The Ambassador Series: Meghan Navoy - Detroit

 
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Hi Meghan! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Meghan Navoy and I’m a textile artist and small business owner living in Detroit, Michigan. I am the designer and maker behind the zero waste textile company A Wool Story, where I make pieces using plant based and recycled materials to wear and for home. I'm passionate about environmental sustainability and making things with my hands everyday. 

I’m originally from the suburbs of Chicago and then spent some time in New York attending the Fashion institute of Technology studying textiles before heading back to the midwest in August 2015 to be able to focus on my creative work. 

What drew you to textiles and what led you to begin A Wool Story?
I learned how to sew in middle school and then in high school I became really in love with all things textiles. I loved sewing, knitting and crocheting and wanted to learn more about how fabrics are made. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology for textile development and marketing where i learned a lot about the technical side of the textiles industry and how fabrics are made on a production scale. That really was eye opening in terms of learning about the environmental and human rights impact for me, and I quickly realized I wanted to be a part of the solution to reduce forced labor, unsafe working conditions and pollution in the textiles industry. 

I started A Wool Story as a side project while I was in college, where I did a few pop up holiday markets and had an Etsy shop. After I graduated I worked in children's apparel doing fabric sourcing, but it was not the work I felt called to do. I decided to move to Detroit in August 2015 to pursue my creative work and focus on A Wool Story full time and I have learned a LOT since then ;) In the last two years of living in Detroit A Wool Story has grown and changed a lot. I continue to learn about what sustainability means for me on an environmental and personal level. 

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Could you touch on the process of sustainability of your materials and products?
The products I make for A Wool Story are all made using natural fibers, plant based dyes, as well as recycled and reclaimed materials. I strive to make fully zero waste products by working with materials that already exist in the world and reusing them, as well as shipping orders in reusable and recyclable containers. It's very important to me to create useful and beautiful products that are high quality and can continue to be used and/or worn for many years to come. The sourcing of materials for A Wool Story can mean unravelling a secondhand wool sweater from a thrift store, working with a local company to reuse their scrap fabric, or collecting food waste from restaurants to use as dye materials. I want A Wool Story pieces to be loved for their design and pleasantly surprised by the sustainability aspect. I strive to spread the message of zero waste in a way that demonstrates simplicity and thoughtfulness and doesn't have to be complicated, elitist or judgmental.

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What creative women do you find inspiring?
So many!! I’m so grateful to have Instagram and the internet to connect me to other women creatives and small business owners. There are so many I admire! To name a few:

Ariele Alasko makes such beautiful wood pieces that are very special and one of a kind. I also admire her ability to update her shop and sell out in moments!!! 

Samantha Ives of Maker & Mineral makes the coolest and most original and fun to wear pieces. I am so happy to own a jumpsuit from her and she even stamped my name on the inside. It’s so special!! I love everything she makes and how she ties in her illustrations into her clothing pieces and then sews them beautifully! 

Emily Theobald is a florist and photographer who I have been internet friends with since the blogspot days. I love following her on Instagram now and seeing how she learns floral arrangements and the dreamy setting of the Catskills mountains in New York. I love that her work spans over a bunch of different mediums and she brings her unique personality and touches to each creative outlet. 

Madelynn de la Rosa is a video maker on youtube and she makes the coolest and expertly edited videos. I love her short films made using an old super 8 camera and how she makes everything look vintage and magical. She’s so talented and everything she makes is such a joyful experience to watch. She recently started a monthly series on her channel on creatives she admires called Girl Friday and it’s so incredible! She profiles other women makers in the most beautiful and interesting way. Her channel is called LaMadelynn.

Laurs Kemp is a designer in Portland who I follow on Instagram. I absolutely love her work of recycled and vintage materials and how she incorporates her love of film into her clothing collection. I especially love how this year she’s been doing the most inspiring photo shoots and collaborations with other artists. She’s so cool! 

What makes you passionate about the work you do?
I am a taurus and I love making things with my hands. It’s so exciting to me to learn about natural dyes and experiment with making work in a way that is in harmony with nature. I love to work with secondhand materials or things that are considered waste and reimagining them in new ways. It’s fun to have limits and work within them to create something beautiful and useful. I take care to be kind to the earth and minimize my footprint by avoiding disposables and plastics and waste whenever possible and I like to use the same principles in my work. 

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Why did you want to become a Glossary ambassador?
When you work by yourself at your own small business it can become very isolating - that’s why I just *love* connecting with and reading about other women small business owners. I’m glad that the Glossary exists, especially since it’s Midwestern based! I look forward to collaborating on content and events and contributing to a source of connection and inspiration of women creatives.

What are some of your favorite places in Detroit?

  1. The Farmer’s Hand is a market and cafe that serves yummy sandwiches and salads as well as carries local makers’ work and pays farmers fairly for their organic and locally grow produce. 
  2. Selden Standard is a restaurant that makes delicious farm to table food and inventive cocktails. I used to work there and I know how much love and effort goes in to everything they do. 
  3. Belle Isle is a local park and island that separates Canada and Detroit. It’s such a magical place to visit!! It has a beach, an aquarium, a plant conversancy, a bicycle path and so many other lovely things!
  4. The DIA is one of the art museums in Detroit. It also has a film theatre that plays independent and old movies. It’s the perfect place to go on an artist date and just wander around and take it all in. 
  5. The Detroit Public Library main branch on woodward is over 150 years old and very majestic!! It’s so special to be in there surrounded by all the books. I love just wandering around and flipping through the books on Scandanavian and African textiles.
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Find Meghan at:
Website
Instagram