Photos by Michelle Yun
The freshman English literature major’s room at 1838 Chicago Avenue looks like a pop-up shop for her Etsy store, which she started last summer. Alongside vintage-style maps and hanging stars that line her bed are her prized embroidered hoops with antique flair and sassy messages -- not exactly what you would expect from an aspiring environmental lawyer.
Yang has found that embroidery is her outlet for the stressors of Northwestern, allowing her to show off her personal style -- made up of mostly mom jeans, Adidas and turtleneck sweaters. Yang taught herself embroidery after wanting to personalize her clothes in a Brandy Melville-esque style. She would buy cheap t-shirts at thrift stores or fast fashion outlets and add her own touch.
While at school, she mainly embroiders shirts as gifts for her friends. “It’s pretty easy,” she says. “I learned from a YouTube tutorial. You make a star pattern and then weave your thread over and under the lines multiple times until it creates a circle.” Even though her Etsy store won’t be back up until this summer, she gladly accepts requests to embroider emojis or Darth Vader onto your t-shirt for less than $20.