16 years of business at a minimum of 3 shows per year equals 48 shows.
48 shows at an average of 4 days per show equals 192 days.
192 days at an average of 20 pieces sold/day equals 3,840 pieces made!
I generally prepare the garments for sale: pattern, dye, paint, print, set, iron, tag. That said, I owe much to those who have supplied the materials, sewn the styles and helped print them. I owe a great debt to those who showcased Dahlia Drive in fashion shows and represented me to others. I would be lost without show crew assistance with 2 days of set up,10 hour selling days, out of town housing, food, transportation.
This post is for those who have helped, prodded, supplied, sold, spread the word, loved Dahlia Drive and Yaahl, Guud, Tsai onto its many show floors. The list is long.
Named below, with photos, acknowledges those who were essential to the existence of Dahlia Drive or Yaahl, Guud, Tsai, or both. Without them, the trajectory for Dahlia Drive and Yaahl, Guud, Tsai would have been much different, if a trajectory existed at all.
Those listed beyond this first group, are essential team mates who coloured outside the lines with Dahlia Drive and to whom I am eternally grateful. If I have forgotten you, please forgive me. There have been so many helpers.
My Ancestors, the shoulders upon whom I stand.
I made this skirt at Textile School. It is a homage to the web of ancestors (with magnified images of my grandparents, parents and siblings’ path), leading to my existence. I call it “Essential Insignificance.”
Sandy Cochrane: husband, friend, devoted father
Dahlia Drive would not exist without Sandy’s support, love, encouragement, studio building ability and willingness to dream. The first set of Dahlia Drive business cards we printed, Sandy ordered 10,000. When I went to pick them up, the man serving me said to my astonished face at the number of boxes, “I’d say that is a vote of confidence!” It was. It is.
Capilano Textile program: inspired training
Marylou Trinkwon (pictured here), Anthea Malinson, Eleanor Hannan, and Ruth Scheuing were stellar mentors. Unfortunately, the program was cut in 2014. I was attending further studies at the time and we students decorated this mannequin, titled it “death to makers” and set it out on the campus streets to mourn the death of the program.
Sarah Murray: Agent, fashion show creator, teacher, program coordinator VCC Fashion
Sarah was a constant guide to Dahlia Drive for 10 years. Dahlia Drive was represented by her company Honey Mustard and Fashion Capsule. She organized fashion shoots and Dahlia Drive’s first and second Eco Fashion Week. She was pregnant early on in our relationship and her glorious daughter just had her 15th birthday!
Gretchen Van Riesen, Sister, Number One Cheerleader.
(In the glasses pictured below in 1969, as a High School cheerleader)
Gretchen helped me at every Toronto One of a Kind Show and Edmonton Folk Festival Show since 2008. I stayed with her, she fed me, sold for me and kept the money straight. Clients saw us as a sister duo. She also has the largest collection of Dahlia Drive and Yaahl, Guud, Tsai. I could not have done it without her.
Christina Dietterle: Costume Designer, dedicated work buddy
Originally a work placement from Fraser Valley Fashion School in 2009, Christina became a semi permanent fixture at the Dahlia Drive Studio for 9 years. I feel like we grew up together. I consider her to be like a daughter. She moved into the movies and won a Leo for Costume Design! (wearing Dahlia Drive of course)
Susan Measures: Friend, neighbor, thrift store junkie.
Whenever Susan would see a Dahlia Drive slip dress, she would say, “I bought you that slip didn’t I?”
Laela Blanchet, owner Dampkring Designs: Pattern Maker, sewer provider, cheerleader
(kimono bundles made by me and final pieces made happen by Laela)
By my side the entire way. When I moved away from slips, Laela jumped in to help me create patterns and find sewers. For 15 years she has bent over backward to help me design new styles by providing space for creation in an atypical way.
Reg Davidson: friend, partner, fish supplier, mentor.
I first met Reg at a potlatch in Masset. I volunteered to serve food. When I handed a plate to Reg, he said, “Aren’t you going to chew it for me too?” lol
Johanne Young: friend, walking partner confidant
Johanne is the partner of Reg and owner of the Chown Gallery in Masset. When we first met Joanne in Massett, I showed her some of my work. She thought Reggie’s work would look great printed on the pieces. One day, when I was at her home, she told Reg about the idea and he nodded and said he was going for a walk. He left. I turned to Johanne and said, “Well, no interest there,” and she replied, “Oh no, we are good to go!” Without Jo, Yaahl, Guud, Tsai would never have materialized.
Joleen Mitton: founder and creator of VIFW, Co- Founder Supernaturals Modelling, Urban Butterflies, and All My Relations Basketball Team
Joleen has been a visionary for Yaahl, Guud, Tsai. She ensured the launching of what was then “Ravens, Eagles, Polka Dots” at Eco Fashion Week in 2016, upheld the protocols of the indigenous elder models, indigenous models and Reg’s designs. She helped me navigate the waters of Reconciliation.
Kathy Van Riesen, Martha Burns, Kelsey Cochrane, Sarah Cochrane, Russell Cochrane, Duncan Cochrane, Hilary Strang, Meghan Rosner, Laura Meyers, Westport Manufacturing, Stephanie Simms, Colleen Tsoualas, Sandra Curry, Lara Kroeker, Marilyn Wilson, Sasha Schaepe, Lara Kroeker, Angela Fama, Studio 80’s, Holly McBeth, Marilynn Slett, Glenda Read, Karen Van Riesen, Lisa Smith, Eryn Koncir, Haida Gwaii Elders, Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson, Lisa Gilliard, Tashana McDonald, Chanaro Leigh
A final nod to Sandra Nomoto, Ethical Marketer and book Whisperer who organized the social launching of “Ravens, Eagles, Polka Dots” at Skwachays Lodge in 2016, made contact with Michelle Obama to receive Yaahl, Guud, Tsai pieces, and orchestrated the social media for #TheLastHundred. For this final curtain, Sandra’s skill has created a space for me to clarify and edify Dahlia Drive’s and Yaahl, Guud, Tsai’s journey.
Four more days of the Circle Craft Holiday Market and the #TheLastHundred. I hope to see you.
Next week, in my final post, I will thank Dahlia Drive and Yaahl, Guud, Tsai clients upon whom the garments are fully realized.
Create your nest, practice with love, fly