2018 was a year of discovery – magical, but with a huge learning curve for sure! My idea for the ruanas came to me last February (2018) on a visit to NYC to join my husband on a business trip. 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 Walmart. 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!
Something we always do – every trip to NYC – is have dinner in Little Italy, which starts in the next 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. 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. Apparently 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 had never seen a paisley pashmina ruana, but this lady has skills! I would never be in a frumpy wrap again.
At that time, I was working part-time for a small hospital in medical credentialing – a mind-numbing boring job situated in a dark internal office. I swear, creative people need a window. We wilt and die without natural light. In my spare time, however, I was experimenting with my ruana idea, floundering in a sea of unfamiliar suppliers, ordering the wrong types of scarves. OMG, I ruined so many! My son told me to chalk it up to research and development to save my sanity. The scrap pile was larger than my finished inventory for a long time.
In March I was offered the opportunity to be a vendor at a spring festival on Puget Sound. 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.