After years of toiling in the fashion accessories industry in New York City and subsequent years doing so as a misguided mother & wife looking to fulfill my creative energies, I seized the opportunity to delve into something new when we moved to Houston, TX. Construction and home renovation came knocking, and having previously tasted it in a renovation of a 116 year old home in the Catskills, I threw my hat into the ring. Working for a construction company, and then branching out on my own, I was inspired by the notion of tearing down walls and building them up again to create dream spaces for clients. My business in Houston filled me completely. That is, until my husband’s passions brought us to the Queen City, Charlotte, NC. Relaunching my business filled my time, but not my spirit. Filling the spirit came through reconnecting with friends I’ve known for over 20 years. Friends who were like family to me. And wouldn’t you know it, Carissa married into that relationship. Yup, she married my brother’s best childhood friend. I remember sitting at their wedding 22 years ago. Who could have guessed that reconnecting has proven to be the most ironically hilarious adventure ever! Oh, and wait! After 4 years of a renewed friendship, we finally stumbled into the convo about what Carissa did to pass her time in her delirium of motherhood… creating and sewing fantastic bags!
So, 14 years after departing the fashion accessories business in NYC, a partnership with a gal (who was always a partner in fun), brings us to the relaunch of Carissa Black. I guess you can take the girl out of the world of designers, drawings, metal, ribbon, beads and stones, but you can’t take that world out of a girl. So yes, accessories here I come again! I just never would have believed with a long lost friend and now my closest “family” in my home away from home. Two PA girls reunite! Carissa Black, here we come!
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina… nursing is nursing is nursing… Riding a gurney to keep a patient alive, split second decisions, science, training, more training, did I mention training? Yes, nursing and the adrenaline was what I knew and what I lived to do. It should then come as no surprise that I needed an outlet. I found it in a needle and thread (a different needle and thread than my day job). Sewing, quilting and needlepoint became my pastime. Now insert children into the mix and my nursing time became less. Friends became interested in the pieces I was making. I was a mom-entrepreneur in the making. Schlepping my two small boys to the fabric store and making items that my friends, my family and my Etsy following were clambering for have become my new passion. People liked my stuff. No, wait. They loved my stuff! I had an eye for color and pattern and loved what I was doing. Well, maybe all except what it took to manage the business. Nurses and moms have better things to manage, right?
Now we sit here in Charlotte, in a pandemic, and it only seemed right to put the culmination of my life’s experiences to work. Masks, masks and more masks were sewn and sent to old nursing friends throughout the country. My followers on Facebook who loved my bags began messaging me. So, I made more masks. And, looking at the sewing machine collecting nothing but dust since our move to North Carolina gave me an itch. My hands needed to get busy again! I realized my life has always been a story about a fantasy land with flowers, bugs, color, fairies, you name it! And there was no better way to express that than going back to the sewing machine and bringing back to life the creations I made for so many. And now I can do so with a business partner, age old friend, and someone who will never admit to seeing the fairies, but I’m certain she does. Yes, Carissa Black is back in business. Two PA girls reunite!