We hope you are doing alright, a few months ago we hosted the "Bound To Create The Perfect Bag Challenge" and as part of the prizes, the winner was going to be featured in the our blog, how cool right? Well, that moment is finally here, we hope you have fun getting to know Projectfree2fly. So, without further ado, we present to you our mini interview with Hailey and Joanna from Projectfree2fly.
What is the story behind Projectfree2fly?
Hailey Johnston (Founder & President): Free 2 Fly was born out of a desire to start a creative business that would exist to do one thing: help women in our community who are unemployed, but desire to rise above their current circumstance. Many women face circumstances that are holding them back from reaching their full potential and we want to not only encourage them, but also show them how they can rise above and move beyond the circumstance. There are so many women that have dreams and goals for their lives, but either don’t believe they could ever achieve them or don’t even know how to start pursuing them. Free 2 Fly desires to support, nurture and empower women so when they begin to voice their dreams and hopes, they learn to realize that they can be attainable.
From transitioning out of homelessness to facing an unwed crisis pregnancy, we believe that women can find purpose and value within our community in spite of the trials they face. We believe that teaching them how to sew is just a catalyst for increased self-esteem and the realization that they can learn a new skill and experience success. We believe the foundations we help them build will equip them for long-term success and sustainability in the workforce. Free 2 Fly is a Non-Profit because our main objective is to build a business and organization that serves women in our community. Upon exiting our program, we believe these women will have the foundations they need to succeed and thrive.
What has been your most memorable experience working at Projectfree2fly?
Joanna Ivey (Creative Director): There are two things that I would consider to be the most memorable so far. The first thing would be the relationships that I have formed with each of the women. They have really allowed me (us) into their lives and we are learning that they so desperately want to be loved and valued. The second thing is watching them grow in the skill of sewing. It’s been amazing to watch them come into the program with no knowledge or experience of sewing and to see how much they have learned. They have really grown and pushed themselves to learn and to keep up with me and what products we are producing. I’m so challenge by their desire to keep learning and not to give up on the hard parts of sewing. I believe it is also translating over into their lives. They realize that hard work does pay off and that it can change the course of one’s life. I’m so blessed to be able to teach what I know and also be able to keep challenging myself with learning new techniques. I love that they tell me they miss sewing when we have been off a few days and how they get excited to learn something NEW!
Explain your creative process when designing or coming up with ideas for your products?
Joanna Ivey: Oh gosh, this is a hard one for me! Really it’s been about what I want and need. So I would say that all my products have evolved from those desires more than just trying to be creative. I always think about the functionality of a bag and if it will really serve the purpose I want or need. I think all my designs or bag styles have come from that place! I do think when I receive or see NEW fabrics they can really spur on the creativeness for a new design. It’s all about texture, color, and of course what’s trending.
How did you find out about Art Gallery Fabrics?
Hailey Johnston: When we started researching fabrics and wholesale options for fabrics, we stumbled upon Art Gallery and immediately fell in love with so many designers & collections! When you have so many beautiful options, it can be hard to narrow down exactly what you want to offer! Especially when you want one of everything! Art Gallery’s customer service was also another reason we decided to order from AGF. We were given such great service and information from the very beginning.
What are some of your favorite AGF prints\ collections\designers?
Hailey Johnston: Some of our favorites designers are April Rhodes, Bonnie Christine & Bari J. April Rhodes' Serape & Bonnie Christine's Everblooming Fig are definitely two of our current favorites. We feel that each of these designers offer so many gorgeous prints and color schemes!
We hope you enjoyed the interview with ProjectFree2fy! Thank you to everybody that participated (makers, voters) and followers. Until the next one!