People often ask me how I came up with my business of making hand made cut up clothing - using just a pair of scissors and my hands, that story goes way back. As a Mexican and Pakistani girl growing up with a big family in El Monte, CA I was constantly dancing, entertaining, and creating art. I never thought I would be a business owner, but this path chose me. Out of college I was ready to start my career as an electrical engineer. I got a job at a big corporate company and was ready to fully adult.... or so I thought. Within a few months I quickly realized that the monotony of a 9-5 office job was not for me.
Although I love the study of engineering, this office job was killing my creativity. Not to mention the subtle misogyny in the male driven office culture was not something I was going to put up with. One time a male colleague asked me "Are you wearing stretchy pants?" I let him know it was not of his concern and not his place to ask. A series of mismanaged leadership and comments led me to one day have a full on panic attack on the job. I threw my stapler at my boss and stormed out. I was put on a mental health leave from which I never returned back. Instead I immersed myself in the activities that loved: dance, movement, art, and creation.
I managed to create a career as a professional dancer and movement artist traveling the world performing and teaching workshops. Coming up with costumes for my performances was always a mission. In 2016 I had a pole dance performance dancing to the song Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. I had a specific idea in mind for my costume. I bought a camo print bodysuit and proceeded to take the scissors to it - cutting it up into slices and weaving the slices to create something completely unique.
After my performance so many people came up to me asking me about this hand made costume of mine. Other dancers in my circles wanted their own hand made costumes like mine. So I started making more and figuring out new ways to cut things up - and not just bodysuits. I started cutting up leggings, catsuits, tops, dresses, and more. Soon enough, the demand became so much that I created a website to start selling my hand made creations. That's how I started my business, Twisted Movement, with a pair of scissors and a little creativity.
Every piece I create is born organically based on the needs of those living a Twisted Lifestyle. From day job, to training, to professional meetings to happy hours, these pieces can make a statement as bold and unique as you are.
My mission is inspired by something my gymnast/dancer mother once told her. “A true dancer is ALWAYS ready to dance.” This statement inspired me to create clothing that moves well and looks fly AF, ready for party tricks all day erry day!
The creative process for creating my twisted pieces starts with where I want the skin to show through on the clothing. For pole dancers, we need our skin to grip the pole so I would start making slices where I needed my skin to grip. But the slicing went beyond that, I saw how I could accentuate the lines of body by cutting in a gradient pattern and creating hour glass shapes with the gradient of open slices.
I started showcasing my creations at Dance Conventions and Expos. The hand made nature of the clothing I create is best experienced in person and this is how my brand started gaining more interest. The creative process kept evolving and I started hand painting fabrics with different techniques that I call drizzle and splatter. One of my favorite pieces involves using rainbow fabric spray paint followed by black drizzle paint all over. This process takes a couple day as each layer of paint needs to dry before the next step can start. Once the paint is done, I move on to cutting up the piece. Some items includes over 100 cuts! It's a serious labor of love. After cutting it up, the piece gets dressed on a mannequin where I condition, weave, and knot the slices in different ways to create intricate designs. This is a process that I have been working on and mastering for years. It is my pride and joy and I absolutely love that I get to run a business by expressing my creative passion and sharing it with others.
When the pandemic hit, the expo's and conventions I was planning on attending that year were cancelled and I had to come up with different ways to reach my audience.
I started posting videos of my creative process and I was getting really positive feedback. People were saying it was therapeutic to watch me create. I also knew people were going through a really tough time with the pandemic and I wanted to offer a low cost way to connect with people and empower others to become creators. So I came up with the idea of teaching others to create their own Twisted Creations via Online Workshops that I called "DIY Zoom Room Slice Parties." People would sign up and we would send them everything they needed to make their creation. They tune in live while I guided them to through the creative process. It was so beautiful to see how everyone's creations were so uniquely different based on how they used their scissors. It was one of my most gratifying moments and reminds me that creative expression is truly magnificent.
I am so grateful for this journey and I hope my story inspires others. I love creating and scissors are my creating tool of choice. I probably have over 100 pairs of scissors at my shop. I prefer to always have one within an arms reach. A good friend once coined me, Nadia Scissorhands and created the cartoon image of me at the top of this blog. There's nothing as satisfying as having a fresh pair of blades. When the scissors go on sale at my local craft shop I buy 25 pairs of them at a time. No joke! A fresh pair of scissors make my job so much easier and I never under estimate the power of a good pair!
I hope my creations continue to bring joy to the others and people can feel the labor of love that goes into my work.