Notorious Needle may have only been up and running for six months but owner Sarah Vargas has been building to this moment, in many ways, for decades.
I was drawn to Sarah’s designs after discovering her on Etsy -- and quickly signed up for her newsletter. Through that, I learned about her Political Therapy collection that she launched yesterday (aka Super Tuesday). I immediately reached out to learn more about her motivation and her path.
Like many of us, Sarah found that cute “birth announcement samplers or unicorns and faeries” did not jive with where she was in her life. After a tough divorce, when all Sarah wanted to do was scream, she heard about Stephanie Rohr's Subversive Cross Stitch.
She learned that it was ok “to drop an F-bomb into a wreath of embroidered flowers.”
“(Stephanie) inspired me to let go of what I was "supposed" to do and it was empowering in many aspects of my life. So now I want to pay it forward,” Sarah said.
I, for one, am grateful that Sarah wants to pay it forward because her new collection is fantastic.
“For this latest line,” she explained, “I participated in a couple of local protests and truly LAUGHED at a lot of the sign slogans. It felt so good to know that I was not alone in feeling horror at what I was witnessing my government do in my name. Keeping silent hurts us all, and I'm hoping to inspire people to talk MORE about the hard stuff like politics, religion, sex and money.”
She admits that her patterns aren’t for everyone. “Even my best friend said she could never stitch a particular one because it just hits too close to home.”
But Sarah has two straightforward responses to those who may not appreciate her amazing designs: “First,” she said, “scientific studies show that people who swear are more intelligent and are better able to endure pain, so it helps. And second, using crafts and art for political expression and influence isn't new - and it works.”
You can find Sarah all over social at @NotoriousNeedle -- for everything.
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