Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Durham.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In the summer of 2001, my daughter lost her left eye in an accident, which altered the course of my life and moved me deep into the medical community for the next several years. It was during this trying time, I fell inward with my thoughts and began to see the reality and needs of others who were struggling under the same or worse circumstances. I picked up a crochet needle to make a scarf for Christmas and not long after, the idea and concept for Sunshine Scarves were born.
In gist, we are a luxury brand crochet, sew & knitwear company that sells handmade scarves, capes, wraps and unique specialty items to raise money for selected charities and individuals with special needs. We are a community-driven company, in that, we partner with various middle schools offering an elective class that teaches kids to crochet through Sunshine Scarves Public Outreach Program. We’ve partnered with drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities where we teach individual and small group crochet lessons, bringing natural health benefits, as well as encouragement and productivity to those in the midst of difficulty. There is always something special where people care, love and give of themselves to benefit others and this is really the heartbeat of my company, hence, my own heartbeat as well.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
That’s a loaded question!
The road has been a long one, and it has required the heart of a sojourner to travel down its path. It’s weaved through the most beautiful meadows, filled with the flowers of success as I’ve walked by people I didn’t know who had one of my scarves wrapped around their necks and I’ve wanted to jump out of my shoes with excitement, or the deep joy of looking at a photograph of a celebrity wearing my designs; which to a designer is the apex of achievement and recognition. I’ve also followed the path into the darkest of valleys, with lawsuits between two partners that sunk all the goodwill, progress and finances to the bottom of the sea like the Titanic. I’ve also experienced sitting in the dingy lifeboat after the ship had sunk and wondered which way to row, or if even I should row at all. I’ve sat in the devastation of many things and have found that the desire of my heart has always led me back to what I love most–which is to crochet, to create and to help and to give.
My company has had a life of its own, perhaps reflecting my life. I know it inside and out and it has been used as a tool to teach me lessons about myself and others around me. The road, no matter what shape it’s in, or what precipice is set before me to climb, or what darkened valley lies below; I hope to travel for the remainder of my life because the greatest values in life aren’t held in the profit margin or the notoriety, they are held in the heart of the sojourner.
Sunshine Scarves – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Sunshine Scarves believes if we open up our lives in service to others on a personal level it generates an immeasurable depth and connection between people. We are committed to the support of various charities and individuals through the sale of featured specialty scarves.
Sunshine Scarves mission is to encourage people to move into the realm of service, giving, learning and contributing thoughts, ideas, and concepts that benefit others in need. Our goal is to nurture and inspire all these things by sharing the world of Sunshine Scarves with people on a personal level.
These are the sum of Sunshine Scarves, our core beliefs and actioning that belief out. I do everything from A to Z. I suppose, I specialize in crochet designing, “Heritage Arts” — sort of the vintage form of the original women entrepreneurs before the word even existed. Grandmothers and mothers would pass down a craft or a trade to their daughters and it would fall into sewing, knitting, needlework, crochet, weaving, etc. It was a form of added income to the family and a developmental skill that allowed women to qualify themselves for work or at least selling their handiwork to mercantile stores or the open marketplace.
That’s the gist of what I specialize in and this Heritage Art of Crochet was taught to me by my grandmother, Zula Pearl Durham when I was seventeen and recently displaced from my home in Wyoming because my father was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live. Little did I know, that my grandmother was imparting a piece of her to me that day; a special gift that would eventually find its rhythm in my life and the lives of others. I remember my grandmother sat with me in her stuffy little den in the Mississippi heat and taught me the Heritage Art of Crochet in true form, from one generation to the next. She would patiently sit with me hour upon hour, encouraging me with her words: “keep at it, soon the rhythm will come…” But, I didn’t believe her; I didn’t believe anything good would come from such a place of frustration. Learning any trade or skill at seventeen is always companioned with frustration… but, eventually, I succeeded because I did not give up.
I am most proud of the integrity of the company, what it does and how it does it and why. Secondly, I am most proud of the quality and craftsmanship, the “Art of what is created”.
I think the heart of the company sets it apart from others, the depth of service to the community. But, I believe what makes Sunshine Scarves special, is that each scarf is handmade and there is a quality of craftsmanship and a depth of energy in each design that manufacturing machines cannot bring life to.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My inner growth.
- $39 – $489.00
- Address: 643 North Curson Avenue
LA, CA 90036
- Website: www.sunshinescarves.com
- Phone: 310-435-7776
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sunshinescarves/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunshinescarves
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/sunshine-scarves-los-angeles-2?osq=sunshine+scarves
Joy Durham (photographer) MORE Magazine, Vogue Magazine and IN TOUCH Magazine