Hello & Welcome to UpcycleMode.com!
I always find "how you got to where you are" stories very fascinating.
Although my story may not be the most riveting one, you might appreciate how from necessity came a love for Upcycling & Refashioning turned into my 'forever' purpose.
early childhood influences...
What started for me at 16 years old out of financial necessity, thrifting has inspired a love for Upcycling and Refashioning since rarely items fit right off the rack.
As a child of an immigrant family in the 70's, money was tight and my mother taught me how to sew clothes for my dolls from any scraps we had in the house. Insuring Barbie was dressed to the maximum style with an unlimited wardrobe from underwear, dresses, wedding dresses and even hats, my love for sewing and high fashion was solidified.
Throughout high school, I sewed skirts and dresses for myself. My Senior Prom dress was the last item I sewed for many years to come.
Fast forward through a degree in Biology and an enjoyable career in the Pharmaceutical Industry, I left Corporate life after marrying and having babies.
My sewing machine warmed up again as I created Halloween costumes for my daughters (even though they preferred the store-bought ones.) And as they entered the mid-elementary years, I started making their historical costumes for in-class learning.
a costume rental business...
Impressed with my costume creations, I was asked multiple times to borrow or even rent my costumes and that's how I launched my own local costume rental business www.CostumeTakeOut.com.
For 5 years I sewed for many, many, many hours--accepting more orders than I could humanly sew--pushing my energy reserves and proving how much I really could handle. All costumes were Upcycled from thrifted textiles.
Then all momentum (my business was growing successfully by word of mouth!) was lost when Covid hit, and found myself pondering whether to sell off my costume business.
To ameliorate my disappointment while putting costumes away for a unknown length of hibernation, it came to me to start Upcycling for myself. After all, I had put myself on hold for way too long! If you think for a second I was dressed up while sewing for 5 years, you are mistaken. Days would pass, and I lived in PJs and leggings and sweatshirts. (Laundering them frequently! I promise!)
upcycling for myself...
I launched www.StyleMyThrift.com as my pivot. Blogging was something that always intrigued me, and I had stories to tell. Overtime I developed my blogging style to include a Vignette for each Upcycle Project.
I joined Facebook Upcycling Groups where I took an active interest in other upcyclers as my Covid-induced social community--unbeknownst to me at the beginning that I would create friendships all over the world.
When I did not find exactly the right kind of Facebook Group that allowed links, I created my own group called Upcycle & Refashion (Clothing & Accessories Only!), and have almost 5000 members!
With a good following on my blog, I started to take interest in the works of other Upcyclers and Refashioners. As with blogs, websites and social media work, I felt like we could help each other grow in readership, commerce, or whatever goal by simply linking to each other.
I started a Spotlight feature on www.StyleMyThrift.com which evolved into creating resident/permanent pages for these artists on my website. Every weekend, I enjoyed learning about each artist I posted their profile and mini-interview and looked at their creations.
As I began the process of indexing the Upcycling by type, it dawned on me that this type of organization was destined for its own website!
start of a new website...
Coupled with thinking that Upcycling & Refashioning is just starting to gain interest by the general population, I thought it was time to develop a community based platform that appeals to the worldwide web, not just to individual social media platforms (which can plateau for commerce purposes--why bring sand to a beach?).
Regardless of an Upcycler's or Refashioner's goals--from a dopamine rush, learning, financial gain, a way to show off, or make friends--it's all good!
Your motive and enthusiasm is encouraged, and all skill levels are welcomed. We can reach more together as a collective.
If you are just visiting, I hope you enjoy UpcycleMode as a way to learn more about Upcycling and Refashioning through the Artists (from beginners to advanced), their creations, and maybe check out a tutorial or two!
Hey, you might even be inspired to start creating with us!
We will welcome you!
Are you and Upcycler or Refashioner?
Would you like to share your story and creations?