When Aly Parrott was in college studying fine arts, she had teachers who encouraged her “different” path, “I’m so grateful to have had teachers who pushed me to stay true to my own vision and aesthetic, even if the work I was making didn’t really ‘fit’ with the current fine art trends, so starting to make my way in the world with that confidence in my identity as a maker, and kind of a starry-eyed mountain child was a really big help. I spent four years with an outlet for my making, and opening my Etsy shop was a natural progression when that outlet became unavailable.”
In her shop, AlyParrott, you will find handmade cloth toys, garlands, Montessori works, classroom tools and other singular fiber creations.
These days, Aly is a teaching assistant at a school for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder, “I get to go to my ‘day job’ and spend time with these incredible kids and be constantly inspired by them, and then come home at 3:30 and go to my studio and put many of those inspirations into tangible objects that can then be used by other children in other schools. It just makes me so grateful to live in my little world. My favorite thing in general about being in business for myself is knowing that I created this thing with my own two hands. I’m able to get out of it what I put into it…there’s a great sense of independence in that.”
Handmade seems to run in her blood, “Growing up, every bed in our house was covered with a quilt my mom made, every bookshelf built by my dad or my grandfather. ‘Handmade’ is, and always has been, a part of my daily life.”
When it comes to making things with her hand, Aly believes “it’s so important to preserve a sense preciousness, the ritual of ‘making,’ in this time of instant results and constant turnover. Maybe that comes from not being able to imagine my own life without making, but I’ve honestly found, through teaching both adults and children, that making can heal, break down social and personal walls between individuals, communicate…just so many things…even in its something as simple as finger-knitting or making a handmade birthday gift for a friend.”
I couldn’t agree more! Take a look at the exceptional craftsmanship in Aly’s work: