Hello craft fans, and welcome to Wise Daughters' first blog post.
I have decided to blog for the very simple reason that I love to write. Writing has become a more important part of my creative practice since January, when I committed to creating for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. It's been awesome. I am a recovering A type, but still love a good "to do" list. Yes, it's ironic and kind of sad that I have to trick myself into prioritizing something joyful by making it a duty, but it works for me.
For my first topic, I thought I'd explain where the name Wise Daughters came from. But first, a step back...
As my job came to an end in 2007 (more about my previous careers later), I knew my next move would be sole ownership of a small business. Then an irresistible contract took me into mid-2008. During this time, I pondered, consulted and held a focus group to help me determine what kind of business it might be. I knew I wanted to design some kind of creative hub, but initially thought it might be under the auspices of a cafe or bake shop that served the community via cultural activities. As I began to scout locations, I realized I had to be in the Junction, my home for over 25 years. The Junction didn't need another cafe, I felt, and the bright two-storey space at 3079B Dundas (which I now occupy) kept calling to me. I realized the creativity I wanted to foster downstairs could be supported with a retail craft operation upstairs, and Wise Daughters was born in January 2009.
In a way, it is the fulfilment of the perhaps unfulfilled dreams of my foremothers. I can't speculate how my great- and great-great aunts felt about the china-painting and needlework they did in such quantity and so proficiently, but I do know that they had the talent to do more than stuff the trousseaus of all the married women in the family. Would they have chosen to be working artists, had they been born in an era when such a thing was possible for women? I'll never know. But one of those trousseaus - my grandmother's - came with her to Canada in 1916, and I still have much more embroidered linen than I will ever be able to use. My grandmother, my mother, and her sister were all talented with their hands too, and were constantly making things. It was under their crafty influence that I was raised. My mother wanted to be a fashion designer, but was discouraged from such a "trivial" pursuit by her father. She became a micro-biologist instead.
So the name? It reflects my lineage - the skill and passion for art passed down to me, and manifesting in the next generation too. I brought up my daughters to appreciate art, dragging them mercilessly from one free cultural event to another when they were girls. They are both very creative women, and both wise beyond their years. I am as proud of them as my mother was of me. This shop honours the memory of Anne Collins Breen, who didn't get to leave her mark on the fashion world, but no doubt brought beautiful artistry to her work in the lab.