On Motherhood, Life Lessons and Principles. Double Interview with my Mother.
Photographs by Laura Greene Photography.
In the photograph, Katherine wears our Recycled Cashmere Knitted Beanie Bobble Hat (Red), and her mother, Frances, wears our Giant Herringbone Double Fringe Throw Scarf (Pink).
"Never give up and be determined. But, along the way, think about the people that you involve in your journey. Always be respectful of people and be kind".
This is one of the most important lessons my mother has shared with me. If you have been part of the Thread Tales Community for a while, you will know how deep and influential my relationship with my mother is on both my life and in that of my business.
When I first started working in fashion for a number of fast fashion companies, I often thought about these words and I could not help feeling that I was not really working towards my values. Everyone was out for themselves and there was no sense of community. I remember I was always looking for a way out, though I still loved what I was doing: I still loved being a designer and having the chance to be creative. My mum and her words were in my head all the time, so when she brought the Lotus back from Myanmar, it felt like the call I had been waiting for. It was the beginning of an amazing journey, one that meant something to me then as it still does today.
My mum and I are so different in many ways, yet I see so much of her in myself as a person, as a designer and as a business owner. She is a constant source of inspiration as well as a (role) model (surprisingly she’s quite the natural in front of the camera too!). I deeply cherish our connection, both as a daughter and as a mother myself.
Having a double interview was not something either her or myself were used to, but I enjoyed seeing our differences and similarities, the same set of values and, so importantly, a mutual sense of admiration emerge from our answers.
In the photograph, Katherine wears our Cashmere Cardigan Ombre (Natural), while her mother, Frances, wears Hand Woven Narrow Yak Scarf (Wine).
How would you describe your mother-daughter relationship?
K: Mum’s a great role model to me. Kind yet strong, fiercely independent and quietly determined. Her work as a midwife and training birthing assistants in developing countries is testimony to this. Whilst growing up we grew to have total respect for each other and also an acceptance that things are difficult at times, but you need to work through it and move forward and give that love and support that they need to get through. And friendship. Friendship is such a bond and our relationship.
F: Very simply: loving, fun and supportive
What have you come to appreciate in your mother/daughter as you/she grew into an adult young woman? How has your relationship changed with the years?
K: She has such a positive influence and always manages to get me to look at things in a different light when I lose perspective on things. She never held me back from experiencing and valuing life and all its highs and lows.
F: Her passion, her hard work and commitment to everything she does. And watching her grow in confidence.
How would you describe your mother/daughter in three words?
K: Strong, Inspiring, Giving.
F: Fun-loving, total loyalty to friends and family, and courage to do anything.
How do you think your mother/daughter would describe you?
K: I think she would see many of her values in me. I have the same quiet determination and giving nature as her. I am sometimes more emotionally driven than her, but have learnt how to override this with a good teacher, my mum!
F: She would describe me as a bit mad, eccentric and hard working.
What is the most important thing your mother/daughter has taught you?
K: Mindfulness was not a ‘thing’ when we are growing up but we were very in touch with nature thanks to our outdoor-focused lifestyle. She has taught me to never give up and how to pick myself up and carry on. She teaches me how to have a healthy perspective on things.
F: She has shown us all what grit and determination are.
How was posing together for our Thread Tales shoot? What did you discover about each other and your relationship?
K: I was surprised how at ease Mum was in front of the camera and she naturally projected her confidence without even trying. It’s one of the special qualities I see in my mum everyday.
F: I discovered that we work well together and it was fun!
Do you have a similar sense of style? What do you like about your mother's/daughter's style?
K: My mum doesn’t not like to dress up, but appreciates good quality and loves natural fabrics, so that’s where we align. I am a bit of a chameleon and dress to suit my surroundings. I used to follow trends if they suited me, now I just wear what suits me regardless of trend.
F: I have a very casual style, I am not too worried about what I look like as long as I feel comfy. I mostly live in jeans!
I love the sustainability of Katherine’s style.
What would you choose as a present for your mother/daughter from the Thread Tales collections? Why?
K: The Lotus scarf. Everything about this scarf symbolises our relationship in so many ways and how she has been such an inspiration to me! She can wear this scarf and always know it’s not only a beautiful piece, but an emblem of the emotional bond between us, and of where my journey as an entrepreneur began.
F: The scarf with the beautiful embroidery of the crane as it sums up her whole philosophy: sustainability, helping others to earn a decent wage so they can care for their families, and care of other people and the environment. And it is such amazing workmanship!