This week, we introduce you to Rachael, who has had the most fun order in recent memory. She gave us 12 (TWELVE!) of her tees to turn into new undies, giving her underwear drawer a veritable makeover. And she very kindly offered to answer some questions about the process.
Rachael, it was so much fun to get the tees for your order without ever having met you. I felt like I knew some things for sure about you: that you are a swimmer and that you have super diverse taste in music.
Can you talk about whether those assumptions are correct, maybe tell us a little bit about yourself and about how you decided which tees to turn into undies?
Those t-shirts do reveal some true facts about me. I was a competitive swimmer all throughout high school, my primary events were the 100 yard Butterfly and the 200 Individual Medley.
I started out brand new to the water when I was 14, and could barely swim one length of the pool without being exhausted. However, with continued training and discipline on my school team and in a private club, I finished my competitive swimming career as one of the fastest members on my team. I had practice 10-15 hours per week, so I was in amazing shape. Although I don't swim for a team anymore, I still enjoy the occasional lap swim to burn off some energy.
My musical tastes have evolved over the years. I grew up in a household filled with folk and bluegrass tunes. I recall my dad playing Utah Phillips songs on his guitar to get me to fall asleep. I had a major classic rock phase as a child, and I listened to progressively harder rock until I started college.
I then came full circle and started to listening to folk again. Having befriended many international students, I also acquired tastes African music, Reggae, and Electronic music, and more.
Over the summer, I was planning on a big move and was trying to think of ways to purge items and clothing that I no longer used. However, when it came to these t-shirts, I found it difficult to put them in the box for Goodwill. I either had a special memory tied to the shirt, or I just thought that its pattern was really neat.
I had passed Kori's stand at the Kalamazoo Farmer's Market a number of times and discovered that she does custom underwear orders. I thought that this would be a great way to repurpose my shirts.
Which tee was your favorite? I think my favorite was my blue polo with the Swiss Flag, Dove patch, and Mountains. I got it at a thrift shop, and having a Swiss heritage myself, I just had to claim it as my own! Which pair of undies is your favorite? The Tribe Marrakech. Kori did a great job placing the hand-painted gold designs. Which tee has the best story? Probably the one with the fins that says "Try a Mile in Our Shoes." My high school swim team had an annual 10 Mile Club. A handful of my teammates and I would hit the water at 7 am and swim until we all had 10 miles under our belts. With a breakfast and lunch break, most of us would finish at 2 pm. We would get a t-shirt with a list of our names to honor this accomplishment.
I received this shirt after my first 10 mile swim. I remember how my limbs all felt like jello after I had finished this swim. However, I was proud of this accomplishment. I had never considered myself an athlete prior to this swim and it was the beginning of my development of discipline and goal setting that allowed me to complete my accomplishments to date. Were you nervous at all about having us cut all your beloved tees up? Why or why not? How did you cope? I wasn't nervous at all about having my t-shirts cut up. Kori included me in the process of designing the underwear and giving me design options on some of the pairs before the shirts were actually cut up. Do you have any advice for someone thinking about turning their tees into undies? For folks who trying to be a bit more eco-friendly, I found that this process was a great way to repurpose clothing.
Thank you, Rachael, for sharing your story and undies with us!
And, if this has got you thinking, please comment below with the best story from one of your favorite tees!
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