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Emily Katz | Where Women Create

The Blog

The daily, and somewhat random, musings from Ben. From the journeys, to the vlogs, to the behind-the-scenes-into-the-world moments.

Emily Katz | Where Women Create

Ben Ashby

Emily Katz is a Portland, Oregon native who turned her passion for creative hobbies into a full time career with her company, Modern Macramé. From a history in fashion design to a chance meeting with two Japanese editors, she reinvented a vintage craft and create something new and vibrant. Her new book Modern Macramé hopes to inspire a new generation of fiber artists and will release in May 2018.

"I grew up in Portland, Oregon for most of my life, in many ways the creative community of the area nurtured that part of me which loved art. For years, before moving nearer to Portland, we lived in Tucson, Colorado, and finally a small farm in the country of Oregon. I loved to gather objects from around our farm—leaves & twigs, etc.—and from these things I started to create my first works of art. My parents were creative by nature, and owned their own business together selling healing energy gemstones. When I was 9, they divorced and each continued to sell healing gems through their own individual businesses. I continued to live in Portland with my dad, and grew up loving to create in any way possible."

"After high school I moved to Baltimore for art school, but I ultimately decided it wasn’t for me and started to pursue other creative outlets. For the next few years, I worked in the fashion industry. My first creative fashion venture in my early twenties was a brand called Bonnie Heart Clyde, a clothing line that incorporated a lot of garments with embroidered designs. After that venture, I started a second line organized around myth love of being sustainable. Ultimately, when I finished that in 2009 I had lost my zeal for the fashion industry and started to pursue other creative avenues."

"During this period, I tried many things. From starting a band to organizing a poetry writing club, I was looking a creative outlet but testing all of the areas I loved. Around the time I turned 30 I reconnected with my mother, she lived in Connecticut and wanted me to come visit for a weekend. She and I hadn’t spent a lot of time together since my parents divorce, and I knew this could be a great experience to rekindle our relationship. I recalled a story about her youth, and how she’d bought her first guitar by selling handmade macramé art. I decided that I’d love to have some of the macramé plant hangers that were popular in the 1970s and that asking her to teach me how to make them would be a good way to spend time together. The weekend ended up being a great experience, and I came away from it with a better relationship with my mother and a new hobby for macramé."