Dru Christine Designs

0.75x 1x 1.25x 1.5x 2x 0:0000:33:42 Dru Christine Designs

1x
0:00
00:33:42
Powered by the Simple Podcast Press Player

Episode Summary

Dru Christine Thompson is a maker, sewing teacher, instructor, designer, organizer, and manager of Dru Christine Fabric & Designs. Dru joins the Stitch Please podcast to share her philosophy on fashion, design, and sewing and why her true mission is to impact her community through sewing and teaching others to sew. In this episode, Dru shares her story on how she started sewing at the age of 13 and her journey of self-awareness as she continued to hone her craft over the years. Dru also shares how color combinations can tell a story, what cohesive design within a collection means, and her unique experience as a black woman in fashion school. This opened up our conversation as we talked about what appeals most to her about sewing and design and why she continues to sew custom pieces for clients, despite the challenges.This episode is a beautiful lesson on self-awareness, believing in yourself, and doing the best you can. So tune in, get motivated, and be inspired by this fantastic episode.

Episode Notes

Dru Christine’s website is druchristine.com.

Dru is also on Facebook and Instagram @druchristine

BlackWomenStitch Instagram, homepage, Patreon

Read Full Transcript

Lisa Woolfork 0:14

Hello stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Stitch Please podcast. I am your host, Lisa Woolfork. And I am so happy to be able to introduce to you today Dru Christine Thompson, who is a wonderful, fantastic maker, sewing teacher, instructor, designer, organizer, and manager and resource maker. Right. So you think you're looking at one person, but you are looking at one person that wears about 5011 hats. She just don't have them on all right now because she's got some gorgeous earrings on. Let me tell you, we had to take a five minute break before we started today, good friends, because I had not had my coffee yet. So I said "Oh wait, Dru. Hold on one second. Let me come back in five minutes." Sis came back. She had the earrings. I was like "What!" Now I got to go change.

Dru Christine 1:39

I had to catch up.

Lisa Woolfork 1:40

So listen, y'all, if you are a Patreon supporter, you will be watching this video a day ahead or so from our episode. And if you are not a Patreon subscriber, why are you not? The low is $2 a month. Clearly, I am worth more than $2 a month and you know this, man. I am so happy to get started talking with you, Dru, because Dru has a philosophy, a true mission to teach people to sew. And I am grateful for it. I am so grateful for it because we all want sewing to thrive. We want the next generation to be able to do what we do now. And I, Lisa me, do not want to teach anybody how to sew. I find it annoying, and a really long and painful process. I am happy that there are folks like you in our community who are delighted to do it. Welcome to the program. Dru, thank you for joining us today.

Dru Christine 2:37

No thank you, excited. Thank you.

Lisa Woolfork 2:38

So Dru, can you tell us the beginning of your sewing story? Where did you get started? How did you come to sew?

Dru Christine 2:39

Oh, man. I was a very, I'll say active child. I don't like to say bad child. You know, I was just very energetic. So I got put on punishment a lot. So no phone, no TV. Obviously, there was no cable and all that, but for some reason the sewing machine was still hanging around. Cuz my mother sewed. My sister sews. My sister sews way better than me actually, she just doesn't want no parts. And I just started messing with the sewing machine. I started taking my mother's sheets and whatever, and they started taking me to the fabric store. It started from there. I've been sewing probably since I was 13. I'll be 49 this month so.

Lisa Woolfork 3:26

Happy birthday.

Dru Christine 3:27

Yeah, thank you. So yeah, sewing for a little bit of time, little bit of time.

Lisa Woolfork 3:31

My goodness. I'm just amazed that all the energy. All of the things that might land you on punishment ended up opening a door to a career for you. Did you take to sewing right away? Because 13 year old Lisa, when she was on punishment, was not enthusiastic about sewing anything. I would be surly, and I'd be like reading books really mad in my room. Or something like that.

Dru Christine 3:55

Right, right, right.

