RACHEL WOODWARD

The Red Ant -http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheRedAntLLC

What is the story behind Red Ant?
Rachel Woodward creator/designer of Red Ant Fashion tells her story:

My true path started the night my son and I were in a near death car accident, back in 2001. Before that moment I was a young lost girl, who happened to also be a mother. My desire to participate in life was lacking. Everything inside my body screamed out for death; I wanted to disappear from the world. I feared my destiny,  so the universe stepped in and slammed me hard, onto a path with purpose.

Thanksgiving weekend, 2001. It was a hectic holiday. Crazy seems to run high in my family. I packed my bags and fled as fast as I could. Emotions were sky rocket high. My eagerness to get home and away from everyone allowed me to keep driving down the highway without looking back.

My son and I were driving home to California from New Mexico on the I-40. My mother, little sister and her daughter were driving a rental car following behind us. As we passed over a wide angle, short bridge, cruising at about 70 miles an hour, I was I was unknowingly, on top of black ice. The truck began to swerve, so I instinctually pressed the brakes.  My truck spun  out of control and flipped. Later my little sister said,” The truck looked like a toy car being tossed” she could see it bounce several times. Then, roll down the embankment. The doors flew open and shut while in the air. My son flew out of the vehicle and landed about 30 feet across the highway (on the opposite side). He was sleeping and only a 6 year old at the time. He suffered a broken arm and abrasions on his chest; very minor compared to my injuries. It was as if God plucked him from the vehicle and plopped him away from danger.

“MY EMOTIONS STARTED TO MANIFEST INTO CREATION”

I was trapped and entangled inside the smashed, inverted truck. Both my legs were broken, I lost my ability to walk that night. At247467_1932848514436_7250891_n the time doctors told I would never walk again. Being wheelchair bound was not a diagnosis I was willing to accept.

During my recovery I spent endless days in bed. I couldn’t even shower or use the toilet on my own. My little sister stayed with me becoming my nurse maid. She had to do a lot of gross duties which was super humiliating for the both of us.

My emotions started to manifest into creation. Those months spent bedridden pushed me to do artwork around the clock. It is the only thing that kept me sane. Burning and altering wedding dresses became a way  to express my inner-turmoil.

“HARDSHIPS GAVE ME A PLATFORM TO SPEAK MY VOICE”

One day my little sister brought home a newspaper article about a small fashion show happening near our home town. I submitted an application and got accepted. Mainstream fashion companies like the GAP were showcasing the same night my pieces went down the runway. The audience was completely baffled when dark goth music blasted from the speakers. My models came out in abstract make-up and cutting edge clothing. I even had a man walk the runway in a dress. There was a silent pause (so thick thick you could cut it a knife) before the audience began to clap with a standing ovation.

4767_1160063515294_1206166_nI remained in my wheelchair less than a year. My inspiration for art clothing helped me regain use of my legs. Waddling like a penguin along with constant pain is a side effect I must endure for standing upright. Also, the metal detectors go off when I travel because I have metal rods in place where the bones in my legs and feet were shattered. The creation of Red Ant Fashion came from a traumatic experience. However, it is that pain that caused me to grow into the person I am today. Those hardships gave me a platform to speak my voice and the strength to face my demons. It is my hope to inspire the people around me, while opening peoples minds. Only love for one another will help humanity grow into a better place.

-Rachel Woodward
Creator/Designer Red Ant Fashion

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