By Ebony S. Muhammad
Approximately 12 years ago I had a very toxic and unsupportive person in my life, who was also discouraging when it came to my creative gifts and business goals. Ironically, this was also the person who bought me my first sewing machine. Even though I grew up in a home with both parents who knew how to sew and tailor their clothing, I never owned a personal machine, therefore, receiving it was a huge deal. What I didn’t know at the time was that this person bought the machine to hold it over my head as a, “See what I did for you” motive. And I believe they didn’t expect me to do well with it.
I discovered this because of what took place next.
When I laid hands on my machine for the first time it was like love at first sight. It was so natural, effortless. Along with being in graduate school, working and meeting other obligations, sewing was an easy outlet.
This person began telling mutual friends that it was irritating to see me sew. That if I sewed one more (fill in the blank) they would go crazy. It was later brought to my attention that it was also jealousy that was causing this person to become “irritated”. It’s interesting when people expect you to fail at something even when they “invested” in it.
This person was struggling personally and professionally at accomplishing their goals, therefore, what appeared to come easy to me became an irritant to them. It increased their insecurities.
Initially I didn’t believe the information I received, but when I confronted them, it turned out to be true. It was a devastating blow that I wasn’t expecting.
It took the wind out of my sail, and my sewing eventually ceased. Things got worse, which lead to me removing this person from my life all together. Yet, unbeknownst to me, years would go by before I was behind a sewing machine again. I think consciously I told myself I was too busy to sew…but I also understood it was deeper than that. I began exploring other talents and skills I had and excelled in those directions.
I want to make a quick correction. I was able to barter my sports massage services for sewing lessons with a sister in my city 3 years ago, which was about 8 years after that incident. I also hand sewed to repaired items. So the desire was there.
Once word got out that a National sewing class (for the women in the Nation Of Islam) was about to launch, I purchased my very own sewing machine! I knew it was time. This class was initiated by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and facilitated by Sister Naeemah Muhammad, the Student National MGT-GCC Captain of The Nation Of Islam.
The National sewing class was like water to my soul. It was so emotionally healing and exciting. I missed it soooo much, and I experienced tremendous joy. It’s quite difficult to put the actual feeling into words.
I made a promise to myself to never allow someone to devastate something I love so much no matter how uncomfortable it made them. I promised myself that my gifts and talents aren’t mine but a gift from Allah (God) that He blessed me with that overrides the insecurities and malice of others, no matter how close they are to me. These gifts and talents are my unique way of bearing witness to Him (God), to show my gratitude to Him and to inspire others to mine out their own unique set of gifts.
I made those promises during the National sewing class, and by Allah’s mercy I was the top student in my city! I was the first to complete my assignment and final project along with sewing an additional garment for myself. All praise is due to Allah!
During my downtime, I drew out plans for how I would keep these promises and use my renewed spirit to inspire others. This was how Phase II of MONARCH was created!
I went to work on designs and techniques. I spent hours watching tutorials and fine tuning my skills. I pulled from the designers whose brands I grew up with. I had in mind the feel I wanted Phase II to express. It came together seamlessly (pun intended)! It became an extension of myself and an illustration of my healing.
Phase II is also my way of saying “thank you” to The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for what he has endured for over 64 years of his service and the upliftment of humanity, especially Black people! His love for us is unmatched by anyone else walking this Earth! I understand myself and value myself so much more by studying his life and appreciating his sacrifices! Because of him and his representation of his Teacher, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I can bear witness that He (Allah) makes all things new!
I would like to invite you to help me show love and appreciation for their service to the world by supporting MONARCH Phase I and II! All proceeds go towards the Annual Saviours’ Day Gift drive! You may also make a direct donation towards the Saviours’ Day Gift drive!
Thank you for allowing me to share my testimony with you!
Peace & Blessings!