Lisa Woolfork 3:55

So like, what were you doing? You're like, "Oh, I'm on punishment. I'm gonna make a handbag." Like what?

Dru Christine 3:55

I was always really creative. So I was drawing. I would be making lotions and send them to my friends. I was always doing something. I'm so glad my son isn't like how I was. I know I drove my parents crazy. I was always doing something. Always doing something. So someone was just, they like, "Oh, okay, yeah. All right."

Lisa Woolfork 4:21

What was the first thing you made? Do you remember your very first project? The first thing you made?

Dru Christine 4:28

I'm sure it was some Barbie clothes, I'm sure. But I don't remember. I'll have to ask my mother. She probably remembers.

Lisa Woolfork 4:34

Oh my gosh,

Dru Christine 4:35

I don't remember.

Lisa Woolfork 4:36

Now that was the 13 year old you, and now you are the grown adult you, and you have this mission to teach people to sew. How do you take your love of sewing, the things that you love about sewing and give them to somebody else? I guess the first question is, what is it about sewing compared to all the other things that you did at the time, like the drawing and all the other things, what is it about sewing and design work that appeals to you?

Dru Christine 5:05

So the whole concept of taking something flat, and then making it to be able to fit your body is still just like, "Wow!" You know, you start with something flat. You got to do all this stuff to it. I mean, my background was fashion design, too. So I did go to school of fashion design, ended up getting a degree in merchandising, which is obviously the better skill that I need. So yeah, just the whole concept of being able to take something and put on your body, that was just, is still very fascinating to me, even now. Very fascinating.

Lisa Woolfork 5:35

And so doing your training in fashion design school, what kind of skills do you remember, like practicing that you found, like, revelatory like, "Oh, that's interesting," or "I didn't know that was a way to do it." I always imagined fashion school, when anybody says they've gone to fashion school, I imagined it being like a combination of that show Fame from the 80s, where they had kids dancing on top of the cafeteria tables, because they were dancing. People would break out violins at lunch, and they'd be having concerts. I imagine that being like that, but with sewing machines, and people walk around with their sewing machines, and then they sit down, and they make something real fast, and then they throw up a fashion show in the cafeteria. I know that's probably not how any fashion school actually works. But just let me have my illusions.

Dru Christine 6:19

Throwing in little bit of hazing. (laughs)

Lisa Woolfork 6:21

Oh my gosh, what?! Hazing?

Dru Christine 6:24

Oh, yeah, like you had critiques. Like Project Runway how they stand up there. We had critiques, and we had, yeah, it was no dance. It was a lot of crying, probably. But no, you know, but what I did learn was the marketability piece. I learned about the business part of it. Like, we think all these fabulous ideas come up. And they already know what we're wearing two or three years from now. So I learned about that. I learned about the business of fashion. I really took the Costume and History of Fashion. I really, really enjoyed that. And then just when I designed the show, I learned about just making your fashion designs look cohesive.

Lisa Woolfork 7:02

What does that mean? What does a cohesive design mean?

Dru Christine 7:06

So for you hear 'em saying on, Project- I don't watch Project Runway many more- but like, say, for example, you have on that beautiful fabric, right? So cohesion would be a dress out of that fabric. And then maybe somebody would do a pair of pants out of that fabric, a hat, and just a cold color combination. So it looks like a collection, as opposed to you might see street designers. They got a black shirt, a red shirt, green pants. I like this. I like that. What I found was, after I finished fashion school or my training as a designer, I went back to Cleveland doing these shows, and my collections looked completely different than everybody else's, because I'm formally trained. So that was a skill I learned. I still, even today, as I'm merchandising stuff, I'm always thinking about color combinations and how it tells a story. So that was a profitable skill. Not sure if it was worth the money. (laughs) But I did learn that.

