Inspiration Corner: A Conversation with Joey Korein

Joey Korein is all smiles. She is the type of person who will always light up a room and make one feel welcome no matter what the situation. I have been lucky to get to know Joey over the past few months as I interned for her at the Textile Arts Center where she runs the after-school education program. Beyond directing the after-school education program, Joey is also an artist and creates unique items of clothing using reclaimed materials for her line, WANTNOT. 

Joey grew up in Westchester County outside of Manhattan. The suburbs provided an inspiring backdrop to grow up as a curious child. Joey's aesthetic is influenced by urban decay and how nature interacts with that. She attended Washington University in Saint Louis majoring in printmaking and drawing; where she was more interested in being a part of the alternative art culture rather than the fashion department. By the end of her time at Washington University, Joey was making quilts as she always was drawn to textiles. She learned how to sew as a child on her mom's sewing machine in the basement, often persisting through weekends to come up with her own creations. Joey mentioned that she is informed by her intuition firstly, something that hasn't changed over the years. After graduating, Joey moved to New York City and has called it home for the past five years. Upon her move to NYC, she interned for a small theater making props and puppets which became an entry into teaching for her. Eventually, after volunteering at TAC, she was offered a position upon returning from a six month trip to South America. Joey has since been the director of the after-school program and completed the TAC residency last cycle. It was at the residency that Joey came up with WANTNOT Goods, her line of products blurring the line between commodity and art. She was thinking of the reclaimed materials as less of a prospective business venture and more as an art medium. The Wabi Sabi Tees especially were created with specific people in mind. Joey mentioned that she is interested in the lives the clothes have before she reuses them and what kind of new story they are going to tell. Joey said it best, "above all, WANTNOT is guided by the philosophy that what we wear should make us feel happy - in our own skin, in the world, and with the knowledge that our clothing was produced ethically and sustainably." I couldn't agree more. Make sure to check out Joey's site to see what kind of story you want to be a part of! http://www.wantnotgoods.com/

Joey felting a scarf at the Textile Arts Center 

Joey felting a scarf at the Textile Arts Center 

Joey in one of her own wabi sabi t-shirts and hand-made bag

Joey in one of her own wabi sabi t-shirts and hand-made bag

The Geodesic Overcoat 

The Geodesic Overcoat 

'The Janelle' Wabi Sabi Tee 

'The Janelle' Wabi Sabi Tee