.