Lisa Woolfork 8:03

Oh my word. I appreciate how you're bringing that forward. And like looking at some of the most recent work that you've done, like with the mix of the skirts and the bows, and it seems as though any shirt could go with it, because you have that cohesion from the top to the bottom. So is that how cohesion works? Does it have to be some kind of like, is it a vertical thing that you can look at a person and say what that is? Or is it something else? Is it something different?

Dru Christine 8:29

It could be a detail. It could be fabric. So a lot of people look at my stuff and they know what's mine, because I got all those bows. If you look at my collections, it's just really the same silhouette over and over. I just change it up. So cohesion could be anything, but it's just as long as it's able to look at the collection and know it's all the same thing. Even when you look at collections on the runway, you can pick out the things, if you look at the first five or six garments, you could pick out what the thing is.

Lisa Woolfork 8:55

Do you have a favorite fabric to work with? Do you have a fabric type or style that you're like, "Oh, if I'm in like, mood, and I'm not sure I want to do if I pick up this fabric? I'll know that I'll be good. Or is that not how you get motivated to design a piece? What comes to you first? Is it fabric? Is it color? Is it mood? Like how do you decide? I always wondered that, like how does the designer decide what they're going to put together?

Dru Christine 9:29

If they're crazy enough is not one thing. So it could be anything. It could be music. It could be fabric. I'm still looking at your shirt. It could be, I mean, it could be anything. So yeah, it could be anything. I know that's not a good answer, but.

Lisa Woolfork 9:47

It's a great answer. That's your answer. That's the right answer.

Dru Christine 9:49

Yeah, I could see a leaf and be like, "Oh, I wanna do-" It could be anything

Lisa Woolfork 9:54

Oh my word.

Dru Christine 9:55

I mean, in the artist's brain, there's like 20 tabs open at all times.

Lisa Woolfork 10:00

Oh, wow. That's a great metaphor. That's a great metaphor.

Dru Christine 10:04

I mean, that's most women. But yeah. My sister says, "I've never met anybody that's always thinking." She talks to me, and I'm I'm always like, "hm..." (laughs)

Lisa Woolfork 10:16

Good morning, Dru. How are you? "Thinking."

Dru Christine 10:18

Da-da-da-da, da- Imma do this . Imma do this. Imma do that.

Lisa Woolfork 10:21

I love it. I love it. Do the tabs in your mind help you keep track of it all? Do you ever lose an idea? I sometimes worry that I do.

Dru Christine 10:31

Oh yea!My sister laughs at me, she said, "If you ever commit a crime, I know you have a notebook somewhere that you wrote it down." I have notebooks and I just go. And the phone doesn't do; You have to write it. Got loose ideas, I lose them. Especially as I'm getting older.

Lisa Woolfork 10:50

Yeah, I love that idea that you keep that notebook nearby. That is so smart. So that you can put it down, and you know it's not gone. It's like, it's here. It's somewhere and now I can release it. I can close this tab in my mind. I got it here in this book.

Dru Christine 11:03

Right.

Lisa Woolfork 11:03

I love that. I wanted to see if we could talk a bit about some of the custom work that you do, which is, I always find custom sewing- talk about hazing! That is what I think of as custom sewing. Like, I have a good enough time trying to get it to fit my body right, let alone any and everybody that walks through the door. Is that an extension also of your merchandising vision? What motivated you and kept you going with the custom sewing, which feels like so challenging?

Dru Christine 11:37

So I think I started making clothes for people when I was 19.

Lisa Woolfork 11:40

Mm hmm.

Dru Christine 11:41

I mean, money is always the motivator. We used to have these things at Cleveland called hair shows. I'm sure they have ‘em all over.

