Meet Charity, our newest employee! Charity has been so helpful as I reach that stage in business where the focus is growth. She is learning so much and I’m so excited about the talent and ideas that she’s been contributing to Pamut in the short time since she’s been at the company. Charity has been working with us since May, and I finally had time to ask her some questions about herself and her work. Read on to learn more about our newest hire!
Kat: “Tell me a bit about you and your background.”

“My name is Charity Lane. I was born and raised in Raleigh/Durham NC, and was homeschooled along with my 4 siblings. I grew up with a deep love for other cultures and languages, nature, and the creative. When I stopped ballet around the age of 14 is when I started to explore visual art and music. A friend gave me my first guitar, and I started falling in love with writing songs and singing. When I graduated high school, I spent 4 months in Scotland working on art. Later, I was mentored by a Durham artist, Eleatta Diver, who helped me create my first painting series. I also started recording vocals for my friend’s band, Crywolf.


Since then, I have worked for a series of creative businesses, and have fallen in love with small business and working with my hands.”

Kat: “How about your free time? What do you like to do for fun?”

“I really love quality time with friends, gardening, cooking, and eating (I guess most of my interests are centered around food, ha!). I love big windows, cuddly animals, and I melt into a happy puddle if someone touches my back. When I travel to new places, I always hunt down the best coffee shops.

Over the past few years (before quarantine) I started playing my music at shows. I also create botanical Cyanotype prints, which I sell on Etsy (Handsome Hands Co.)”

Kat: “I’m amazed that you found time to learn how to sew along with all of your other creative pursuits! When did you first learn to sew? Was it when you were a kid, or were you older?”

“I grew up sewing a little bit, but never anything technical. Mostly mending, and sloppily altering thrift store clothes into Halloween costumes, ha! Though I spent a lot of time drawing clothes, because 10 year old me wanted to be a wedding dress designer, and ballet costume designer!

Around 2015, I got a job as a studio assistant for artist Pati Reis at Old News Design, where I learned how to quilt paper that would then be embroidered. After that, I worked at New South Manufactory, where I sewed (thousands, and thousands, and thousands…) of decorative house pillows and hammocks. I also helped launch a reclaimed fabric pillow brand at that time.”

Kat: “I’m amazed that you found time to learn how to sew along with all of your other creative pursuits! When did you first learn to sew? Was it when you were a kid, or were you older?”

“I grew up sewing a little bit, but never anything technical. Mostly mending, and sloppily altering thrift store clothes into Halloween costumes, ha! Though I spent a lot of time drawing clothes, because 10 year old me wanted to be a wedding dress designer, and ballet costume designer!

Around 2015, I got a job as a studio assistant for artist Pati Reis at Old News Design, where I learned how to quilt paper that would then be embroidered. After that, I worked at New South Manufactory, where I sewed (thousands, and thousands, and thousands…) of decorative house pillows and hammocks. I also helped launch a reclaimed fabric pillow brand at that time.”

 

Kat: “It’s such an inspiration that you’ve incorporated sustainable practices in your life, and not only in your clothing. Can you talk about that a bit?”

“For me, sustainable fashion is a small part of a broader picture. I love feeling in touch with the earth and the community – supporting local farmers and artisans. There’s something really satisfying about eating veggies that a friend grew, or wearing a dress or piece or jewelry made by someone who loves what they do. One of the main things I try to be conscious of is how my purchases and actions are affecting others. There are so many factors that go into everything we have. I would rather have fewer items, and pay more for all around quality, or buy secondhand, and know that I’m supporting real people and communities instead of supporting abuse. I’m definitely not 100% there, but trying to take baby steps.

 

Kat: “I’m sure there are a lot of people reading this interview who would love to know how to transition into a more creative job or lifestyle. What would be your one piece of advice for someone who wanted to live a more creative life?”

“It’s easy to get caught up in where we think we should be, and get frustrated if we’re not there yet. Something that I’ve been learning over the years is that there’s beauty in the present. Just keep growing, and keep taking baby steps towards where you want to be. Keep asking yourself, ‘Whats the version of my dream that I can reach right now?’ Then take that step.”

Kat: “I really enjoy having you around at work because you are so fun to be around, while at the same time being motivated and hardworking. You’ve done such a great job sewing all of the mask orders coming in! But I want to know, what is your favorite thing about working at Pamut?”

“I love the combination of being able to work with my hands and make things, and also being involved in the creative brainstorming and design process. I feel that I can show up as my full self, and I can also help something grow. I also absolutely love working with you! You are such a beautiful and peaceful presence, and you make me feel really valued.

Charity, thanks so much for letting me interview you for the Pamut blog. You are a gem, and I can’t wait to see how we grow Pamut over the next year!
Written by Katherine Williford