My Granny, Annie Isabelle Allman, taught me how to sew. My grandmother, Vera Aileen Auten, taught me how to work hard. But really, that is only the beginning of the story. Through summers spent with them and my Papa, what I really learned was how to live, what life and love looked like.
Aileen always saw to it that I did my school work and did it well, taught me self-sufficiency, a love of words and of beautiful things. There is so much of her in me. Granny sat down with me at the sewing machine, and I stood with her over the stove. She taught me about joy, about giving to others, about taking time to listen and to share stories. She is what I always strive for. Through Verabelle, I honor them and all that they taught me - Vera Aileen Auten and Annie Isabelle Allman.
Verabelle is about living a life full of intention, about gathering the past up around us and making use of it in our lives today. Through my line of clothing and housewares, I take things that are old and give them a new life, bringing the past into the present. When you wear a piece of clothing from Verabelle or set a lamp upon your shelf, you're part of so many layers of meaning, belonging and adding to the history that each article carries. Verabelle is about staying connected to this past and opening ourselves up to accept the legacy it leaves us.
To make things with my hands every day, mixing vintage materials with things I have created from scratch, I pick up the threads of the past and weave them into a richer present. I remind myself of where I came from and what this life is all about. It is a way to live full, live deeply, and to give these things to others.
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I had the fortune of growing up in the tiny, rural town of Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina. After studying art for two years, I received my bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I worked for six years in marketing and public relations. The last several years of my professional career allowed me to see that bag of tricks wasn't for me, though I am grateful for the many lessons learned. So I picked up my paintbrushes and needle and thread once again and settled into a life that was just right for me. I now live happily ever after in Charlotte, North Carolina with my boyfriend-plus, Paul, and chihuahua, Lola. I am now a full-time maker, crafting away all the live long day! I also work a few hours each week at a local french bakery and walk dogs in my neighborhood. It's the life I always wanted!