Lisa Woolfork 11:47

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dru Christine 11:47

Our saying was huge. I'm 19 and people are coming to me like, "I need eight outfits in a week." I'm like, "okay," and they got this big wad of cash. And I'm, you know, I'm getting it done. But it was fantasy. It was fun. It was throwaway stuff. I didn't have no serger and I don't want to look at some of that stuff. And then it just moved towards people just you know, kept calling, kept calling. I keep telling people like "I'm not doing prom." They keep calling and calling. So now after the pandemic what we have to realize is service week, we kind of helping people. Like everybody's still just in this weird state. They're planning these events. They're anxious. They don't know what's going on. So they want to feel normal to some degree. And some people want to come get a dress made, and believe it or not, you become a counselor, really through this whole process.

Lisa Woolfork 12:42

Believe it. Say more about that. When someone comes to you and say "I want a dress made." How is that like counseling in some way?

Dru Christine 12:48

Well, you get people who ,you know, insecure about their shape. Or they'll come in and say, "Hey, I just lost my whatever, my husband, and I want to get some made for my birthday." I mean, the prom dynamics alone, so you got mothers and daughters. Honey, you already know. It's like the daughter is going in, and Mom is-

Lisa Woolfork 13:07

She's like, "I want a plunging neckline down to my belly button. And I also want it to do the same thing in the back."

Dru Christine 13:12

And I just look at the mom. I stop drawing. I just look at the mom. And then she'll say- to the point now with the girls that they talk to their mothers- I say "you have to stop talking to your mom like that." I can't take that. Some of those kids talk to their mom so bad. You become and then I guess, auntie, counselor and then it gets to "What shoes should I wear?" They text me pictures of their shoes and my hair. So it's all this, and then after they get the outfit you don't hear from again. Then we just we started all over again

Lisa Woolfork 13:43

Like "thanks for paying the invoice. I wouldn't mind a picture you had a minute."

Dru Christine 13:47

Oh yeah. Oh thank God for social media, because I used to have to put an envelope, a stamped envelope, in the prom outfit so they could mail me back a picture, because they would get that dress and be gone. You know.

Lisa Woolfork 14:01

Wow. And in some ways that's a great sign of your success as well. Right, that you got them from the idea stage and the discomfort stage, the 'I don't know about my body. I don't feel comfortable,' whatever to feeling like 'hey, this is how it always was right? I'm happy. I'm proud. I'm delighted. And I forgot who got me to this point. Goodbye.'

Dru Christine 14:24

'Forget her. Um, this is mine, you know, I'm gone.'

Lisa Woolfork 14:29

When you said you started making clothes for people at 19, that was before you started fashion design school?

Dru Christine 14:36

Yeah.

Lisa Woolfork 14:37

So you are already building runway collections, because you worked with hair shows. And for y'all who don't know what a hair show is, how hair show works. It is theater.

Dru Christine 14:50

Yes ma'am. Oh, it was so fun though.

Lisa Woolfork 14:52

It is drama, it is like, again, this show centers, Black women, girls and femmes in sewing, so the people that we're talking to know what we're talking about.

Dru Christine 15:02

Yeah. It was so fun. So fun.

Lisa Woolfork 15:04

The drama. Stuff like "that's somebody's hair?!"

Dru Christine 15:07

I got a bird, in a bird cage.

Lisa Woolfork 15:11

A bird cage.

Dru Christine 15:12

With a bird. It was just so fun.

Lisa Woolfork 15:15

Bells. It can be like bells so when you walk down and bells ring.

Dru Christine 15:19

All type of stuff.

Lisa Woolfork 15:20

It's sculpture. It's sculpture. And the garments become like part of the canvas for the overall art, you know, and you putting up eight of them in a week, like, "Okay, real quick." And then of course, because you're 19 you're like, "Yeah, sure."

Dru Christine 15:35

"Oh, are you gonna give me some money. Oh, is that money?" Cuz you hair people get paid. They have cash. So they're coming.

Lisa Woolfork 15:41

Yes. Yes. They're like, like, "How much fabric? How much? Here you go, here. Is this enough?"

Dru Christine 15:45

Right, right. Yeah, it was cool. It was. So those were probably every other week. And to me if you want to learn how to sew and fast, that was it. So I forgot what the question was. But yeah.

