Along my travels I have met many beautiful people and much talent that I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity and pleasure of encountering. Back in 2003 I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Diva Zappa, frank Zappa youngest daughter. At the time I didn’t know who she was, she was introduced to me by my mother who was chatting with her in her booth. my mother had done the Renaissance Pleasure fairs in California for over 30 years now selling her crocheted hats, bags and accessories. Diva had stopped in my moms booth and the had gotten to talking and my mom asked her to model for one of my fashion shows. We were introduced and she was very sweet in nature and we agreed it would be good fun to have her on board for the next show.

Diva Zappa in Red Ant Fashions

Diva Zappa in Red Ant Fashions

The following week after the show Diva had called and invited us down to Los Angeles to their studio space/office to play dress up and take pictures.  Natural , I said yes and a group of drove down.  It was a spur of the moment of good fun and excitement as we tore through piles of  garments left over from the fashion show and just began making it up as we went.

Gal Zappa had expressed interest in my art and wanting to help me get on  my feet but wasn’t sure how or what my vision was.  Looking back i don’t think i knew either what my vision was.  I am not even sure I had one to be honest.   When I started the Red Ant it was simply to find a way to express myself.  to create a platform to speak my voice where I could be heard.  i didn’t have direction.  I had never thought past the first Fashion show and that I just made up as I went.  I was flying by the seat of my pants and writing my own rules as i moved forward but clueless where i was driving to.  I was a Passenger in a vehicle i was driving.  The second Fashion show was unexpected and a crash course riding on the momentum of the first only 3 and a half  weeks prior.  my head was spinning and my ego was welling, i had no right answer to give Gal or Diva at the time. i knew the idea of a tour sounded amazing…taking my fashion performance on the road.  but i had no solid crew, no one was being paid and i had no money.  And i had never had anyone in my life especially a stranger just reach out and tell you I see potential and talent and I would like to help…..”what do you need?”  That was so foreign to me i didn’t even know how to approach it and so in the end she offered if i should want to have a fashion show in their space “The garage”  she would put together a guest list and allow me the venue.  sadly I never took her up in the offer and Diva and I lost touch.

Diva Zappa modeling for a Red Ant Fashion shoot

Diva Zappa modeling for a Red Ant Fashion shoot

Gal and Diva were kind enough though that they did make a page on http://www.frankzappa.com back in 2003 in “whats new”.  It was picture of Diva in Red Ant and when you clicked on her face there was a full page dedicated to The Red Ant and its visit to Zappa studios to play dress up.  That page remained on the site for 3 years before it was finally taken down.  I am extremely grateful for that.

I  do wonder from time to time what would have happened if I actually had my shit together and had a direction and knew where i was heading back then. …..


In 2006-2007,  was a busy year for me.  I worked really hard and took up working catering, bartending and cocktail waitress for several companies in Tucson Az.  I decide i wanted a store front but I didn’t have amazing credit so no bank was going to give me a loan for start up cash, so I worked my butt off and manifested it myself . Well I did have help……I had accidentally called the wrong number when driving down congress looking at buildings.   Everyone said i needed to find a space on 4th ave but i knew better.  My gut told me that Congress though industrial and only venues on the block was going to be the hot spot and that’s where I needed to be.  …….anyhow…..this woman answered and though it was the wrong number happened to be a Realtor.  I told her my dream and vision and was honest about my money and lack there of.  She for some reason believed in me and not only took me on as a client but free of charge as well.  She didn’t just find me the shop , she fought for me and pitched my idea for me went far and beyond the call of duty on more than one occasion and even several times after the lease was signed and her job was done.  I can never forget here and i feel so blessed that she answered the phone that day.  Later after all said and done i found out she was Anna Drachman.  Her family is one of the founding family of Tucson Az and their is major street named after them. her family is Infamous there. Being as I am not from there her name was clueless to me until someone clued me in way after the fact.  Sometimes all it takes is a random act of kindness from a stranger.  I just wish I hadn’t given up on my dream so quickly but having instability in my mental health took its toll finally on me and I eventually broke down to almost no repair…..but that is another story for another time.


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Well, now that I had the store I had 3 months to paint, decorate, merchandise and turn it into a magical place ready for its grand opening to the world.  My mother and late aunt and myself  were at he store working.  I had all this space and not enough merchandise to feel it so they were bringing their own merch in to help fill the space.  My doors were open though we were not ready to open shop as of yet.  These young men came stumbling in through my doors and naturally all of us ladies turn and look and oogle over them.  They were so adorable we were certain they must be gay (turns out they are NOT gay ), so naturally as they appear harmless I begin to flirt.  They were extremely sweet and didn’t seem to mind as we threw things on them and made them model.  One of the gentlemen noticed i had a pair of Pink Wings in the window.  He asked to try them on and i immediately took them down and strung him up in them.  he fell in love and that was that.

