i. I work as the founder and designer of Serenity West clothing and home décor with my daughter and partner, Acacia Cresswell.
ii. I do this creative work because:
It’s a passion. I have always been interested in design of every kind. More recently I have been totally engaged in the idea of “making local” and producing fashion responsibly; by that I mean not harmful to the environment.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I’m a doer. I like to make things happen, and with environmental issues at the fore, I can use that quality to start doing something that will benefit some of those issues.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Acacia and I agree on this one: it is a great challenge to get the word out about why we do what we do, and the benefits behind making our products locally, with great care and attention. The superb skills our pattern makers and sewers possess make Serenity West items some of the best quality fashions around. Much time is spent making each piece very well.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
As a child I have always been interested in art. I have been sketching and painting since I was very young. Art was always my favourite subject in school and I continued studying and practicing as an adult.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
This is a long list for me: artists like Michelangelo, the Dutch Masters, William Turner etc…. But more recently, in my 30’s I became aware of Tricia Guild (an English Interior Designer) who I love and the amazing fashion designer Vivienne Westwood! I have always held a passion for British designers; their boldness and fearlessness is inspiring. Locally, I am also inspired by the creators and makers with a similar ethos and different design perspectives. One of the many reasons we love to collaborate on pop-up shops and photoshoots.
vii. Training that has helped me in this career:
Interest in art and design has certainly helped me, but running my own businesses has also aided a great deal. There is a lot to do, a lot to think about constantly. It’s a challenge to manage all aspects of a modern business and my years of experience is definitely an asset.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Acacia and I agree on this one as well. Over the years collaborations and partnerships have become indispensable. If you think you can do everything yourself – think again.
ix. Some proud career moments:
When people come up to Acacia and I, saying how they love what we’re doing and that they love our linen. I can’t pinpoint one exact moment, but it’s always amazing to hear.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Be passionate and have a cause. If you don’t have a goal in mind and work toward it, the process is going to be difficult. When you are determined and passionate, that is when you will find the means to move closer to your goals.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
I want Serenity West to grow at a pace that is manageable. And I would love to have more time designing and creating. Being a small company, Acacia and I wear many hats. I would like to be able to retire a few of those hats eventually.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
You can find Serenity West products online anytime at: www.serenitywest.ca, or in-store at Zebra Club on South Granville (Vancouver) and Stone Moth in Smithers. We are also very excited to be participating in both First Pick Handmade Markets at Heritage Hall (Fashion – Sept. 14 & 15) (Home Décor – Oct. 19 & 20). If you sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media, you will receive information about our upcoming pop-up shops and markets. Serenity West Instagram