Meet the Maker: Abolaji
To say we’re obsessed with Abolaji Ogundele - aka @abolajiooo - is an understatement. She has a real eye for color and design, and makes (or buys second hand) pretty much everything she owns. She’s an inspiration in her approach to slow living and we’re partnered with her because we feel she embodies exactly what The Endery is all about.
The Endery: Tell us about yourself.
Abolaji Ogundele: I am a 30 year old Texas Native with Nigerian roots. I have resided in Dallas, Texas, for the last 8 months but have lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area my entire life. I have a doctorate in physical therapy and work as a physical therapist by day at a local hospital. When I’m not working, I’m typically sewing or scheming some creative project. Outside of those things I’m usually around friends or thrifting at local resale shops.
TE: How did you learn to knit?
AO: Midway through college I became a Christian and wanted to use my time doing productive and creative things, so I set out to knit after seeing a college friend try and fail. My mother, like with sewing, helped start me off with knit stitches but knitting books and Youtube helped me grow in my skills. Actually, my first year of knitting I started multiple projects but never finished because the next project was more interesting and challenging. The first project I completed was a fairisle sweater.
TE: How does knitting help you?
AO: I think knitting helps me slow down and be present. My life moves fairly fast but knitting helps me to live in the moment and eases my anxieties. Also, thinking about the younger me who couldn’t afford quality items, knitting helps me afford things that at times would be out of my price range.
TE: Tell us about how you deal with your ‘ends’ - the leftovers when you’re done with knitting. Do you have any creative ways of dealing with them?
AO: I once did try to use my leftovers for decorating or knitting small items. But honestly I simply used to put leftovers in the garbage. Currently I have some leftovers waiting until I get a spark of creativity but some of them will be used for practical matters like stuffing the ottoman in my living room.
TE: Why is craft important in today’s society do you think?
AO: I believe craft not only allows us to explore our creativity, it also allows us to see our humanity and the inherent work of artisans. Craft creates wonder and respect for artisans. Unlike craft, I believe the ideas of kitsch and fast fashion blow past the people who brought those products into existence; we unfortunately use and abuse them, and then forget about them altogether.
TE: Tell us something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
AO: I’m quite a personal person despite what my Instagram account makes out to be. I’m fairly reserved at first but fairly goofy and outgoing with people I trust.
TE: How do you feel wearing a handmade garment as opposed to something mass produced?
AO: When I’m wearing a handmade garment I feel like I’m wearing not only quality but the efforts, love, and care that an artisan put into the garment. It adds a weightless weight to the item.
TE: Why do you think The Endery is important?
AO: When I was first made aware of The Endery, I was pretty shocked because I didn’t think anyone was doing what they were doing. I think The Endery is challenging the status quo of the knitwear fashion industry and stating that sustainable practices can be done well. And I’m excited to partner with them in that.
TE: What is your experience with alpaca?
AO: I have had much experience with alpaca. In the past, it seemed like a luxury item to knit with or to wear. But now, alpaca is like a nice dessert; it’s yummy to wear.
TE: And finally, what is your favorite piece from The Endery’s Alpaca Series I?
AO: That’s a hard one to answer but I’m really in love with the rich color blocking in all The Endery’s items. But if I had to choose one, I would say The Everywhere Scarf because of its multi-colored pattern and the practically of an everyday scarf.