About Me/ Contact Info

The nitty gritty:
persephone@persephonelove.com - I am amazing with email and write long, candid funny responses. 😎
(719) 203-7404 - I am really bad at phone calls. 😬

The rest of the story (with humor and blackmail photos):

I spent my childhood running through the house wrapped up in bedsheets and costumes and never stopped. I have always been fascinated by advances in modern sewing and embroidery machines and the amazing way that fabric can be pieced back together in unique, iconoclastic and creative ways. As a child I took cotton scraps from my quilter mother, stapling them together with a proud "here momma I made you a swimsuit!". She simply took it and smiled.  I now understand why she didn't want to wear it.😉 She did do a good job of allowing my creativity to flourish, regardless of the results. Witness this fantastic "drive-up" easel I had. Never mind that I was completely in the way of the construction going on here at the time. 
Drive up easel
 (Drive-up art easel)

I was given enormous leeway as a kiddo - perhaps too much. My parents were just grateful I didn't croak. In the late 1970's I suffered a terrible choking accident and showed up medically DOA at the ER. My parents did the Heimlich, the back-blows, everything to try to dislodge whatever I had put in my mouth that had gotten caught in my windpipe. Unfortunately, it went all the way down into my bronchioles. The smart docs at the ER took advantage of a phenomenon called "infant drowning reflex", which is a survival mechanism babies/children have, where the body diverts all remaining oxygen to the vital organs. They threw me in a bucket of ice-water to slow my metabolism and rushed me off to the OR for emergency surgery to see if I could be saved. Apparently, there was no time for anesthesia and when they went in through an incision in my throat, I was so far gone I didn't feel a thing. After one false start getting the obstruction out and six shocks later, they managed to get my heart to start beating again and to keep it going. Meanwhile, the chaplain came out to be with my parents, as they didn't expect me to make it, I'd been without oxygen statistically way too long to be anything other than a vegetable at best. But I am feisty, and I survived! I woke up in the ICU the next day with a souvenir of my crazy misadventure... an eye that partially changed color. This is a condition called "heterochromia". The eye doc insists this isn't possible, but my mother swears this is what happened, and in all photos before the accident, my eyes were both solid blue. So I have one blue eye, and one green/brown eye, and I am the bane of the folks at the driver's license bureau when they ask for my eye color. 
Funky colored eye
(Forget rose-colored glasses, I'm lookin' at the world through funny-colored eyeballs)

I was a handful post-accident. They kept me in an oxygen tent in the ICU which my mother warned them was flimsy but they assured her it would be fine. The next day, it was covered in tape where I had poked holes in it. When they finally let me up from the bed to see if I could walk, I wobbled at first, then broke free of my parents' grip and ran, not walked... ran... down the hallway and wrapped myself around the legs of the surgeon who was coming to check on me. He looked at my parents, smiled and said: "I just got paid!". My speech/learning fell a little bit behind, but my love of exploration never waned. Here I am one month post-accident making friends with a daffodil, tracheotomy cleverly hidden by the dress:
1978
(Making friends with a daffodil)

I was given a great deal of autonomy in picking my own clothes as well. Witness this horribly fashionable pink sweater and red corduroy pants with the smart, waterproof rubber boots. I was practical too, as when I realized the raft was sinking a bit, I pushed my much heavier older brother off in order to restore buoyancy. Don't worry, he didn't drown. Boy he was mad at me though, and justifiably so. 😏
Rafting
(Scratch "no child left behind" - our version was "No child left inside!")

