Hello, I'm Sadie Rose!
My love for creating began many years ago when, at the age of five, I learned how to sew. I acquired this skill with the assistance of Ellen, a woman who wore her long white hair in braids and had a difficulty threading needles due to her poor eyesight. Every inch of her house was covered in bolts and scraps of fabric — even the bathtub. A parrot spoke from his cage in the corner of her small living room, a pig and some chickens walked through the house as they pleased, and every now and then you’d find pins in the couch. Her house was an exuberance of color, texture, laughter; it was controlled chaos, a zoo, and it was a paradise to me.
This is where I found my love of designing and creating. By sewing my own clothing, I had discovered a unique way of expressing myself. Orange polka-dot pants? Definitely.
A few years later I discovered my passion for storytelling when I was cast in an avant-garde musical production of Fahrenheit 451. It was in this environment that I recognized the beauty and power of sharing a story with an audience. I went on to act in a number of other theatre pieces, short movies, and commercials.
In the summer of 2010, I traveled to Athens, Greece where I participated in the production of an original collaborative piece which discussed the economic crisis from the perspective of local voices. I contributed to the collection of those stories and I designed and made the costumes for the show — often incorporating found objects into them, which made it truly street art.
At the age of eleven, I launched my own hat business. The first hat began with a deep pink brim that covered my head, and then a seam connected the next piece, an orange hue, and then eight inches later a red piece was sewn onto the previous two. The hat grew longer, and longer while transitioning through the rainbow hues until measuring three feet long. When worn, the tail of the hat could be wrapped around one's neck three times which made it a scarf, too. I sold the hats on my website and at holiday fairs.
As the business grew I was shipping the hats all over the world and eventually I needed to hire a team to assist me with production due to the inordinate amount of orders. I managed my business for seven years until I moved to Thailand where I lived as an exchange student for a year.
In Thailand, I lived with host families, attended a vocational college, and became proficient in Thai. In this unfamiliar environment, everything was new to me, so I wrote. I started a monthly series on my Thailand blog where I often described my observations through the five senses. I wrote to my American audience about new tastes, the feelings of hearing a new sound, the wonder of new sights.
In the autumn following my return home from Thailand, I walked the Camino de Santiago with my mom and younger sister. We traversed France and Spain for two months with only the essentials carried on our backs. We met fellow walkers who hailed from all parts of the world, exchanged stories with new friends, shared meals together, cared for aching blisters, and sang in empty churches. This extraordinary journey provided me with space and time to think deeply, listen carefully, and to understand varying points of view.
In 2013, I began studying at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY, where I developed my strong research skills through the writing and research intensive curriculum.
The Sarah Lawrence curriculum enabled me to pursue ideas that fascinated me. I spent my fours years at college researching various topics — from the intriguing history of the Merry Widow hat to gender roles in the 2016 election to the effects climate change have on female farmers in sub-Saharan Africa — and developed a fondness for this explorative and investigative research.
At Sarah Lawrence, I primarily studied history, writing, filmmaking, and podcasting. I had developed such a strong fondness for storytelling throughout my life that I felt drawn to enhancing and fine-tuning my skills while at college.
During my junior year, I had the opportunity to work and study in sub-Saharan Africa. The program brought me to Tanzania, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, and in each location, we worked with community-based organizations, conducted research, and studied human development, public policy, and history.
My independent research project concentrated on the effect climate change has on female farmers. I interviewed people, worked for a month in the fields in order to experience first-hand the challenging work women are tasked with, and read countless articles and books. I completed a project that wove together my research with narrative-based stories collected in the field.
While in Tanzania, I also assisted Teddy, a teenager, with the development of her handbag business. I directed a short promotional film, created an online platform for her merchandise, and helped strategize a long-term business plan. As an entrepreneur myself, I felt excited to have the chance to assist another person with their own enterprise. By telling Teddy’s story, I was helping her future customers feel a connection they could not generate thousands of miles away.
Throughout my time in the region, I also assisted with the creation of sewing groups, held multiple internships, helped with the implementation of art education within school curricula, and I even taught classes on storytelling.
Back State side, I was an active member within my college community; I was the captain of the women's soccer team, committed myself to political campaigns, worked as a Resident Advisor, was the editor of the school newspaper, volunteered, and was elected Senior Class President. As Senior Class President, I listened to the needs of the student body, negotiated with the school government, and brought these ideas and complaints to the Board of Trustees, as well as representing the school at social and fundraising events.
I also held an internship with Brandworkers, a nonprofit organization located in Queens, NY. This nonprofit was formed by retail and food employees who recognized a need for an organization entirely devoted to protecting and advancing their rights. I produced content for their social media pages, called donors during a fundraiser, and organized events. I was also an intern for Found Object, a social activist documentary company in Brooklyn, NY. I conducted research for pre-production, interviewed individuals for the films and managed data entry.
Upon graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, I enrolled in an environmental studies summer program at Middlebury College in Vermont. I took a course on video production and storytelling, which provided me with the opportunity to advance my video production skills and to combine my love of storytelling with activism. I spent a week in D.C. learning from policymakers, talking with NGO leaders, and refining my communication skills with Frank Sesno, the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. The most important takeaway I gained from this experience was understanding that while it is essential to know the information, it is crucial to know how to explain this knowledge in an approachable and captivating way. The ability to relay information in a clear and concise narrative is vital, and I can see this skill being crucial throughout my life.
I look forward to creating and storytelling for many years to come!