Betty Rockwear back story
Many roads have led to the creation of Betty Rockwear. For much of my life I didn’t feel at liberty to indulge much in the way of personal expression, and besides, I was painfully shy. As middle age approached, increasingly I found myself experiencing pressure from within to challenge myself in ways I’d never had the courage to. I was tired of making excuses for not trying my hand at a creative venture, even after friends and family encouraged me to. I was tired of the kind of debilitating stage fright that caused the shakes when speaking up at a business or community meeting. I was tired of believing that I was too old to resurrect a very old dream-playing guitar in a rock band. In the end, the idea of letting 50 slip by still wallowing in these fearful old ideas forced me to act. An amazing guitar instructor, and some years of perseverance led to the formation of Betty Rocker https://www.facebook.com/betterbettyrocker, my Carson City, NV rock band. Betty’s been the platform from which I’ve stared down a lot of that stage fright, my hands shaking so badly at first that I was bungling the simplest power chords. But no one died…! The flip side was the sense of empowerment and freedom that playing our own songs gave me, not to mention the sheer fun of it, and most importantly, realizing how essential that fun was to living life fully. My life was impacted in so many positive ways by my resolve to challenge myself and run with it.
And then, of course, there was the question: What to wear to the show??? I’d always enjoyed dressing up a bit to go hear live music, whether it was Queen at the Oakland Coliseum in the early 80s (electric blue spandex pants with thigh high boots!), or a garage band at a local bar-like Betty!
Much of the rockwear on offer seemed to be directed at a younger crowd. It made me wonder if there were others who might enjoy the sort of slightly edgy denim, priced as an accessory, that I do. A skirt tacked to the back of a jacket hinting at an old-time bustle, sure, why not?
I’ve always had a love for fabric and the satisfaction of renewing old and tired things and making them exciting again. Upcycling and some basic sewing skills offer a great opportunity to make a happy marriage between sometimes odd bedfellows, like the sleeves from a ho hum office blouse with a studded denim vest. Or kitchen curtains sewn on the gussets of a jean jacket. These pieces make for exciting, fun and affordable accessories onstage and off.
There are so many ways to embrace personal expression, and we get to choose-how wonderful is that? For me, it’s a fabulous musical/fashion fusion!
– Carla Baptista