Student Highlight: Athena Plott

Athena Plott
Posted on 10/29/2020
Student Highlight: Athena Plott
Alexis Stakem
Staff Writer

Athena Plott began sewing in the third grade, in a quest for both her wardrobe and hobbies to be different from those of her peers.

Since then she has strived to improve her craft, first sewing garments for herself to wear to school, then eventually opening her Etsy shop, Hampden Handcrafts, in 2018, and in 2020 creating an entire collection during quarantine. However, Plott’s journey has its roots in humble beginnings.

“The first garment I remember making is pajama pants in elementary school for a sewing class. I had taken sewing lessons prior to this and had learned how to make bags with zippers and such; I thought I was really quite advanced," Plott said. "I actually met one of my best friends there, but I didn’t talk to him because he was a boy, and I was eight. On the plus side, my pants turned out great, there’s a hole in the crotch, but perhaps that is a result of time rather than my poor construction skills. I finished my pants before anyone else and felt very accomplished because of that fact."

Spurred on by her early success with pajama pants and talking to boys, Plott was set on trajectory to continue cultivating her self-described “obsession” with sewing. An obsession that led to her opening an Etsy store, Hampden Handcrafts, in 2018.

“I started off selling small accessories such as scrunchies. This year, I began selling masks as a way of raising money for the Four Diamonds Fund,” Plott said.

Plott also talked about the possibility of expanding her store and the challenges small businesses face.

“I want to start selling more garments like pajama pants, hopefully sans the holes. Bow ties are another possible future endeavor, although I suppose I’ll wait until dance season can return in full swing. However, I am trying to sell out of all my smaller items before I expand the store, and since I am an independent business growing my clientele can pose a difficult challenge."
Plott has also found a way to integrate her obsessive passion for sewing into her school life, best exemplified by her participation in the creative problem solving club, Odyssey of the Mind.

“My team’s problem called for us to write and perform a skit, and our theme was about how hope can be used to combat dark times. I was tasked with creating seven dresses, all for girls with different measurements, for zero dollars. The nonexistent budget led me to use bedsheets to make the dresses. The costumes for Odyssey of the Mind are some of my favorite things I’ve ever created, only rivaled by my Daylight collection,” Plott said.

Plott’s Daylight Collection was born out of quarantine boredom and inspired by the phrase: “let the daylight wash away the darkness.”

“I wanted this collection to encapsulate the idea of a sunrise. As you look through the pieces in my collection, you will be able to recognize that the color palette is comprised of colors you ordinarily see in a sunrise. The overall silhouettes are light and airy, as seen in some looks’ puffed sleeves. I meant for the collection to be representative of the idea that despite the dark times there will always be daylight at the end. It is a strong message that over the course of these past few months I think people have forgotten,” Plott said.

As of right now Plott is currently working on a satin evening dress, which she described as “the death of her [me],” learning how to tailor, and beginning to assemble her portfolio for college. While Plott is unsure whether she will work in the business or design side of fashion, one her main goals is to work for a company with an ethical means of production.

Please check out Hampden Handcrafts and follow them (@hampden_handcrafts) and Plott (@athena_sews) on Instagram.

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