As a teen, my mother gave me $200 for my "clothing budget" (that was good money back in the 90's) which I foolishly went to the mall and came away with two sweaters, two shirts and two pairs of pants which I then had to wear the entire year. 7th grade is truly the lowest form of life. By 8th grade, a friend told me about the local thrift store, and my love of re-using clothes was born. We were still somewhat post-80's, and I had the pouf of curled and hair-sprayed bangs (which my mother called... "the rooster"😂).
(8th grade blackmail photo)
By 9th grade, both hair and clothing were massively modified. Shout out to parents everywhere giving their teenagers time to figure out who they are. I was (and still am) a clothing-destroyer. I had this jean jacket that friends of mine helped me cut out the underside of the sleeves to make these sort of bat-wing sleeve extensions, I painted designs on the back and had a chain hanging off the left arm. It was unique and no one else at my school had anything like it. I also had a trench coat with rubber skeletons, rows upon rows of safety pins and googley-eyeballs but sadly, no photos of this crazy creation exist. My jean jacket was immortalized in my school yearbook though, so here it is, thanks to the fact that my husband and I were junior high classmates and he kept his yearbooks (I lose stuff). Also if you are/were a punk goth chick like I was, yes, you can totally wear Birkenstocks as part of a proper goth/punk wardrobe. I had the Birkenstocks Athens sandals and OMG I wore those things everywhere.


(9th grade blackmail photo) 
I was always frustrated because I went to a school where all the rich kids had Guess jeans and Vaurnet shirts and I always thought that cheaply made but expensive brand-name clothes were just silly.. and even the gothic kids at school had wealthy parents that bought them all the fancy stuff from Fashion Disaster up in Denver. Not me. I had to get creative, as punk had to be on the cheap. Also remember the late 90's were like... pre-internet when dinosaurs still walked the earth, so there was no "buy this off the internet" way of augmenting your style. Yay Goodwill! Not many more photos exist of my crazy teenage fashion creations, but the cutoff jean shorts here, I painted eye of Horus emblems on the front in sparkling fabric paint, wore them over thick leggings (because seriously, who wants cold legs) and topped it off with a punk T-shirt and tuxedo jacket. It really doesn't matter what you wear. If it's comfortable, and you feel good in it, IMHO you look good in it. (🔥🔥🔥Seriously though... burn all stiletto heels in a dumpster fire!🔥🔥🔥🔥)
circa 1993
(DIY punk rock)

Even later in life, Goodwill was a house 'o treasures. I proudly got my wedding dress there for $60.00 (it was 30% off that day - score!) and not a pearl was missing, and it is apparently a $1,500.00 gown. It is amazing what people let go of. No garment that someone in the world put so much work into, should go in the landfill. (And yes, I'm not kidding... my husband and I really were junior high classmates.. in fact he asked me out back then and I said no. Then 16+ years later, I changed my mind and said yes, and here we are.) 
(Ah, marriage by arm-wrestle. 😁)
 
Truly the local thrift store is my idea of the utterly cool destination. When I was finally able to take my children to Hawaii on vacation after many years, we had to go visit the Goodwill in Hilo. I was disappointed but understanding about the lack of sweaters there and the staff looked at me like I was nuts when my kids had to document their goofball mother. 
(Eureka, I have found it!)

Even my dentist is no longer surprised by my desire for comfort and lack of concern for conventional fashion. Hey... when you know you're gonna be there more than a couple hours, might as well get comfortable.😜
(Yes, I really did wear Cookie Monster pants to the dentist's office
- I have no shame)

Indeed, everything I sew now has to be comfortable. I like wool/cashmere because it's so forgiving. Even with the denim goodies I make, I try to find a way to make things that are flexible and forgiving. I am the famous "sweater lady" on the ARC thrift store's Facebook page. My daughter cheerfully calls this my... "death pile"... which is actually very fitting, since "Persephone" [pronounced per-SEF-uh-nee]  is a Greek mythology reference to the wife of Hades, Lord of the Underworld. It is both a nod to my teenage "noire period" which I never really grew out of, as well as to my gardener mother, who taught me to pluck weed seedlings at age 3 (Persephone's mother in Greek mythology is Demeter, goddess of the harvest... see the parallel?).
 

