I am convinced that role models can help us achieve our own wishes and goals. That’s why I launched the series “conscious creatives telling their stories”. Here I would like to introduce you again and again to people who are consciously and creatively shaping their lives.
Ann Cathrin Schönrock from Berlin is my fluffy interview guest today. In the last months she has set up the company “modus intarsia” and is now thrilling the world of knitting with her sustainably produced, high-quality dog wool “Chiengora”.
Dear Ann Cathrin, …
… when and how did you come up with the idea of founding your company modus intarsia?
This has developed through my personal and professional background. I studied fashion design and focused more and more on knitwear design. Because the sustainability aspect has always been important to me in my work, I have also dealt with the raw materials and wool in knitwear design. At the same time, my mother dived more and more into the dog world, had several dogs of the same breed and automatically kept the combed dog wool, because she was “too good to throw away”. And at some point I lay in bed and thought, “Why does not anyone do that?”
At first I thought to myself, there is probably a huge problem, but I just do not see it. And that’s how I am actually feeling for a year now. Because all the time, I think it’s so logical to make wool out of brushed dog hair, but why on earth does nobody make it? And I’m still waiting for the moment when I meet a big, total no-go and then think, “Oh, could not somebody have told me that earlier?”
… in order to implement such an idea in practice, one must have a certain openness towards life. Did you grow up in a parental home that gave you such openness, or did you acquire that openness yourself?
I would say that I taught myself that. My parents have always had very precise ideas about what life has to be like and what you do in what time.
In the meantime, I am absolutely sure that the development that has brought me here was my trip after school. I’ve been traveling alone for a year, wishing to find myself and find out what I want in life. I met so many people and became at least three times as cosmopolitan as before. I suppose I would still be in the little village where I grew up without the trip and I would not have dared to go out. And certainly not with such an idea.
Did you find yourself on the journey?
Surprise: not really. In any case, I’ve personally developed a lot. And I am now convinced that through this journey, but also through the choices I have made on this journey, I have come to the way on which I am now. Also, I am sure that I am on the right track. Although this path has taken quite a few detours in recent years.
My first study in English and French linguistics, for example. I do not need that now. Nevertheless, it has helped me mentally and cognitively. And I got to know many friends and also my partner.
… who and what inspires you?
I do not have any special people to help me with. I am more inspired by the current zeitgeist, by online communities and also by everyday things that I encounter. I try to find something special in the ordinary.
In the field of work, I trust that it will come out of me and the everyday inspirations that I find. However, when you are in education, it is very helpful to orient oneself towards the work of others, because it helps you to learn a lot. For me, I do not see myself as the next big fashion designer because I stopped believing in it. Because art always has a lot to do with suffering. And I have decided that I do not want to suffer anymore.
… at some point, every person who deliberately deals with life will come to the question of what he can do with his actions to the world and to people. Have you ever asked yourself this question?
Yes, in any case! These thoughts actually came for the first time while traveling. It all started when I was traveling abroad. I have met many families who have dealt with the environment. As a result, I first came across topics such as permaculture. That’s why, I believe, the theme has become a green thread in my life. That I have always considered, since the beginning of fashion design studies, how to make the most sustainable or environmentally decisions. Which is very difficult especially in this area.
With modus intarsia I hope to open the eyes of people a bit, how much we have forgotten to see the resources that are already available to us. We have lost sight, I believe. I wish that people can get away from what they have learned. “That’s wool and this is not wool.” That they free themselves from it. And by doing so they can live much more in harmony with nature again.
… in what form do like-minded people matter? Are you well off talking about the topics that move you deeply, or do you prefer to spend your time silently doing it?
I really like to exchange ideas. At a certain point. 😉
For example, I silently worked on the idea with modus intarsia for 6 months, until I was ready to talk to other people about it.
But in general, especially with the topic of sustainability in the fashion industry, it is very important to me to have this exchange. That’s what I meant earlier with inspiration through the community. I am very grateful for the online exchange that is possible today.
… what does it mean for you to live a “creative life”?
Hm, that’s a tough question …
It generally means a lot to me. I can not imagine living a different life than the one I am currently living. I’ve always been very creative, so I’ve never been in a permanent position. It also has a lot to do with freedom. You can probably live creatively in all facets of life. And for me it’s so natural and obvious that I find it hard to put that into words.