As an uncontested master of coffee, Albert-Louis Van Houtte inspires us every day. Our new video series, Making Life a Masterpiece, tells the stories of other masters who are determined to transform their passions into art and make a difference in their community. Here, we are proud to present the story of Ashley Alexis McFarlane, who is to sustainable fashion what Van Houtte is to coffee.
When Ashley Alexis MacFarlane couldn’t find the clothing she was looking for in stores, she decided to design it herself. She is now the creative force behind her own clothing brand, Omi Woods, which uses recycled materials and fabrics. Ashley’s philosophy is led by a passion for creating beautiful tailor-made pieces that will make her clients feel great.
Passionate about sustainability and ethical fashion, Ashley also uses fabric created with recycled materials such as water bottles to create graceful, useful and unique pieces.
Ethical fashion for Ashley is about much more than aesthetics. It’s about the individual. Her pieces are often customized for her clients with unique patterns and prints, and celebrate the diversity and individuality of each of them.
We spoke to Ashley about her passion for sustainable fashion as well as the mastery of her craft.
What does it take – and mean – to be a master?
I believe being a master means being able to create what you envision exactly as you envision it, or to go wherever that creation wants to take you. Becoming a master takes purpose, passion and time.
How important is it for you to master your craft - and why?
It’s very important for me to master my craft. It’s a beautiful thing to create these wearable pieces of art that people use to adorn themselves as a means of imparting an image, feeling or meaning to the world. It’s such a sacred thing. For me, mastering my craft is a form of respect and appreciation for that exchange.
What does the word "passion" mean to you?
Passion is an unexplainable urge and delight in something. I have passion for fashion, and always have.
What excites you in life?
ALT: What gets you up in the morning (other than a cup of Van Houtte coffee and Omi Woods)?
I love food, travel, wine, art, nature, music, memes and good company. My next creation gets me up in the morning, and currently it’s the new jewelry I’m working on.
If you were a cup of coffee, what kind would you be?
Anything fair trade, organic and foamy with honey.
Ashley has based her life around the things she loves most: Ethical fashion and sustainability. One look at Omi Woods and you’ll see that anything is possible when passion and mastery come together. Discover more portraits of inspirational people.