Lisa Woolfork 15:58

I'm so glad we took this turn. Because what I'm thinking about is you as a 19 year old with substantial experience in sewing under high pressure situations, right, of meeting the expectation of artists who have a specific vision for what they want, right? Because the hairstylist that are paying you to do these outfits, want them to look a certain way. I'm thinking about you as a 19 year old taking all that skill and information, and then going to fashion school.

Dru Christine 16:26

It was bad.

Lisa Woolfork 16:27

Like, that's what I wanted to ask about, like what does it mean to kind of translate your organic knowledge, the stuff that you had built up through your own years- you already had, you came into school with six years of practice, right?

Dru Christine 16:39

And a business. I went to college with a business. I laugh about it now. Because as an African American, it was probably, what four, it was four of us in my fashion school. And the problem I always had was, "Who you think you are?"

Lisa Woolfork 16:54

I think I'm Dru Christine. So that's who I think I am.

Dru Christine 16:56

Yeah, but it was like, I guess in hindsight, I could have been a little bit more quiet. I mean, you know, that is, that is me.

Lisa Woolfork 17:05

Girl, please.

Dru Christine 17:06

It was funny because they made me take sewing in my first year. And my father laughed. Yeah, I didn't get to test out which was a joke, and I got a "C." (laughs) That was a seasoning, you know, put me in my place.

Lisa Woolfork 17:24

Hey, friends, hey. What are you doing on Thursday around 3pm or so? You got 30 minutes to hang out with Black Women Stitch? You got 60? If so, come through for 30 Minute Thursdays.Thursdays, 3pm Eastern Standard Time. You can chill with Black Women Stitch on Instagram Live, or talk with us through the two-way audio on Clubhouse at 3:30pm Eastern Standard Time. That's Thursday for 30 minutes. Come hang out, chill and have fun with us. See you Thursday.

That's the hazing you mentioned. For six years, they force you to take a sewing class in fashion design school, and you're like, how did you end up with a "C"? Was that just cruel. Were there techniques that you didn't know how to do?

Dru Christine 18:18

I don't know. One opportunity I think the school missed was teaching kids how to be entrepreneurs, instead of working for somebody. So I got to school with a business already. And we went off and made our own organization, a whole different minority fashion organization. We were doing fashion shows, because it was me. almost like six of us that had our own fashion lines coming to school.

Lisa Woolfork 18:45

Wow. And these were all students of color. These are all Black and Brown students.

Dru Christine 18:51

It was called Fashion Association of Diverse Students. So we was just going off doing our own thing. We was going to CFDA awards. We were doing all type of stuff. And that's the opportunity I think the school missed. So fast forward. Now. I got called maybe about three or four years ago to come down there to speak. Now they have an entrepreneurship program. I said, "Are you kidding me?"

Lisa Woolfork 19:15

Wow.

Dru Christine 19:15

I said, "We would be millionaires by now if they had that when we were there.

Wow.

And I laughed. I said, "Ma, guess who want me to come speak?" I said, "KIT." And she said, "What!?" Cause I didn't graduate from KIT. I ended up graduating from University of Akron, but that's a whole nother story. But yeah, so we were ahead again, transcending as usual, right?

Lisa Woolfork 19:38

And by decades, by actual decades, and isn't it funny, that the thing that they gave you a hard time about when you started 30 years ago, right? They gave you grief about that. Now they want you to come back an example of it. Like, you know, I'll come back for this honorarium and for a revision of this great (unclear) transcript because it-

Dru Christine 20:02

Oh girl. I mean, but it's funny because a lot of professors after that they speak to me now or they, you know, they're cool. I even had one of my drawing teachers walk into my studio one day, she didn't know it was my studio. And I had a flashback. I was like, "Ah!"

Lisa Woolfork 20:19

Run! Save yourself.

Dru Christine 20:22

Right. And she's like, is this your shop? I say, "Yes, it is. Yeah, sure is. But that "D" you gave me y'all... but I digress.

