We love bragging about you. That's why we've started an interview series where we feature some of our biggest fans. We want everyone to get a peek at the amazing work they're doing and be inspired, because they're seriously some of the coolest people we've ever met.
I'm a librarian, a bellydancer, and a textile artist living, working, and playing in Halifax, NS. I manage a small urban community library which is probably the best job I've ever had in my life. It's the toughest job I've ever loved! But when I get to make even one community member's day better, or help a community project get off the ground, or hold space for a community group, I feel like I'm making a difference in the world. Library work helped me find my Ikigai! I came to library work in my late 30s and feel it's never too late to figure out what you want to be when you grow up.
I've been belly dancing for 24 years, and teaching and performing really helped grow my confidence, my public speaking, and my ability to just roll with it. I have an amazing American Tribal Style troupe that I direct, UberWench Tribal Belly Dance, and I count the women in it as some of my best friends in the world. I've taught workshops in multiple provinces, and love teaching adult students new physical skills and appreciation for their bodies. I have a BFA from NSCAD University, and concentrated on Textiles and Fashion Design, as well as a bit of Ceramics, and that's where I kicked my love of textile work into high gear. I've been knitting off and on since I was a kid, did a lot of sewing and embellishing of bellydance costumes, and going back to school helped me hone those skills and gather new ones such as surface design, weaving, spinning fibre, dyeing, and more. I teach fibre spinning classes locally, and before I became a full time librarian I used to do local craft markets and supply local yarn stores with dyed fibre and handspun yarn.
What is your hidden talent?
I proudly display all of my talents! Haha! But really, I think my hidden talent that years of hustling gave me is the ability to monetize any hobby I take up. Which sucks because then I need to find a new hobby...
What is the coolest (or weirdest) thing you've ever done?
Oh damn, my life has been really really weird. I think deciding to go back to school at the age of 37 to get a Masters in Library and Information studies is the coolest thing I've ever done. I may be paying off student loans for another few years, but I am doing a job that I love. It was probably the hardest thing I've done, and the most stressful, but it has been immensely valuable and fulfilling to me.
The song that's currently in your head?
Juice by Lizzo
The book you share with all your friends?
The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. Sadly, most people I know, especially my cis women and non-binary friends, have been gaslit (Be nice! Be polite!) most of their lives and don't know how to trust their gut feelings. This book helped me build so much confidence in listening to my intuition, and gave me strategies to help me get out of threatening situations. Fuck politeness!!! (I often keep spare copies just to give away to folks I run into who really need it.)
What superlative would you give yourself? (ex. Most Likely to Become a Cat Lady)
Most Likely to Do it Anyway if You Say She Can't
What embroidery project are you most proud of?
I'm pretty proud of a lot of bellydance costuming work, but most recently I completed a series of whale- and ocean-themed embroidery pieces from Hook Line & Tinker and PopLush. I created some small 4" hoops with ocean and whale puns to accompany them, and hung them on ribbons in my main floor half bath. I'm proud of the idea and execution, and they really spruce up the blank wall in the loo!
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