In her spare time, she creates sartorial art for a sustainability-focused show in January 2022 at the Monroe Arts Center. Aiming to draw attention to the waste caused by the “fast fashion” industry, the show will feature clothing made from scraps of fabric that would otherwise be wasted. So far, she’s crafted a wedding dress made entirely from scraps, a vintage-inspired bespoke jacket from upholstery fabric, and items made only from plastic garment covers.
Later this year, she hopes to host a mending event in Madison where she invites people to bring in clothes that need fixing – things like children’s winter jackets with their zippers still broken.
When she opened Centered Threads, she kept her other job. “I didn’t know if I would be able to stand up,” said Mahr. But eventually, she plans to be full time in her studio in New Glarus.
“People contact me to tell me that they are happy that I am here. It really makes me feel good. I don’t know how else to express how wonderful it is to be in this community.
The four questions
What are the most important values that drive your work?
Self-love and acceptance. In the marriage industry, you see a lot of people not only hard on themselves, but (for example) maybe a mother who will be hard on her daughter. It makes me a little sick when I see this. I don’t like bodily shame. I know if I love and respect myself then I can teach people by example how to better accept themselves.