[RE]Fresh [RE]Start [RE]New]: Eileen Fisher, Woodstock Design and FiberFlame Studios WOBs Collaborate to Do Good!

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On Saturday Jannuary 26, 2013 three ground breaking women's enterprises will collaborate to create a unique and exciting community event in Saugerties. Irvington centered, veteran international designer Eileen Fisher's GREEN EILEEN project, iconistic Woodstock Designs and the young guns, Christina Brady and Shea Lord-Farmer, emperesses of creative community workshops at FiberFlame Studios will be collaborating to create an event to lure the community out of hibernation to an extrordinary rich winter warm up event.

Here's what's unique about this event:

Fashion Consultation for women who attend the event including

The first peek at Eileen Fisher's Spring Line and, first time in the Catskills, an option to buy GREEN EILEEN gently worn clothing at deeply discounted prices. 

Reuse hand craft workshops on a drop in basis, options to fold into the classes as you wish and create inspiring repurposed items from recycled textiles.  

Kids workshops! (Upstairs! So designed for parent - child paralel play.)

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Philanthropy: All of the event partners and more are collaborating to support women affected by domestic violence.  Three former residents of The Washbourne Center now part of the Hope's Fund Project, a women's mentoring program, will be annonymously wisked away for a full make over, hair, make up, a great GREEN EILEEN profesional wardrobe to wear to job interviews and on their new carrer path.

 

 

We've interviewd the event's key remarkable women about their take on sustainable community, reuse, taking risks and the rewards of women owned businesses: 

We started with local legend Robin Kramer owner of Woodstock Design. Her clothing studio has the unique desticntion of lasting 30 years in the notoriously fickle Woodstock fashion market. In a town where clothing stores rotate annually this is no small acmoplishment. We wanted to know what she loves about serving so long in this community, her experience with women entreprenuers like Eileen Fisher and what green fashion minded women who come to next week's event can expect .

robin_k__1Robin answers: I started Woodstock Design in 1981 and Eileen Fisher was one of my first vendors.  I met her at the Boutique Show when she had a small line, three tops and three pants in rayon.  I have been buying from her ever since.  She has grown into a worldwide company, with her own retail stores,  wholesale accounts, and an online business.  I still just have my store in Woodstock. 

Woodstock Design's customers are very loyal to Eileen Fisher.  They tell me how they have all the sweaters they have ever bought from her. When I heard about recycling Eileen Fisher clothing I knew it would be a natural for my customers.

The fun of running a store in a small town is watching the generations grow up.  My original customers have grand children now who are starting to buy Eileen Fisher.  I love talking to people from all over the world who come to Woodstock. Eileen Fisher Trunk Shows are something that my customers have come to expect.  Doing it this year at FiberFlame would be something new.  My customers are intrigued to see recycled Eileen Fisher clothing and they are looking forward to the excitement of the event.  They will be able to order pre-Spring in their size and color.  

On Saturday we will be at Fiber Flame with models to show the line. On Sunday the line will be at Woodstock Design, with our specially trained staff to help put outfits together from the pre-Spring line. This will be the only chance to see this line locally and participants will be able to order pre-Spring in their size and color.

300_fiberflame_green_eileen_2013We asked eco-minded FiberFlame co-owners Christina Brady and Shea Lord-Farmer What inspired them to work with recycled materials?

As mixed-media artists and studio owners, delving into the world of collecting and reusing old fabrics, papers, buttons, objects of all kinds, is just a lot of fun!! We’re rescuing things that have been lost or discarded and giving them new worth, and encouraging others to be inspired by them. A rusted piece of metal or a stained scrap of lace can become something completely different when combined with other materials, stitched to a canvas or covered with paint. Working with and seeking out recycled materials can also save us a lot of money, and lead us to interesting treasures we would never find in an art or craft supply store.  We’re both attracted the look of something worn, rusted, something that’s had a previous life. This process also allows us to remove some very usable, functional materials, like textiles, tiles, wood, and more from the dead end that is the landfill.  We feel good about that!

As a new woman owned business, what gives you the faith to try something completely different? 

We see art making, having a creative outlet, as an essential part of a healthy, happy life! Having grown up here in Woodstock and Saugerties, we had a pretty strong feeling that there were others in our community who shared this belief and would support a space that encourages art-making and experimentation with a whole variety of materials for people of all ages and abilities.  We wanted to give back to the women and families of the community that raised and continues to support us by inspiring creativity and making art accessible.  So, while we were totally freaked out in moments, and knew that taking on such a huge project was a risk, it also felt like a no-brainer, “of course this will work” we kept telling each other and ourselves.  Things just keep falling into place, and we are so thrilled that our hunch seems to be proving true—our community and the people who come to visit this beautiful area are thrilled to find a relaxing space to slow down and enter the creative process.

Describe how women can anticipate relaxing and renewing while their kids are happily engaged at Fiber Flame's green art activities.

A visit to fiberflame is always about relaxing and renewing, giving ourselves and our families the gift of creative play—entering our own creative zones, side by side. On January 26th, we are so excited to create an environment in which women will have the opportunity to refresh their wardrobes, socialize, enjoy live music, models, a fashion show, and try their hands at some craft projects using recycled materials. It’s “out with the old, in with the new,” but with a responsible, sustainable twist.  We think it’s so great that on the same day, in the same space, a woman can responsibly rid herself of the Eileen Fisher garments that no longer serve her, and shop for brand new or gently worn items in the company of other women! 

While moms are occupied with all of this, their children can head upstairs and get into crafting with other kids.  FiberFlame studio artists will be helping them to create fabric collages and characters, jewelry, and more, from textiles provided by GREEN EILEEN’s recycled clothing initiative.  It is truly an event for the whole family and we are thrilled to help make it happen!

EF_300We asked Eileen Fisher's Managing Director Cheryl Campell why EF choose Saugerties for this new, innovative type of event.

Eileen has spent time in this area  over the years and realizes that we have a lot of loyal customers who might be interested GREEN EILEEN. When the opportunity presented itself it seemed like a great time to share the Green Eileen experience with new and long time friends.

What excites you about creative reuse?

There seems to be a renew interested in working with your hands - maybe it is the constant demand of the electronic age.  We are happy to shiftgears and spend time doing something creative. It is rewarding to make something useful and pretty out of garments that would other wise be bound for the landfill by repurposing these textiles into rugs, clothing, bags, jewelry and more! 

As a pioneer of socially and ecologically positive business, what inspires you, especially about women, in the field and as lay recyclers?

We are seeing a lot of women drawn to the Green Eileen recycled clothing initiative and to the upcycling workshops that we have been offering. Women love our clothes and are happy to have the opportunity to expand their wardrobes in a responsible way. A purchase may be economically motivated, but being able to help reduce our environmental impact as well as supporting program that help other women and girls, resonates on a lot of levels.  Choosing to purchase clothing from Green Eileen supports all those aspects of good citizenship. Upcycling also seems to be tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of women who have always been creative in extending the lifecycle of all kinds of products for decades.

Join us here on January 26, 2013 Click here for details!