We were lucky to interview Molly of Hunt + Hammer! Molly creates reiki charged plant essences and infuses them into antique and vintage textiles, then drafts, cuts and sews her own designs. We seriously can’t get enough of her dreamy quilted Wonderland Collection, and can’t wait to see her new collection coming soon...
WH: What’s the story behind you and your business?
Molly: Hunt + Hammer is an ever evolving creative exploration. It started with a brief foray into finding, fixing and selling vintage and antique home goods and hand-tooled leather jewelry about seven years ago. The journey led rather brusquely to exclusively seeking and rehoming vintage and antique clothing and accessories. I have been wearing vintage and shopping in thrift stores since I was in high school, so it came rather naturally to me.
Early into the work I found many remarkable garments that were damaged, but still worthy of more life and so I incorporated natural dyeing, mending and reworking techniques to breathe a renewed pulse into the clothes. I believe working with natural dyes encouraged me to use my knowledge of plant medicine and reiki healing to further transform and uplift the experience of adorning our bodies with pre-worn garments. For the last year or so, the cycle of work I’m most drawn to is creating reiki charged plant essences, infusing them into antique and vintage textiles and then drafting, cutting and sewing my own designs from antique and vintage textiles.
WH: What keeps you motivated? What inspires you?
Molly: I am motivated by a desire to unearth and unite my creativity, my connection to my ancestors and my love and understanding of the natural world. My parents were both artists who greatly appreciated nature, self expression and the craftsmanship of handmade objects from eras past. I believe I am guided and inspired by the legacy they left behind in my own unique way. Wild, untamed nature is one of my greatest teachers. I innately recognize and am drawn to the energetic nuances of plants. I am especially interested in understanding and developing a closer relationship with plants that my Scottish and German ancestors would have worked with. I think my approach to combining plant and energetic healing with the garments that we adorn our bodies with is a unique service that should be explored further.
Spending so much focus on hand crafted antique and designer vintage garments over the last handful of years has definitely influenced and inspired the designs I am creating today. I am very interested in sculptural shapes that are playful and comfortable to wear. My intention as a designer and maker of garments is to be a steward of the cyclical ideology of sustainable design. I strive to make quality garments that will be well loved for years. There are so many incredible textiles that have been passed on from one generation to the next that don’t really get much play in our modern lifestyles, like embroidered kitchen linens, printed hankies, tattered quilts. It’s a fun challenge to reimagine them as garments that will give them much more use for the modern person. You can feel the quality in the cottons, linens and silks from eras past and unfortunately most textiles made today just don’t compare. Besides with so much of these used textiles still thoroughly functional there really is no reason to produce new.
I am also motivated by the often restrictive and exclusive sizing of vintage and antique clothes. Most of my work over the past six months has been custom work which allows me to offer more accessible sizes with a design that still has vintage charm. Working directly with the customer to determine how they will best use the garment guides the design and minimizes waste. Last, but not least, I would say I am inspired by all of the other folks that are creating sustainable fashion, natural dyers, farmers, artists, herbalists, energy workers, musicians… The list could ultimately go on, but generally includes humans who care for themselves, each other and the earth.
Find more Hunt + Hammer goodness at www.huntandhammer.com and on instagram @huntandhammer
Wonderland Collection captured by Camryn Scheuber - @camryns.canon