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"Be Your Own Trend!"
by Luciana Lampert, Owner

How did my business get started? Well, it officially became a business last year, but I will have to travel back to my childhood in order to reach the roots of it.

One of the sweetest memories I have is the sound of my mom's sewing machine (the ones with a wheel that you had to paddle!) and the sound of scissors cutting fabric. When I was growing up in Brazil, there weren't a lot of ready-made clothing, sheets, or curtains. It was all custom-made by a tailor or it was made at home. My mom was (and still is) an excellent seamstress. From the scraps of fabric that would fall to the ground when she made things, my mom and I started to create outfits for my dolls. I also, with cardboard boxes and fabric, would create entire furnished playhouses for my dolls, covering with fabric everything I could.

My mom also reused fabric. The bottom part of pants would become a dress, the lining of curtains would be dyed and become a blouse or a skirt. By the time I was a teenager, most of my clothing was created by us. Even the clothes I bought from stores wouldn't last long before I had to add something to them or cut something off. I love fashion and it just came naturally. I would create, and my mom or a tailor would sew. My mom used a sewing machine, but I sewed everything by hand. It was super cool, no one ever had the same clothing as I did! Pretty soon, I was lending some of my pieces to friends, creating clothing for them, and helping them reuse their closets.

My house now is furnished with 90% reused items; so is my closet.

At the same time, I always had a deep appreciation for art, in all its forms. The quality of artisans in Brazil is amazing. One of my favorite pastimes was, and still is, going to art fairs and concerts! We used to spend hours with "the hippies," appreciating their jewelry made out of a variety of metals and stones and listening to their songs.

So it became a longing, to create something that would incorporate both reusing materials and making beautiful things, and voila! In one of my visits to Brazil in 2007, I met this group of women who work with leftover fabrics from factories and make the most beautiful purses, jackets, sweaters, scarves, vests, etc. I was inspired to help them find a market for their goods in this country, and so my mom and I began importing their items to sell. Thus began the foundation of Shades of Green Artisan Merchandise.

Now some of my friends too, for some extra cash, have started to make jewelry and adornments — reusing beads and other materials. And my mother and I also are making wearable art again. It is a collective work that I hope will inspire people to do the same: Create, reuse, and have fun. Be your own trend! Think about what you already have and just transform it. Think about what you buy, do you really need it? Value local artists and art! Rethink your habits of consuming. Respect your Mother Earth!

Luciana Lampert

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Luciana Lampert | Phone: 734.717.1899 | 708 Hemphill Street | Ypisilanti, Michigan
Click to email: luciana@shadesofgreenartisan.com

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