Studio Tissue 8 with Chris Cooper

Host: Lisa Woolfork is an associate professor of African American Literature and Culture. Her teaching and research explore Black women writers, the fiction of Black identity, trauma theory, and American slavery. She is the convener and founder of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black Lives Matter. She is also the host/producer of Stitch Please, a weekly audio podcast that centers on Black women, girls, and femmes in sewing. In the summer of 2017, she became a founding member of Black Lives Matter Charlottesville. She remains active in a variety of university and community initiatives, including the College Fellows Program to reshape the undergraduate general education curriculum.

Guest: Chris Cooper is the owner of Studio Tissue8 and is a Master Seamstress with over 30 years of professional experience specializing in bridal/wedding gowns. Having started sewing for dolls, Chris has transcended all her fears and become a master seamstress and shares her gift of sewing through her store, Studio Tissue8, which offers various services, including its signature Valet Service for Alterations.

Insights from this episode:

  • Insights into Chris’ work
  • How Chris is sharing her gift of sewing with other people
  • Chris’ journey into sewing
  • How she came up with the name Studio Tissue8
  • Her journey running Studio Tissue8
  • Chris’ commitment to sharing her gift of sewing
  • How sewing allows her to think and process her problems 
  • Chris’ fear of getting started on her journey and how she overcame it

Quotes from the show:

  • “I distinctly remember thinking that it was a gift [sewing] because it was never hard for me, it kinda just came to me” - Chris Cooper in “Stitch Please”
  • “It was gifted to you so you wanna offer that and amplify that so that other people can have the benefit from it, but also know how to do it themselves as well” - Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
  • “There is something about that fabric in my hand, and the sound of the sewing machine that just puts me at total ease” - Chris Cooper in “Stitch Please”
  • “I don’t think ‘I can’t do’ it’s just that I have never done it before” - Chris Cooper in “Stitch Please”
  • “Something that I tend to think about fear is that sometimes your victory is on the other side of fear” - Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”
  • “You’re never gonna do anything that you wanna do unless you get yourself out of this fear thing” - Chris Cooper in “Stitch Please”
  • “Fear is what pushes you, fear is what makes you do things that are out of your comfort zone. If you don’t have fear, then maybe something is not right” - Chris Cooper in “Stitch Please”
  • “When I have fear, it sometimes helps me to get the additional information and to find possibility models” - Lisa Woolfork in “Stitch Please”

Stay Connected:

Lisa Woolfork

Instagram: Lisa Woolfork

Twitter: Lisa Woolfork

Chris Cooper

Website: Studio Tissue8 

Instagram: ​​Studio Tissue8 


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Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.