March 13, 2024

Creators for a Cause is an internal product series that showcases the Company’s pride of creation culture and highlights the incredible design talents of our colleagues. Creators within Centric Brands design limited edition products available for purchase exclusively by Centric Brands’ colleagues. 100% of the proceeds are donated to a non-profit chosen by the designer each month.

We interviewed Rosemary Avila, VP, Operations, Danielle D’Urso, Executive Assistant, Kids, and Loulot Plantilla-Tanyang, Senior Director, Finance, on their inspiration and motivation behind spearheading this month’s Creators for a Cause program in honor of Women’s History Month.

Read the full interview below.

What was your inspiration behind these pieces? 

RA: WIN members were brainstorming one day about making a quilt and a team member suggested making potholders. Loving vintage fabric, lace, buttons and holiday decorating allowed me to be creative and try something new and different that would be useful and a perfect gift item. 

DD: I went with a fruit theme since I thought they would be so cute to display in a kitchen.

LPT: The real inspiration behind these pieces is knowing that there is a bigger cause and awareness that we are trying to do that caters specifically to women and their physical well-being. Also, hopefully, there is someone out there who will appreciate my handiwork and find them practical and useful.

What does supporting causes mean to you?

RA: Giving back and being able to help others.

DD: It means so much to me and I take it very seriously. The fact that Centric gives us the opportunity to be creative and have fun with different projects, while most importantly supporting such important causes, is one of the many reasons why I love working here. There are so many people less fortunate than we are and it’s important to always be grateful for what we have and to give back when we can. 

LPT: I have always believed that happiness comes greatly from living a purposeful life. All the goodness and kindness that we put out there will naturally find its way back to us. Supporting causes does not only help the community but it leaves us with a sense of fulfillment and gratification that feeds our soul.

Women supporting women – why is this so important and how can we continue to uplift each other? 

RA: Knowing we can inspire others by supporting each other is extremely important. Things are always better with a support system. Everyone benefits from help in any form.

DD: This is incredibly important to our mental health and well-being. As I’ve grown, I have realized more and more what a difference it makes when you lift someone up instead of knocking them down. You never know what someone is going through, and it’s important to always lend a helping hand, to always be kind, and to spread love instead of hate. You will never know what a difference these generous acts can do for someone’s day and for someone’s life.

LPT: Biggest support will come from those that have empathy, those who understand your challenges and those who believe in your endless capabilities. Collectively, we can all rise higher by lifting each other.

How did art call to you (meaning how did you get into art?) 

RA: I was lucky enough to be introduced to sewing at the age of 4. My grandmother taught me to sew, and my best Christmas ever was a box of scrap material for making doll clothes. 

DD: My mom loves to cross-stitch and recently, she taught me how to do it. I quickly took a liking to it as I find it very therapeutic. I am working on improving and would like to be able to do a counted cross-stitch kit one day, since now I have only worked on kits that are already stamped.

LPT: My mom was big on crafts. When they taught us how to crochet in middle school, my mom was very happy to have an activity that we can do together. All this time, I never really put away my needle. I have more yarns than I need. I love small crochet projects. Knowing that I can make something from a ball of yarn is exciting. Also, as busy as we are, this is the diversion I need to let my mind drift and have my hands take over.

Discuss the importance of Women’s History Month and how art can help in the storytelling/awareness of the month.

RA: Art plays a great opportunity to highlight Women’s History Month. There is a wonderful exhibit at the Phila Art Museum called Gee’s Bend quilts. I think the exhibit shows that women can be creative, practical, create a sense of community, and create legacies for their families. Everyone contributes in a different way but being creative gave these women a voice.

DD: I believe that women are extremely powerful and should be celebrated every single day. I love that there is a whole month dedicated to honoring women and that Centric celebrates this. For me, it is a win-win because I get to create something that I love all the while knowing that the proceeds will help make a difference in women’s lives. Knitted Knockers is an amazing organization that provides soft, comfortable, knit prosthetics for breast cancer survivors and I couldn’t be happier that we are supporting this cause.

LPT: Women should be celebrated every day, all year long. Being able to highlight the accomplishments and capabilities of women is the inspiration that we need to show that women can do anything they set their hearts and mind to. Crocheting is not a popular art anymore. I believe it is not crocheting as a specific skill and art form that will tell the story, but the process of creation that comes with it.