Remember that poem by Langston Hues?

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes, 1902 - 1967


I can’t remember who had me memorize this poem. I’m also not certain that it relates to what I’m sharing today. But here I go:

Often times I’m felt with this trace, this feeling of guilt knowing that my mom has made sacrifice after sacrifice for her children and family members throughout her life. Growing up I always asked her, “Are you Happy”. I never believed her when she responded yes. I am aware that though often times we like to plan out our life, it tends to veer off into a far different path – Often times people admitting to not wanting it to be any different.

My moms dream has been to open up a seamstress shop, making elegant gowns for people going to events. She wouldn’t mind making dresses for everyday wear either – only people tend to buy clothes for $5 – $25 online. How does someone who has years of experience making dresses, curtains, chair covers, nearly any and everything with fabric – gain repeating clients? Can she sell her stuff online? Will people like it? Would she be willing to collaborate with people? Is she willing to teach others? Perhaps I should go and ask my mom these questions.

I also think of her duties and obligations – taking care of her own mother, working to pay bills, health issues – How do you combat all that to build a business?

In the past she’s had clients stand her up for consultations.

Request credit for a custom piece. (side eye)

Not pay for hard earned creations. (Like What?! Where’s the respect?)

I’d love to be able to make something – anything and have her create it, and help promote it, then sell it for profit. Yet we are so stuck on fast labor and the race to the bottom. I believe people still appreciate custom designed dresses. Often times I think my love of creativity and working with my hands comes from her.

Sometimes I want to drop everything I am doing, hire a photographer, grab a few things she’s made, get my sister to do my makeup and make a production out of it. The ideas of how to make it work is there – the effort, costs, and lack of belief that it would be a success is what stops me.

If you are a seamstress out there making it on your own, I’d love to chat it up with you.

I want to know I at least tried with all my effort before this woman leaves this earth. That would be my gift of service to my mom. Who’s with me? I actually interviewed my mom in an audio format and she shares her why, how she got interested, and all that jazz.



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