In alignment with our mission to give back to the community, $10 from each La Peony Clothing purchase made from Giving Tuesday/November 28th to December 31st will be directly contributed to Hopefully Sow.
"'Sowing seeds' now makes for a brighter future for all. I am excited to give back and to be part of the social, emotional and financial good that Hopefully Sow contributes to the community of Austin, one child at a time!"
- LPC Founder, Melony Huber
Over the last few weeks, the team at La Peony Clothing has had the pleasure to connect with Hopefully Sow, a unique organization located in Austin, TX. During our collaborative journey, we've uncovered some distressing realities about our nation's foster care system. Many young individuals within the system lack the essential support, experiences, and opportunities necessary for their well-being. This injustice is particularly pronounced among older teens and those transitioning or aging out of the system.
Fortunately, Hopefully Sow is dedicated to addressing this critical gap within the Austin community. Recognizing the pressing need for increased support, Hopefully Sow is diligently working to ensure that these young people receive the assistance they both need and deserve. Through a variety of initiatives, Hopefully Sow aims to foster a sense of community and stability for the children who require it the most.
LPC had the opportunity to sit down with Ash Almonte, a vibrant artist and a founding member of Hopefully Sow. During our discussion, she provided us with distinctive insights into her artistic endeavors and shared how art intersects with her involvement at Hopefully Sow.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you become an artist?
I have been working as an artist for 17 years - it’s always been the dream, at a very young age I felt it was my purpose. I was fortunate at a young age to have loving & supportive parents and an amazing high school art teacher that fueled my flame. Later in life I met my soulmate - my husband. He has become the backbone to my career and believes in me when I don’t believe in myself.
How did you tap into your creativity? What inspires you?
Life inspires miracles, synergy, people, kindness. Being creative seems to be a part of me. I have never felt the need to tap into it - just living keeps me creative. Fashion inspires me - I love its energy and its opportunity for self expression.
Do you have a favorite collection or piece you have painted?
Currently my butterfly series, it’s in loving memory of my sweet father I lost a little over a year ago. This series has opened the door for others to share their connection to butterflies with me. And that’s the best part of art - human connection.
What inspired you to start Hopefully SOW?
A small group of us from RIVERBEND church were volunteering with a group of teens in foster care, taking them to do activities. We began to learn about a large population of teenagers and amazing organizations throughout the city that could use the help of volunteers and the community. We came together to form a 5013C and raise funds to help these organizations serve teens in foster care. It’s our mission to sow seeds of love, joy and aspiration for teens in foster care. We do this by attempting to meet tangible needs, providing experiences that are creative and engaging, as well as opportunities to be on the system. Some of our key activities are of course art activities weekly and biweekly. Sponsoring activities for these teenagers to have time to play and be a kid again such as riding, go karting, or going to dart em up. We also have a pillar program for teens to have the opportunity to obtain a drivers license. We partner with driving schools around Austin to give them private driving lessons and the opportunity to get a drivers license.
What are some of the challenges you face in supporting these children?
The challenges we face is funding and more hands on deck. We address them by partnering with amazing businesses and organizations like LPC. What we’re learning is that almost everyone can do something with what they have where they’re at. And that little bit makes a difference and together that makes a big difference. Austin is a city full of kind and generous individuals wanting to build a community to help each other out.
How does your organization involve the local community in its efforts? How can others get involved in helping children in foster care?
We involve the local community by serving and helping the facilities that house these children. We have multiple partnerships with group homes and aged out youth programs. We also like to involve businesses by allowing the opportunity to sponsor or contribute to some of our activities. We have some awesome corporate partnerships such as West Chelsea Contemporary, Cinful Sweets, Café, Monet, Countyline, dart them up, Sherri Hill, Austin Parks and pizza, Riverbend church, lashes and nails in lakeway just to name a few. One of our biggest helpers and contributors is Austin Blessings co-op. If you’re looking to get involved, please go to our website at the Contact button and we will get you on the volunteer list with Austin Blessings co-op.
If you could wear any LPC collection piece, what would you pick?
Oh my goodness I love love your jumpsuit collection. My absolute favorite is the denim piece. If I could wear one of your jumpsuits every day I would!
To learn more about Ash Almonte’s art visit: https://www.ashalmonte.com/