We often feature individuals who are in the arts industry each month, but when we come across people who are making a difference in the world we have to share them with you. This month’s feature is on Londa Rohlfing who day-by-day is in the arts industry with her creative sewing, but showcasing her creative side globally.
After receiving a home economics degree from the University of Illinois, Londa dabbled in interior design, managing a craft store, and was a sales rep for Leiter’s Designer Fabrics and House of Laird. These several fields intrigued her creative nature and she decided to attend the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion for business. It was there that she fell in love with heirloom sewing, which lead her to launch her own line of patterns for women in the heirloom industry.
With this passion, she opened up a retail store in 1990 until she decided in 2003 to close because she wanted a “normal life.” That said, she didn’t stop selling her creations – she just went digital in the e-commerce world and did everything through her website, Londa’s Creative Sewing. That said, she’s still doing select travel to groups – a few engagements each year. In fact, she’ll be heading out to Fresno to teach a Wearable Arts Guild. She’s also teaching in her home studio to all ages, 6 and up.
“I have all the students I can handle- and they are delightful,” Rohlfing said.
Now onto the global side.
Londa runs a chapter of Days for Girls (DfG), an organization that provides feminine hygiene kits, vital health education and employment opportunities for women and girls around the globe. She knew she wanted to be a part of this organization when she ran into them at a sewing expo where they were showcasing their DfG Kits.
Feminine products are not readily available in some countries and in some, there is no access to them. Not to mention, if products were available the disposal of them would create a larger issues due to weak waste-management systems.
Before the kits were an option, women had to think of creative ways to deal with their periods. This is why DfG Kits are increasingly popular for these women. A kit includes two panty shields, eight absorbent pads, two pairs of panties, a washcloth, a bar of soap and two Ziploc freezer bags in a drawstring bag.
Londa knew she wanted to start a team, which consists of individuals that love to sew long-term: they can create full Kits or Kit components. Team Jackson (Tennessee) has been pouring their hearts and souls into creating hundreds of Kits for DfG – truly making a difference for girls globally.
According to the DfG website, the organization is committed to supporting a girl throughout her entire lifecycle by providing a DfG Kit, teaching health education, and offering training when getting older so that the female can produce DfG Kits and support hygiene needs in her specific community.
To learn more, make a donation or sign up for a workshop, call Londa Rohlfing at 217-369-4687. Visit daysforgirls.org for more information on the organization.
“Every Days For Girls Team is always seeking financial support but also hands. Making a kit takes anyone - there are as many non-sewing tasks involved as there are sewing tasks - and this is the beautiful thing about it!,” Rohlfing said.