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  • Laura Manson

In the Beginning...

Updated: May 25


2018 was a year of discovery – magical, but with a huge learning curve for sure! My idea for the ruanas came to me in February (2018) on a visit to NYC . I packed a couple of the wraps I liked to wear; basic and cozy to cover up my insecurities, but still look cute in boots. They were probably from the Nordstrom Rack or Kohls - the same ones everybody had. I was comfortable enough in Central Park, not overly warm in the Metropolitan Museum, but I looked really frumpy in the photos. Here we are visiting all these iconic places, and I look like a blob in a blanket! Anyone who has ever met me, knows I can’t have this. Why bother with hair, nails, lashes & waxing, if you still feel frumpy in what you wear!

Something we always do – every trip to NYC – is have dinner in Little Italy, which starts on Mulberry Street, one block over from China Town. How can anyone pass up a little sidewalk souvenir shopping before dinner? Of course, when I saw the vast array of pashmina scarves in glorious colors, I started to look for a pashmina ruana to replace my frumpy ones. There were NONE. The closest thing to a wrap were cheap, ugly shawls trimmed in fake fur. I was disappointed, but bought a few scarves anyway. Fast forward to the flight home, and I hate flying so I’m fidgeting, playing with one of the beautiful scarves from China Town. In a gift from the Goddess, it dawns on me that I should have bought two of the same and MADE my own ruana. In all my days of shopping for wraps, I've never seen a paisley pashmina ruana; however, this lady has skills, and I would never wear an ugly wrap again.

At that time, I was working for a small hospital in medical credentialing – a mind-numbingly boring job situated in a dark internal office. I swear creative people need a window; we wilt and die without natural light. II was pushed me to experiment with my ruana idea, and figure it out. For a long time, I floundered in a sea of unfamiliar suppliers, ordering the wrong types of scarves. OMG, I ruined so many! The scrap pile was larger than my finished inventory for months! My son told me to chalk it up to research and development to save my sanity. In March of 2018 I was offered the opportunity to be a vendor at a spring festival on Puget Sound because of a cancellation. I estimated that I would need at least thirty (30) items to sell. That is hysterical to me now – thirty – only 30, but even so, I needed more time to prepare. I made the decision to walk away from my soul-sucking office job and became a seamstress/business owner, and haven’t looked back.


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