Sustaining Community and Humanity
Honey Girl Books and Gifts is the creation of Julia Douthwaite Viglione, a writer and teacher as well as a designer / seamstress. The mission is to sustain and nurture humanity through connections: connections created by literature and textile arts.
While on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame in 2012 she created "Write YOUR Story," a semester-long writing workshop for kids in South Bend, and in 2018 it came with her to Seattle! Although it is now on COVID-19 hiatus, we look forward to starting up as soon as possible. WYS aims to inspire kids with the same love of reading and writing which have made our lives so rich and satisfying. The price for all classes, as it always was, is free.
Like Write YOUR Story, HGBG is a deliberately small, sustainable business. We use fabrics from all kinds of sources. There are cottons, pieces of kimono silk, used and vintage fabrics, and remnants from a high-end interior design business owned by a family member. Each work is slightly different. All products are made in West Seattle, WA, USA.
We are pleased to be an active supporter of Impact West Seattle since its inception in winter 2018. Impact West Seattle is dedicated to improving living standards in Seattle for people who are sometimes overlooked; read their story!
A book club on "Classic Novels (and Movies)," begun in March 2020 is another way to weave together literature and community. After a COVID-19 hiatus, we are back in the swing! Our next meeting is Sunday October 18 at 3:00pm in the backyard patio of C & P Coffee House to discuss Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. At 4pm we'll discuss the next title to read! (Social distancing and masks are required, of course.)
Beginning in April 2020, and for the first five months of the coronavirus health emergency, we made face masks non-stop. We sold them to friends and neighbors for $5 each, and gave away hundreds: to the homeless via the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), to medical personnel, and to the elderly via SHAG and the Northwest Asian Weekly. As of September 1, we made 718 masks, of which 343 were donated to people in need.
Our current project is the "Respect" quilts and wall-hangings which we are making with fabrics bought from a number of Black-owned businesses across the USA, and used jeans, vintage linens, to express support for the Black Lives Matter movement and to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs: a key support for minority youth. Stand by for more news on that!
For years, Grandma's 1928 White Rotary sewing machine was the sole support for HGBG. Although a lovely new Juki machine has taken its place, you can click here to hear the soothing sounds of Grandma's machine in action.
Grandma with her family in
White Salmon, WA circa 1915
(she’s front row, second from right)