Snip and Stitch

photo by: Alejandra Garcia

Stitch Witches at work: Alicia Hahumada and Tania Herrera trasform second-hand trash into treasures photo by: Alejandra Garcia

Alejandra Garcia | Staff Writer

Fashion is not just a fad or a pastime for Riverside City College students Tania Herrera and Alicia Ahumada. It’s a passion, a lifestyle, and they are also making their dream a reality, with encouragement from their friends.

Herrera and Ahumada launched Stitch Witches, a vintage, do-it-yourself clothing company, in the hopes of creating a path for themselves.

They started their path by up-cycling clothes with their own twist. Both young women have been reinventing their clothes
since their high school days.

Herrera and Ahumada finally decided to share their quirky style through Etsy.com, a website where people can buy and sell goods often custom made.

This unique duo finds inspiration from fashions of past decades and musical tastes. Herrera likes to describe her style as “clownesque fashion.”

The ’50s fashion increased her sense of style. Herrera said, “Now I feel like I incorporate every [decade] in one, with lots and lots of color.” She claims to find inspiration from one of her favorite bands, Hunx and His Punx.

As for Ahumada, she always had the knack for being handy with a needle and thread. Inspiration is everything.

“I find inspiration absolutely everywhere. Sometimes I watch a movie and I feel like dressing like one of the characters, or I’ll watch
a cartoon and feel the same way”.

Ahumada said The message of Stitch Witches is to be yourself.

Both Herrera and Ahumada agree that style is more important than being trendy. Their common ideals are to stand out from a crowd, and to express individuality.

Herrera said, “Express yourself! You’re allowed to wear as many colors, clothes, accessories as you want!”

Most of their clothing comes from thrift stores and swap meets.

For Herrera and Ahumada, there’s more than what the meets the eye. Splashes of colors, unique prints and smooth textiles usually catch their attention, especially if it is vintage inspired.

“We look for things, like stuff we [would] wear…so other people can enjoy them too”, Ahumada said.

Every item of clothing is hand picked by either Herrera or Ahumada, and both girls add their individual flare to the selected apparel.

Ahumada said, “We sew and alter a lot of the clothes ourselves, it’s not just vintage and resold [clothes], a lot of it we up- cycle and add things.” Herrera added, “We basically modify them to make them look cuter.” Both girls have pride in their decisions and creations.

Doing it themselves is another important process for Stitch Witches.

Not only do these girls repair dresses and skirts, they also create new clothes from remaining fabrics of dresses. Herrera said, “It feels more personal to do it yourself.”

Ahumada also said, “The DIY element is something that not a lot of clothing stores or companies can really claim, so I do think it makes Stitch Witches a little different and a little special.”

They have also discussed adding accessories to their collection, such as earrings, hair clips and patches.

Stitch Witches just launched a couple of months ago, and Herrera and Ahumada want to see their project grow even stronger.

They both hope to open a thrift store in the future. For Stitch Witches it’s important to create a sense of community that shares their colorful style.

Herrera said, “You can start a community from anything, anything that you have a passion for I think, and all these different groups of people start coming together.”

Stitch Witches are now on Facebook and Etsy.com/Stitchwiitches.