Hank Member Spotlight: Arlinda McIntosh

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

 

Just to get started, I know this is kind of a hard-hitting first question, but how would you describe yourself in three words?

Kind, compassionate, and a pro-ager.

Tell us a little more about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now?

I'm originally from North Carolina, currently I reside in northern New Jersey.

I see some fabulous fashion in the background where you are. Can you tell us what your professional background is? 

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. 

Young Adulting “Funking After 50” and “Sofistafunk The Skirt Co.” 

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:)

Where did you learn how to make clothes? 

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 

Most entrepreneurs have a lot of failures along the way. Did you have challenges or things that feel like failures along the way?

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:).

Now getting into how you started hearing about Hank and started getting involved in Hank, what drew you to the Hank community?  What did you like about it?

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.

Speaking of introducing other people, as Hank members know, you can create activities and groups. I saw that you started a fashion group on Hank. Is that right? 

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?

So, as you meet new people on Hank or throughout life, what's a quality that you look for in a new friend? 

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. 

Arlinda, this has been so nice to talk to you. And I can't wait for the Hank community to hear what you have to say because it's enlightening.

Read more about one of our other spotlight members, Arlene, or join Arlinda's favorite activities with Hank New York!

January 27, 2023

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