The Arts Collective at ArtRageUs no longer exists. Membership in the Arts Collective at ArtRageUs was comprised of artists, craftsmen, authors, and musicians. Click on any member below to view their brief bio and some of their products. Or you can browse our products by going to our Online Store and selecting art, music, or books.

Margo Vannoy

My name is Margo. 

I was born and raised in South Africa, in the province called the Ciskei. Home to the Xhosa people one of the many colorful tribes of South Africa.  

Even though my growing up years were during the Apartheid era,( which we didn't even realize as kids)  i was always surrounded by African people. 

My biggest thrill was to go to the market with my mother on a saturday and see the African women gathered in their bright cloths, elaborate headgear, beads and bangles adorning their arms and ankles and their babies who were slept peacefully on their backs.

The Shaman, with his impressive headdress of bull horns, goat skin clothing, beaded necklaces and anklets that rattled and jangled as he walked past, swishing his cow -tail wand.

My Xhosa name is Nonkululeko which means.........  Freedom.  The African people name a child for their essence. 

I became a Nurse, midwife and eventually a Nurse practitioner, working in rural African communities and sharing their trials and tribulations, their joys and their generosity of spirit. That was my love and my life for 35 years.

You may wonder what any of this has to do with the clothing that i make now ..............but there is a thread :)

I fell in love with an American man ............and moved to the USA in 2012.

It was a difficult transition. I missed Africa, i really missed my community...... and i was cold !   I wore sarongs constantly ! around my waist, my neck and on my head in my attempt to hold on to my African-ness and stay warm. It didn't work. 

America was odd ! Dogs wore clothes in winter, and went to daycare :) 

I remembered that i used to put one of my 4 year old son's stripy sweaters on our bull terrier in winter ( but never in public :) .................. the sweater idea started to sprout.

I discovered a lot of things ............... thrift stores that sold wool and cashmere sweaters, that people put tv sets and couches on the sidewalk ................ that one could cut off the top of a sweater and turn it upside down ,put it on and my butt was warm !  that although i spoke English, i often wasn't understood ...........my husband interpreted for me .............' a glass of waDer please' .......!!!

I bought a sewing machine. My Mother laughed,  ..........sitting on her cloud, pointing and laughing as i diligently attended the University of UTube .... " How to thread the needle on a Singer sewing machine" .

  (As a child i had infuriated her by constantly re-designing any article of clothing she made or bought for me. Cutting out sleeves, redesigning the neck or cutting the bottoms of my jeans ..........to make them  mine............but i refused to sew.)

People in the street in Boston started to comment on my skirts, and tell me that i was clever ............and ask me if i was an artist !!! Me ? No,,,, I'm a nurse .

A wonderful woman ( a seamstress of note and perfection )  loved what i was doing and asked to exhibit some of my skirts !! ( i had advanced to zig-zag by then) ...........on one condition ................. that i never learned to sew straight !!!!

That was the best encouragement that anyone could EVER  have given me ..............and Wonky Wear was born !

Pizaz, comfort and warmth, functional, stylish,  upcycled,  unique,  love of fabric, texture and the inspiration of the freedom of spirit of Africa.

.........................THe END :)

Member's Products

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