My journey as an aspiring artist: from handmade friendship bracelets to upcycled vintage kimonos
I am a wandering artist with a strong passion to create and express myself through my work. One of the ways I express myself is through the clothes I wear. A friend once commented that I don't simply wear clothes just to wear them, but to show what's within. For me, clothing is the architecture around the body, and after struggling to find garments and accessories that truly captured my essence, I decided to make them myself. Sareta Designs was founded as a personal outlet for my artistic journey, and I would love for you to join me on this creative path.
I have always been creative, and I can't remember a time when I didn't have some kind of project in the making. Already as a third grader, I started my very first business where I sold handmade friendship bracelets and made around $50 per month. Not bad for a third grader, huh? By the time I was in fourth grade, I had employees and I even had to fire someone. As you probably can tell, I discovered my inner entrepreneur early on.
Growing up, my mother worked in a sweatshop. She was the one who taught me how to hand sew. My mother had this big industrial sewing machine, which kind of scared me. One day she made me use it, and I actually made my first outfit with it. Even though I managed to use it, I preferred hand sewing. Years later me and my sister took a course that combined both hand and machine sewing. It helped me get over the fear of using sewing machines, and I started sewing more frequently.
I decided to make an eight-bit shiny Umbreon pillow for my brother, and it turned out to be so difficult to finish that not even experienced seamstresses could do it. This resulted in a two-year artist block. To get passed this, I went to a year of sewing boot camps. I learned to use different techniques and how to draft my own patterns. I've been sewing ever since.
I find my inspiration in everything. One of my favorite things to do is take long walks through a garden with my headphones on. It's like I can see things more vividly. As I mentioned, I am a wandering artist, literally. Sometimes, I take long drives without knowing where I'm going, put my music on, and rely on my instincts to take me back home. I go into this cycle of inspiration, design, and creation. My current musings are upcycled vintage kimonos, wax stamping, and bookbinding.
My work and future aspiration
In the beginning, I mainly made gifts for my friends and family, like sewed clothes and bags, or knitted blankets. I have a wide range of interests, and in addition to sewing I draw, crochet, embroider, and flower arrange. I enjoy seeing them merge.
During COVID and quarantine, I longed for some interesting fabrics, and that's when I got my first kimonos. I had no idea what to do with them, nor how historical these quality items were. After trying and failing a couple of times, increasing my knowledge as I went on, I eventually figured out how to properly care for and manage these beautiful garments, which is a process.
Vintage upcycled silk kimonos reimagined in a modern light is my very first and current sewing collection. The collection contains various products, such as omamori (good luck charm), pouches, key fobs, kanzashi (hair clips), pillowcases, etc. If you want a closer look, you can view all the products in my Gallery. In addition to showing my work here on my website, I enjoy participating in different conventions where people get to see my work live and purchase my products.
Working with kimonos quickly dominated my life. I find this work very interesting, but as my inspiration shifts, so will my collections. The biggest challenge I've faced after opening my own business has been to find a balance between making new things with my kimonos and also continuing my path as a developing artist. I have so many ideas and sketches that someday will come to life. For now, my plan for the near future is to explore new techniques like bookbinding with upcycled kimonos and deepen my practice, but the goal is to have periodic drops of new collections, so stay tuned!
If you like my work and want to follow me on my journey, feel free to check me out on Instagram, Facebook, and X, or subscribe to my newsletter for the latest updates and upcoming events. Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post. If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me. I look forward to showing you all the different things I make along my journey.