Get to know Arlinda, a bold, driven, entrepreneurial Hank member who can teach us a lot about staying true to our passions, especially in the “senior class of our lives.” Arlinda chatted with Hank Community Team member Molly in the middle of a workday from her home-turned-fashion-studio in New Jersey, where she juggles the daily demands of running her own apparel line, Sofistafunk The Skirt Co.
Kind, compassionate, and a pro-ager.
I'm originally from North Carolina, currently I reside in northern New Jersey.
I’m here in my studio, My professional background has always been…on the creative side, fashion, writing and marketing. I started my career in the early ‘90s…in the music industry, designing and creating for various recording artists, industry executives, MTV, VH1, etc. In early 2000, I was introduced to the retail market selling my first collection to a boutique here in New Jersey. and that brought me here.
I married in my early 20s, but a few years later unexpectedly became a single parent in need of an immediate way to provide for my children, one of my close friends suggested that I design a few pieces for her and a few other ladies but my first reaction was, “Make you something? Why would I do something like that?” LOL because I had a job and the mall was made for shopping. so, why would I make clothes? LOL but, I did it.
I made these five denim outfits for them and that was my first understanding that this might just be the short answer I needed. It just goes to show you sometimes you can have a talent and don't recognize it as a talent you just know that it’s something you can do.
Years later around 2007, after opening my first by appointment only shop, I cast a fashion show of women over 40 and I called it ‘Funking After 40’ the following year I did another one and called it “Funking After 50” and since I was LOL I decided to keep it the tag as my Instagram handle:)
Well as a little girl, as part of my culture, so I was taught to hand sew as a little girl. My first interaction with sewing a full garment was somewhere around 5th grade?. I will never forget the first day of the school. It seemed that all the girls were wearing this little plaid skirt, a white shirt, and a yellow sweater. We were not required to wear a uniform so my assumption now is that it was just a popular outfit in the Back To School section, but I wanted my look to be different, so when I got home I asked my Mom if I “I could I make something?” I saw her kitchen curtains and was like, “Wow, that would be a cute skirt.” I asked her if I could have them but she just said, “Linda I’m speaking with company, go in the room, until I’m done but I pretended that I thought she meant, “Go ahead and do it. LOL” (She didn’t mean that) but I did it anyway and that's how I made my first skirt at “somewhere” about age 9 or 10
I've never had any of what I’d call failures. I’ll call them mis-steps, stumbles and re-starts and I’ve just never stopped remembering to Pause Attain Control Continue:).
I was first contacted by someone from Hank on the influencer side. Before any influencer collaborations, I check it out to make sure it’s a good fit for me, after visiting the Hank community I thought “Wow, this is different and needed for the 55-plus community. We can find things to do that are designed for people our age. I just enjoyed my first “Meet Up and introducing other people to the platform.
Yep, I call it “The “SoFun Fashion Guild”, the tagline reads, “Because Older Is Bolder”.
Because for me this is the age to be bold enough to do what we want. I mean, we’re already in the senior class of our lives. So, if we don't get out, and wear what we want now when are we gonna do it?
I don't look for anything, I accept people where they are and my hope is that we will enhance each other by learning and accepting each other's differences.