I love trying to help take care of Mother Earth. When I'm not sewing, I'm usually out rescuing bees from rainstorms and trying to add to my "bee buffet" (some folks call it a garden). Like a proper earth-loving wackadoodle, I talk to the pollinators in my yard. I have no shame.😎 I have never lost the enthusiasm for nature's creatures that I had as a child. It stuck with me. My husband is used to me.. I'm the person that stops and picks up worms off sidewalks after a rainstorm and tucks them safely back in the grass so they don't drown or dry out. 

This sweet little bumble bee 🐝was caught out in a rainstorm this past summer and when I found her in the morning, she was cold and completely exhausted (as well as vulnerable to predators). I warmed up some honey and thinned it with sugar-water, put some on a cotton swab and she grabbed onto that cotton swab like her life depended on it, eagerly slurping up the emergency energy, resting for a moment, and then fanning her wings to finish drying off and then looking at me for a moment before flying home to her family. It was such a magical experience. 😍🥰
(Very, very sad, cold and tired Bumble Bee)

(Sometimes a meal and a friend is all you need)💖

In every area of my life, I try not to waste things and to give Mother Nature the proper respect she deserves. All throughout the warm season I'm turning my compost pile and playing in the dirt. Playing in the dirt is good for the soul, it really is. Everyone should wallow in a dirt pile at least once, so that we appreciate the miracle of the soil, which helps grow the food that we eat.
(Dirty girls grow GARDENS😎)

Humanity can never "master" nature... truly, the Earth does not belong to us - we belong to the Earth. The more harmonious our relationship with our planet, the healthier we are, mind, body and soul. I yearn for a less toxic world with more careful consumption, more recycling and re-using the way nature intended. If you're reading this, I hope you share my hopes and excitement for a more sustainable world. Mindless, boring over-consumption of cheap disposable goods hurts us on so many levels. There is a better way. Even if I never sell you an item, let me sell you on the idea of a more sustainable world and ways we can get there. I quit a toxic, horrible health-destroying soul-sucking job to be able to do this, and I do not do this for the money.

Sure, I got a bachelor's degree so I could have that job, but found that consistently being worked 12-hour days due to turnover/staffing shortages (toxic workplace cultures tend to cause that) and watching the slow destruction of my health wasn't working for me. Having later taken grad school level classes in finance, I started running the numbers on future healthcare costs if I stayed, and those costs out-weighed the benefit of the salary I was earning 🤯, so I wrote an epic "I QUIT" poem/post on Facebook and turned in my resignation to finish grad school without having to fight my former employer for the one hour weekly that they wouldn't let me flex my schedule to pursue a degree that I would have put to good use for them. Their loss. I'm brilliant and when allowed to be my authentic self, I tend to win awards at 'normal' jobs for my skills 'n dedication... but micromanagement in a toxic corporate culture is like Death Valley and I am an Orchid, I know where I thrive and where I belong. 😎 Huge financial sacrifices were made to enable me to have that choice but it was so very much worth it. There is NO substitute for good physical and mental health. 😊
In every area of our lives, there's always a way to rethink and re-imagine things to make them better... and sometimes that journey just starts from within.  🥰
(Instead of wallowing in my sorrows, I decided to wallow in some cashmere instead.)

I always enjoyed altering my own clothes and putting together statement pieces but I also care about the environment and the lives which "fast fashion" is busy destroying, and this is my small one-person effort to nudge the fashion industry towards something better. This is my creative protest against cheap, throwaway clothes. I've got a better alternative, made with lots of care and love. Some of my pieces may be similar yes, but no two are ever exactly alike... so whatever treasure you find here, you will not run into others wearing the same thing. My goodies and I are unique (even my Katwise-inspired goodies are vastly different from the rest of the Katwise crowd), and I want to help you find inspiration, purpose, and joy. 🥰 If you buy from me, know that everything I make is sewn with neurotic attention to artistic and technical detail, passion and enthusiasm for constant improvement and mastery, a desire for fashion to be more inclusive, and all my dreams and hopes of a better world for all of us. Also, sparkles are like kindness - awesome and the world needs more.

Never ever settle for "normal". Don't be normal, that's so boring.... Be extraordinary.