Lisa Woolfork 20:31

You know what they say? Living well is the best revenge.

Dru Christine 20:34

Yep. Yep, it is. So I'm grateful. I just always shake myself about the situations and places I end up because of my art. But I'm always grateful, you know.

Lisa Woolfork 20:44

What I love about your story is that it is so you and it reminds us that we should and can bet on ourselves.

Dru Christine 20:52

Oh, yeah, keep going. Cuz oh wee. You're getting the Cliff Notes but yeah.

Lisa Woolfork 20:57

And how that betting on yourself has now turned into an expansion. So not only do you have a studio and a business that your former professors can walk into and marvel at, you are growing that. So talk about that, like how do you know when it's time for an enterprise to expand? Like, what was the signal that you were like, "Okay, I think we're gonna need to do a little bit more. We need more room. How do you know when it's time?

Dru Christine 21:26

You mean try to go from my home business to my business or from the business to more business, which one?

Lisa Woolfork 21:32

Both. First, how do you go from the home business to the 'now I have a shop that I'm paying, rent and lights and everything for' then how did you decide, 'okay, I'm doing this. And now I'm going to do more of it.' But it seems like that I think the hardest step to me as an outsider sounds like going from a home business to more like a formal outside type thing. But you had the experience. What do you think?

Dru Christine 21:57

So I was married. One of the prerequisites for buying our house was I need this space to the back of the house so I can have clients. So we had a home. We had like a little, like a den. It was perfect. I made it into the studio. People did not have to come through my house. They would come to my back door, do what they had to do. We kept doing that I guess maybe, I don't even know, maybe 10 years. I did that both my places. And then I got divorced. I was going through a divorce. And as I'm going through a divorce, I lost my job. So I'm like, "okay, all right, God. All right. All right. All right. All right. All right." And I still have people calling. And I think my car was about to get repossessed or something. I said, "God, if you just let me get this money for this car, I will just, I don't even know, you know." One of these Hail Mary prayers.

Lisa Woolfork 22:47

Yes.

Dru Christine 22:48

And I think three people came that day. Paid cash. And I was like, "Oh, shoot, I got this money. I'm about to pay this car and go to Nordstrom." God said, "No." I had just enough money to pay the car note and like a Subway sandwich. I said, "Okay, I'll go get the sandwich." So that kind of signaled to me that this is what I should be doing. And the cool part about it was- you know how we have our fabric- I had fabric in the basement. So I was trying to figure out how I could deal with customers and not spend that much money. So I started, they asked for something, I would bring some of my fabrics out from the basement and shelves, and say "Hey." And they will pick from there. And I said, "This could be a business." You know, because the whole concept of somebody feeling like they custom fit everything.

Lisa Woolfork 23:34

Yes, yes, yes.

Dru Christine 23:36

I don't even know when I've decided to go get a key. I just remember having a key. I don't remember. I don't remember. I know I told my sister, "I'm going to get a space." And then next thing you know I was like "I got this space." But I don't know what happened. I didn't know I was floating on my ancestors.

Lisa Woolfork 23:52

Amen!

Dru Christine 23:53

Because I don't even know. I don't remember when I thought of it, I just was doing it.

Lisa Woolfork 23:58

Yes. Oh, my God. "Floating on your ancestors."

Dru Christine 24:03

Somebody was carrying me because I don't know. I don't remember. I don't remember.

Lisa Woolfork 24:06

That is amazing. I love it because it shows that that is so thoroughly integrated into who you are, and how you do you, and how Dru puts Dru's spin on it. It's a process that nobody else could follow. Right? Because it was just something that was for you. Like they say, "What God has for you is for you." You know, and like that's what you are telling us. And so I really, really appreciate the way that you carved out space in your home to keep it separate. But you started to realize that 'you know, I could keep it very separate' by having a space that's completely different and next thing you know, you got to the key. So now you've got the key. You've got the space. It's this wonderful studio. People are coming in to learn to sew and doing custom work and all of these things. And you have such a great impact in your community. How do you then decide to say, "Okay, it's time to do this, but more." What was that decision like to get you to the point where "We are going to expand."

Dru Christine 25:13

So you could thank COVID basically. Of course, we've talked about masks. I was making masks, and I was like, "Wait a minute. I don't want to be competing with these 12 year olds making masks. I got to figure something out." So I started selling, not the mask. I started selling mask kits and fabric and interfacing and elastic. I still got elastic. So I started, not necessarily only taking them as my competitors, but making them my customers. Because if you think about it, people were standing like going to Joanne's for three or four hours. And you could just come to my shop, and I'mma run it outside, you know.

Lisa Woolfork 25:47

Right. That's right.

Dru Christine 25:48

Then when we opened back up slightly, our sewing class just exploded. I mean, I had this class called Weekend Warrior. And I started having it every month. And every month is sold out for a year. It was crazy. So we were having it outside my studio. My studio people let me have it in the hallway. Because we was having like six to eight people. We had to spread out.

Lisa Woolfork 26:12

Yes. Yeah.

Dru Christine 26:13

So we just kept having the class, and I got burned out on it probably about May. And I was like, 'I'm not doing this.' Because the people were getting weird. I was like, 'We're gonna go back to having this every other month.' It was getting too weird. But the sewing classes. I mean, I'm talking about private lessons. It picked up so my studio, I didn't think it was a problem. I thought it was fine. My sister was like, "Yeah, it is kind of packed in here." And I'm like, "What!?" There is the space next to me, and I wanted it, but I was scared. I was like, "I don't know. We still in the pandemic. I was like, "I don't know if I'm gonne be able to." -because you know, everything is still very uncertain. So somebody else went over there. And then one day, I got to work. And he came, the guy that owned my studio said, "Hey, if you want to have your class in this other space, you can, because they're gone." And I'm like, "What? Oh, they're gone." I said, "Okay." So I'm thinking like, "Okay, I'm gonna just have my class and it is something was like, "No, you need to find out how much that space is. And get it." You know, when you sewing, you can't have noise next to you. That was always my thing. I can't have people next to me making noise because I will never get anything done. So I don't know. Next thing I know, I've got that that other space. (laughs) Again, I said, I said, "Okay, God, if I make XYZ amount of money in this amount of time, then I know that's the answer." And that money came through probably like in six hours.

Lisa Woolfork 27:39

Oh, my word. Look at that.

Dru Christine 27:40

And I was like, "All right. All right." Okay, so I take things and they have to really fall on me for me to know it for me. I don't go seek out stuff. I wait for it to come to me. Yeah, that works better for me.

Lisa Woolfork 27:51

Mm hmm. Oh my. I love this. Oh my goodness, Dru, this is so wonderful. I'm so happy for all of your growth, all of your flourishing, all the things that you are doing. It's just so wonderful. It's abundance, right? Like it's an overflow. You've got overflow,

Dru Christine 28:11

But people need to know it's not easy either. I took off a week. I worked my, like nobody you know. People have been grateful, but people think it's easy. They see, you know, and I'm like, "You don't know what I had to- I mean, this is on the turn of a divorce and a lost family- which is not happy.

Lisa Woolfork 28:27

Yeah.

Dru Christine 28:28

You know, people think they look at something they see as one way. I mean, I literally remember going to the bank with my money for my settlement. And the lady was like, "What do you want to do today?" and I was like, (pretends to cry).

Lisa Woolfork 28:43

And that's when the bank teller becomes a counselor, just like you the counselor for the girls that come through for (crosstalk)

Dru Christine 28:48

I remember just balling. I mean, cuz she's like, "What? How can I help you today?" (cries) I got this check. That's how they do. You get a divorce. They give you this check. And it's like, "Damn, this is my life. This is it?" You know?

