Human Interest Story: Allison’s Tye-Dyes

Allison poses here after one of her big tie-dying sessions. Tie-dying everything from t-shirts, sheets, socks, pants and headbands.

One of Leesville’s very own juniors has started a small side business selling cute and trendy tie-dyes to Leesville students. Allison Garrell has mastered the dye and can pretty much color any piece of cloth you throw at her.

From tapestries to headbands to T-Shirts, Allison creates dyes that reflect her creative eye — resulting in very unique and definitely different tie-dyes.

It is no secret that the tie-dye look is in this spring and will be a big trend moving into summer, many popular brands are printing the dye look but for usually a high price. Allison charges a five dollar up charge on the price of each item before the ink, making it easy for customers to bring her an item or just pick up a tee.

“I learned how to make tie-dyes at a summer camp one time, and I was just really good at them. One day when I was wearing one of my tie-dyes, one of my friends asked if I could make her one… and that’s pretty much where it all started,” said Allison.

Since then business has boomed for Allison. From Leesville students to teachers, many have at least something colorful from Allison. Usually with a bag of tie-dyes in her yellow Volkswagen Buggie — her business is well fitting to her free and fun personality and buying dyes from her is always a unique experience.

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“I usually dye all my shirts and cloth at once to conserve dye, then I promote all my pieces on Instagram and that’s usually when I sell the most dyes… But business is usually a lot better in the summer,” said Allison.

Allison also explained to me her participation in some events where she has opened up a booth and sold her tie-dyes. Her favorite event was the Mind Body and Spirit Expo she participated in last year. “I opened up a stand with my friend Ana, and we just hung up all my dyes for people to look at… it attracted all the hippies,” laughed Allison.

It is true that anyone could tie-dye and sell a couple T-Shirts on the side to make some extra money, but it is clear that that wasn’t the motive for Allison. As I talked more with Allison and saw how excited and dedicated she has been to her little side business, it was clear to me that tie-dying is a passion.

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Allison is a full time student who is working two jobs during the week and weekend, and as busy as she is, she always is able to find some time to relax and tie-dye whatever she can to relieve stress and bring out a creative side.

“It’s [creativity] just like you doing you man, everyone does their own thing and it’s just expressing it the best way you can. Tell people who judge you for doing what you love to just get a life, like why do you care about other people being creative or expressing themselves,” said Allison responding to the question of what creativity means to her.

“I think that creativity is great, and the world would be so boring without it… ugh, the thing I hate the most is when people try to trump creativity.”

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Definitely centering her life around creativity, Allison is truly an inspiring person who pushes everyone around her to express themselves no matter what. It is obvious she isn’t afraid of what others think of her, and that’s where Allison is so inspiring.

“This is my favorite quote by Vincent Van Gogh: ‘normality is a paved road, it’s comfortable to walk but no flowers grow on it’,” said Allison, reminding us to always complete what we aspire to do .

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