As i rung him up the gentleman explained they were in town in a band and were performing at the Rialto , a block down from my store.  They invited me to come and see them perform and asked if I wanted tickets.  I agreed of course.  But I remember asking them what kind of music they played and the name of their band.  the told me “Of Montreal”  and i like a dork kept repeating myself and was confused….where they from Montreal?  who is Montreal?  why do they keep telling me their from Montreal?  I am not the quickest girl at times but what can you do.

I went to the show that evening with friends whom seemed to know who this band was, it seemed  I was the only clueless one. I remember standing in the crowd in the back and staring up on the stage and there was my pink wings on the back of the Lead Guitarist on stage.  My heart stopped for a moment and this warm rush of happiness and joy washed over me.  I had never seen any of my art on stage in such a manner.  This beautiful musician was bouncing around on stage in pink pants and scarf and all I could see was and think was ” I FREAKING MADE THOSE!” Turns out that adorable Guitar player from “Of Montreal” is Mr. Bryan Poole .  Very sweet beautiful human being.  I am truly honored to have graced his presence .

Bryan Poole - OF MONTREAL - Wings by Red Ant Fashions and Rachel Woodward fonder of Red Ant Fashion

Bryan Poole – OF MONTREAL – Wings by Red Ant Fashions and Rachel Woodward fonder of Red Ant Fashion


During the days of the shop downtown on  Congress in Tucson , I was still catering during the day and opening the shop in the evenings.  As i was located downtown int h industrial area i was surrounded by bars and music venues and an 24/7 cafe.  So it made sense as my stuff spoke to the theatrical at heart to open my doors after dark when my neighborhood came to life.  in order to do this I lived at my shop.  The top level was my apartment that over looked the main floor of the store. The basement on the other had was the work studio.

During the days though I got up way to early and ran off to my day jobs.  that year during that time was spring training.  I was sent to The ball park where the Chicago White Sox use to do their training. I spent the whole spring training that year on the ball park, stealing “Ozzie’s” golf cart in-between working.  I spent allot of time in the club house with the big boys and got to know some the players.  Aj Pierzynski use to pick on me all the time.  I was young and had a full head of hair made out of yarn braids, pretty much I was an easy target to poke fun of.  I never took offense and I seriously doubt he meant any.   I laughed and took the teasing gracefully.  he use to refer to my art as “FART”  functional art.

I also made some friends with the coaches fro the minors and some of the minor ball players themselves.  Word spread quickly that I had a store downtown and i was an artist.  The boys, as they didn’t know anyone in town beyond us workers, they would pop in down at the store and hang out.  Some would play dress up  with me.  It was good fun.

Members of the White Sox

Members of the White Sox

As the season was wrapping up and it became close to time for training to end Aj popped in down at the store.  He commissioned me to design and create 8 burlesque outfits to fit men his size..  And he wanted them all crocheted mind you.  I didn’t have much time and even though he hand picked some stuff from the racks in the shop, I still had to go back and rip some apart and modify to make it big  enough to fit a huge ball player.  those boys are not small by any means.

I was told he wanted to use them to make the boys of the minors who were bumped up the majors to wear as a part of initiation.  I never did find out what ever became of them and sadly I have no pics to show you.  But I am very honored that with all of his teasing that he was kind enough to come down to my store and support my art.  Its the thought that counts and him dint that meant allot to me.



It wasn’t until I met this group of men that I had ever heard of “Nerd Core” It was a late night down at The Red Ant store, doors were open and bars were letting letting out.  We had decided to have an “Emergency Dance Party”, after hours of course.  the music was bumping and we were dancing……no one I knew really showed up but we were having a good time non the less, shaking our booty.  People came wondering in and out dancing and laughing and having a good time.  i recall i kept seeing this group of three guys who kept coming in with this woman and they were dancing and playing with the hair extensions and they were playing with this woman’s breast inserts.  i believe they were silicon breasts to be exact.  it was rather amusing to watch.  As the night dwindled and calmed itself they came back in one last time but his time because they had lost their silicone boobs.  they had wanted to now  if we had found any.  One thing lead to another with such a topic of discussion for an introduction.  Greetings were had and they decided to join us and hang out in the store for a bit.  One thing lead to another and they began to explain “Nerd core”  They were a band and on tour. Now that i think about it,  I am not entirely sure the details of how it came about but before long they had brought their equipment in and set up and in the back of the shop and began performing this amazing sound of music I had never heard of.  I think we we were up till wee hours of the evening laughing and talking and them playing music.  It was good fun and lots of laughs that night.  They invited us to watch them perform the following night and gave big shout outs to the Red Ant store on stage.


I have such fond memories from my time in the store back in 2007.  I sometimes wonder where i would be if i hadn’t of fallen apart that year.  It wasn’t my ego that took me down that time around it was the frailty of my mind that would eventually cause my spiral downward and the self destruction of my world as I knew it……..The closing of the shop was not just the closing of doors but he closing of my heart and my dreams.  It took me many years to fully understand what that meant  and why it all had come to pass.


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