We had the good fortune of connecting with Rita Browning and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rita, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Panty Witch was something that I’ve been working up to my whole life without knowing it. I started sewing around the age of 4. All of my adolescent years were spent in my room making things with various mediums or quilting with my mom. At 18 I got a job production sewing clothing for a company owned by a family friend. For 6 years I worked there which taught me so much about working with industrial sewing machinery. In early 2020 I found an industrial serger on Craigslist (the exact one I used at work). I started playing around with scraps I’d saved from the garbage at work and other textiles I’d collected from obsession of not throwing things away. After some trial and error, I came up with some patch work panties for myself. A quick share on instagram showed me that people loved them. I started making them to fundraise for BLM and other various BPOC led organizations. Then the pandemic hit and I decided to move to a more rural community. I didn’t want to get another service industry job and sewing jobs are hard to find. So I decided to give it my all and see if I could start my own sewing company.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art and eco anxiety go hand in hand. I have alway had a deep desire to create but I wanted to know that what I’m creating isn’t going to be a waste of resources. There is so much joy in using things that other people deem as trash and turning it into something magical, it often feels like alchemy.

The journey I went on to get here wasn’t necessarily easy but it was very natural. All those hours I spent in my room growing up taught me so much. I’ve never taken any art classes (though they sound really exciting). I really enjoy having a creative idea and then problem solving until I have my desired outcome. There is often a lot of technical gatekeeping in the making / art academia community that keeps people from just going for it and learning along the way. I hope with the new age of technology that it will enable people to access more tools to help them tap into their creative sides.

It feels weird calling Panty Witch a brand. To me it’s just how I authentically express my creative side in a way that allows me to make a living. When people see my art I hope it makes them feel joy.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well my friend you have come to a magical spot. I live on the Olympic Peninsula. Backed by the gorgeous Olympic mountains and surrounded by woods, and overlooking the straights of Juan de Fuca over to Vancouver island, it’s a breathtaking place. My favorite spot to take people to is the Elwah river. We would hang out there for a bit to admire all the flowers and rocks, maybe take a dip if it’s hot enough. If it was fall time aka mushroom season I would take you to my chanterelle spot so we could play gnomes and gather some for you to take home with you. Then we would go to my favorite spot, my parents house. They have an amazing property alongside another river. My mom and dad take a lot of pride in making their space not only beautiful but perfect to host company. I spend most of my evenings over there having dinner made by my talent brother. We all love to play card / board games. Pokemon is the current favorite, even my mother has her own deck. There is also a truly magazine worthy sewing studio to house a long arm quilting machine. My mother is a prolific quilter. We love having people come create with us (so hopefully you brought a project to work on). We would end the night sitting around their camp fire hanging out with my family.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
None of this would be here without my mother. Not only did she birth me but she also kindled a creative fire in me from a very young age. She put up with my numerous crafting messes and has spent thousands of dollars to provide me with supplies as creating isn’t cheap. I’m so privileged to have her as a mother and a sewing instructor.

Website: www.pantywitch.com

Instagram: panty.witch

Image Credits
Ashley Marie Photopraphy ( @_ashleymariephotography_ on IG)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.