Do you believe that maths is everywhere?
When I found Ostara Clothing
on Instagram, I instantly wanted to know more about the 13 year old homeschooler behind the venture (sure that there was maths to be found!). Calypso kindly agreed to be part of an interview here on the blog.
I hope her story inspires us to allow our children freedom to follow their ideas, with confidence in the learning that takes place.
Let us see that maths is everywhere.
Can you introduce yourself to us?
Hello! My name is Calypso and I am a 13 year old seamstress, clothing designer living on the south coast of England. I live with my mum, my dad, my brother and gorgeous little dog, Minty.
How long have you been home educated for? What style of education would you call it?
I’ve been home educated for about three years. Our home education journey is a hybrid of different styles depending on what we find interesting and relevant.
What do you like/dislike about home education?
One of the awesome things about home education is you have more control over your education. If I had stayed at school I would’ve never have got as far with Ostara as I have at the moment. A few of the challenges about home education is finding home educated families on a similar path to us as there are so many ways to home educate. Also discipline. It’s trying to reinforce your OWN self - discipline instead of someone telling you what you need to do and when you need to do it.
In what ways have/do you learnt maths in your home education?
Well at the moment I have a maths tutor. I’m a visual person so it really helps for me to be shown how you do something. My tutor also bases maths very creatively; so my maths book is an array of colours which makes it easer to understand and remember. We also make and play a lot of games which helps to reinforce what I am learning .
I started making dolls clothes when I was 10. I didn’t like Barbie’s clothes yet I found the Disney dolls’ clothes to ‘princessey’ so I wanted to make my own. I started off by making vintage inspired outfits and selling them to my friends. I would base my outfits on little Barbie games and I would be like ‘ she needs a coat!’ or ‘she needs a ball gown!’ and I’d go off and make it. I’d sometimes just drape fabric round my dolls and pin the fabric in place to look like little buttons. At the moment my business is based on clothing commissions for dolls and children and creating more ‘life like’ doll outfits.
What/who are your main inspirations?
My mum has been hugely supportive and inspirational. My dad has also helped a lot. It’s been great to have such supportive parents . My inspiration comes from many sources. ; different designers, movies, books, countries, holidays, Pinterest and my imagination.
When did you start sewing?
I’d always been creative and had loved to make things. I started off by making little hand sewn lavender bags and would make little wallets etc… I finally got a sewing machine for my ninth birthday. My mum and I made a little bag but we both didn’t really know how to use my sewing machine. So I went for a few sewing lessons.
What do your days mainly look like at the moment?
Every day differs as we have different tutors and activities on different days. But generally we always wake up and exercise and try and be as productive as possible in the mornings, so we can spend more time on our passions in the afternoon.
What do you feel you have learnt through starting and running Ostara Clothing?
I have learnt lots of skills through Ostara eg: Pattern cutting (involves a lot of maths!), commissions (Every commission I take has been an experiment. This time I may charge less, the next time to much etc… Unfortunately we can’t get it right first time!) and I’ve learnt a lot about business . Running a business also helps with communication skills and being professional and reliable even if you don’t feel like doing it!
How is maths used in your business?
I use it in almost everything! When I was younger, I didn’t really understand how important maths was. I wasn’t to sure why we need to learn it. At the moment I am certain we need! I use it for pattern cutting , constructing the items and running my business.
Did you have all the necessary math maths skills to start your business, or have you learnt along the way (if so, how did you acquire the new skills)?
I had most of the maths skills needed when I started. I then started to learn more through pattern cutting. If I get stuck on maths in sewing, I will go over it in my maths lessons.
What are your tips to parents about home education or encouraging their children to follow dreams?
To probably let your child be bored. If they are constantly on technology, it’s going to be harder for them to find or follow a dream. Ideas come from the imagination, from having an empty head. Also make sure you support your child. Even if it’s their 88th passion so far. Always make them feel supported.
Where to now for Ostara Clothing?
Well at the moment, I’m a bit unsure. I’d love to open my own clothing label in the future but we’ll have to see…
Can we purchase your creations? Where?
At the moment I am working on a very exciting collaboration. So I am not taking on any new commissions. But this may change once the project is completed.
Thank you so much Calypso! I’m really excited to see where life takes you
You can find Ostara Clothing on Instagram