Lisa Woolfork 29:03

This piece of paper.

Dru Christine 29:03

Right! That's how I felt. It's like, "Damn, this is okay, that's 20 years all right down the drain." So people have to realize that. And I work hard. I work a lot. It's not easy.

Lisa Woolfork 29:16

Yes. You put in the time, and there are certain things that are incalculable, you know, like the grief and the loss, the things that have helped to also motivate you that this also is part of your journey. And I think a lot of people see the finish line and think "Oh, wow, she just crossed the finish line. Good for her. That was easy." And they don't see all all the millions and millions of steps and the years of sacrifice and missed things and missed opportunities and, you know, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul and all of that.

Dru Christine 29:49

I'm sitting here now like, "Ooh I took this time off. I need some money. I need some money." I asked my dog if he got some money. He don't have none.

Lisa Woolfork 30:00

Oh my goodness, Dru, this has been such a wonderful conversation. I'm so thankful to speak with you today. Let me ask you, I've been asking folks about this the slogan of the Stitch Please podcast is, "we will help you get your stitch together." And I'm going to ask you, what advice do you have for our listeners? And how would you help somebody get their stitch together? What advice would you have to help them get their stitch together?

Dru Christine 30:23

So surprisingly, is not about anything about creating, it's more about- I've been really on this journey of self awareness, and believing that you deserve things. So you have these people who want to learn how to sew or want to go into a business, any business, and you have to believe that you deserve it. So that keeps you from undercharging. That keeps you from asking for what you deserve. I mean, you got to deal with landlords. I'm a Black woman dealing with male landlords, and I have to say to them, "I need this fix." So self-awareness. Believe you deserve whatever. That's the first step. I mean, it's not nothing to do with sewing unfortunately, but just believing, and self-aware, honing in on your craft, and making sure you're doing the best. And with the pandemic, we going that extra mile for people. I've been doing more home deliveries and ever, which I do not do, but just to get that extra piece. So self-awareness, you know, willingness to help, that's all I got.

Lisa Woolfork 31:20

I love it. I love it. And I think that that self-awareness and telling yourself that you deserve it is key to life, not just to sewing well, but to living well. And that's what it's about. Dru Christine Thompson. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This has been wonderful. I'm gonna put all your social links in the show notes. But do you want to tell the folks where they can find you on the socials?

Dru Christine 31:48

I am on everything. I'm not on Tik Tok. I just can't. I can't. But I'm on Facebook. Dru Christine Fabric And Design. I'm on Twitter, Dru Christine, the Instagram, Dru Christine and my website www.druchristine. com. LinkedIn Dru Thompson. So you just put in Dru Thompson or Dru Christine and I will pop up somewhere, except Tik Tok. I can't do Tik Tok.

Lisa Woolfork 32:15

Thank you so much, Dru. This has been wonderful. Thank you.

Dru Christine 32:19

All right, cool.

Lisa Woolfork 32:22

You've been listening to the Stitch Please podcast, the official podcast of Black Women Stitch to sewing group where Black lives matter. We appreciate you supporting us by listening to the podcast. If you'd like to reach out to us with questions, you can contact us at blackwomenstitch@gmail.com. If you'd like to support us financially, you can do that by supporting us on Patreon, P-A-T-R-E-O-N. You can find Black Women Stitch there in the Patreon directory. And for as little as $2 a month you can help support the project with things like editing transcripts and other things to strengthen the podcast. And finally, if financial support is not something you can do right now, you can really really help the podcast by rating it and reviewing it anywhere you listen to podcasts that allows you to review them, so I know that not all podcast directories or services allow for reviews but for those who do for those that have like a star rating or just ask for a few comments. If you could share those comments and say nice things about us at the Stitch Please podcast that is incredibly helpful. Thank you so much. Come back next week and we'll help you get your stitch together.

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.

You may also like...

Support the Stitch Please podcast & Black Women Stitch

Donate