Woman uses fashion to stitch her way through struggles

Updated: Jun. 22, 2017 at 1:41 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Aryea Kolubah is teaching elementary school girls how to sew. It's a part of her sewing camp for beginners.

"At that age that's when I knew I wanted to become a fashion designer," Kalubah said.

The girls already have the basics down.

"Everybody is focused," Keelani Gibson said.

"You have to follow the needles," Imani Johnson said.

Wednesday, Kolubah had her campers working with polka dot fabric so they can sew in a straight line.

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"If I had any other fabric; whew Lord," Alyssa Carter said.

23-year-old Kolubah graduated from design school in San Francisco and started her line, Aryea Kolubah and Company. It's inspired by her Liberian roots.The clothes were featured during New York Fashion week last year.

"As a designer that's one of the milestone shows that when you do you know your name goes all over the world," Kolubah said.

However, fame wasn't what got Kolubah into sewing. As a teenager, she survived a fire that killed her father. He was inside the apartment trying to find Kolubah. The flames burned 90 percent of his body.

"Sewing became very therapeutic to me," Kolubah explained. "I didn't know how to sit in front of a person to express myself, but through art it just gives me calmness that I needed."

The calmness from sewing helped carry Kolubah in 2015 when her mother died of cancer.

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The thread that put the pieces of her life back together is now helping others.

"I want to be a fashion designer and my granddaddy he made my website so yeah," Carter said.

Kolubah's sewing camp is for ages six and up. She can be contacted at 502-426-7398. Her clothing can be viewed at

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