Serendipity brought our talented sewer named Hop to the United States...
"One day when visiting Hanoi, Hop found a letter lying on the street that had a North Yarmouth, Maine return address. . . "
Hop’s coming to America story is a story of romance and chance. After learning English at the University in Hanoi, Vietnam, she graduated to become a high school English teacher in her hometown, Gia Binh.
Once in 2006 while visiting Hanoi, she found a letter lying in the street. It had a North Yarmouth, Maine return address. She took the letter to the address in Hanoi it was addressed to but that person had moved on. So she sent the letter back to the sender, our friend in Maine, with a little note. He wrote back. Back then Vietnam didn’t have internet and it took two weeks for a letter to be delivered. Thus began an eight year correspondence.
Eventually this correspondence turned into a proposal for marriage and by the next year Hop had moved to the USA, remarkably, to the address in North Yarmouth to which the letter was addressed!
Hop credit's her sister for showing her how to make a garment from scratch without a pattern. Since a young age she's developed her own craft while making creations of her own and working for others as a freelance artisan.
We were also lucky to meet Hop. Anchorpak desperately needed a talented sewer since making our unique bag is not exactly a straightforward task. Hop says that she enjoys the puzzle and challenge of putting things together. We were amazed to find out she sewed her first bag without even glancing at our complicated pattern's instructions. These days Hop interprets our new designs into reality and continues to triple-stitch seams like a magician.
Hop's studio looks out on the woods skirting the headwaters of the Royal River. She has 3 machines and uses different ones for different tasks. Her sewing room is serene and organized, "sewing calms and focuses me" she told me. As in Vietnam the craft of sewing is a valued tradition in Maine. As far as lost letters go, this one made it's way home in good stead.