We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Larlee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
A friend told me a few years ago that life wasn’t a case of getting a balance but more about creating a blend in life. Just like a pie chart, where you only had 360 degrees, when one slice of the pie changes, the rest had to adapt accordingly. It feels like life is a constant moving jigsaw, changing the blend. The week we were potty training our 2 year old, everything had to change as that was definitely the biggest piece of the pie!!!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I love antique fabrics, particularly using something that is no longer used or useful and repurposing into something beautiful. I find deep healing as I create, I feel a connection to something greater than myself and it often feels somewhere between child’s play and prayer. Last February with the rest of my family, we created Hearts of Hope to raise money for a local homeless shelter. This was the result of lots of difficult conversations with my 2 oldest boys as they noticed the poverty in the heart of Dallas. As I stitched and sewed, I prayed and wept over the situation and the sense of hopelessness that lingers. Each stitch was a prayer. In someways I feel the story of my creating is only half written. I’m still finding my way in terms of expression and medium.At the moment, I am super excited to be exploring watercolor and stitching. I’m working on a new collection at the moment where I am hoping to join together my love of antique fabrics, watercolor and stitching. I’m in the exploring phase at the moment. But it does feel like I’m getting ready to give birth to something new.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
With Covid it’s meant that lots of friends from the UK have had their flights cancelled but when they do come we love to show them the fun in Dallas. We love delicious walks around the Arboretum and then listening to music at the truck yard on Greenville. But my all time favorite place is McKinney. Even as I drive into the square I start of smile. I love the uniqueness of the shops and the way the town is set up. It is my all time favorite place to take friends.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My art has always been something that fits into the rest of my life. I have a 10, 8 and 2 year old and teach as well. When Covid hit in March, and we went into Lock Down, I was really battling with balancing online learning, teaching and being away from family in England. My conclusion was to put all my art stuff away and focus on the family, however a fantastic abstract artist and friend, Jessa Adler, urged me not to do that but instead to embrace the chaos and that out of this season new works and creations would come. I am so grateful for that conversation as she was so right. At the same time, our street started a Sunday night ‘Happy Hour’ where each week we got to visit on our front porch. We soon became very good friends with our next door neighbor, Michael Baker, a very experienced artist and designer. We have spent much time now sharing ideas and he has become a true mentor, encouraging me, and being a font of knowledge -all this time he was living next door!!! Because of Covid, he was unable to return to India where he works for half of the year. India’s loss was certainly my gain. Throughout life I’ve prayed for destiny helpers, particularly when I feel stuck or feel like giving up and little did I know that such a significant one was living right next door.
Facebook: Rachel Larlee