Interview with Sica Schmitz, "Creating is one of the most healing, cathartic processes we can do."

Fairtrade Fashion

How do you describe your Craft/Creative Practice?

One of the forms of art that each of us participates in every day – whether we realize it or not – is fashion. Fashion is not just a visual art (colors, lines, shapes, textures) but also is a form of storytelling. The clothing we choose says a lot about us – about who we are (or who we think we are), where we live and what time period we live in; about our culture, our priorities, and our values.

After a long career in fashion design and costume design, I have become most interested in the story of values that fashion can tell – how we value (or don’t value) our planet, other animals, and each other, and how the fashion choices we make reflect these.

My nonprofit Impact Fashion helps promote brands that value the world around us through practices like organic and plant based textiles, small batch production, fair wages, and women and/or minority owned businesses. My hope is to inspire others to decide what kind of story they want their fashion to tell, and to help them choose a story they can feel truly proud about.

Impact Fashion Show

Describe one of your favorite moments in sequim.

I grew up in Sequim, and though I left for many years to pursue fashion in New York and Los Angeles, this is once again home (and honestly always was home) so I have a tremendous amount of special memories and moments here. Perhaps most recent and timely is filming this year’s Impact Fashion Show at New Dungeness Nursery a few weeks ago. Despite COVID our community came together so beautifully to volunteer their time and resources to help support my nonprofit and my vision for a kinder world. Together we created an entire fashion show of vegan, fair trade styles with the help of local talent and a gorgeous greenhouse!

FairTrade Fashion

What inspires or Motivates your work currently?

Last year I had a baby – a son – who died, and he is my biggest inspiration and motivation. Motherhood deeply inspired me to want to create a safe, healthy world for him, and even in his absence I feel called to continue creating this world for him – in honor of him – and for all babies and children who deserve a clean environment, a clear consciousness, and a hopeful future.

At this moment with COVID-19, how can the arts help?

I personally find creating to be one of the most healing, cathartic processes we can do. Art comes in countless forms – it doesn’t have to be toiling over a great masterpiece or in the traditional mediums we often see in museums. It could be writing, singing, dancing, gardening. Making a fashion show! We all have something within us, something that want to exist in the world, and it is healing to create it or re-create it. This is a gift not only to yourself but to everyone.

By sharing our stories – our art – we help better connect to each other.

FairTrade Fashion

how has this situation hit your craft and how can we help YOU?

The biggest way others can help my own industry right now is by supporting small, independently owned designers. Local designers. Skip the chains and big businesses, and give your time and money to the small businesses who need it most (and who will invest it back into our community most).

Impact Fashion Show & FairTrade Fashion

Post COVID-19, what do you hope changes in Sequim ? what role do you think the arts might play to support Sequim?

My own personal Sequim community has been wonderfully loving and supportive through COVID, though I know there has been some tension and division in the community as a whole. My biggest hope is that we can all pause and reflect on what really matters in life, and put our time and energy towards our similarities, our common future, our common world, instead of focusing on the ways we may differ.

Art can bring us together and remind us about our shared humanity. By creating more spaces to experience and play with art, perhaps we can be more quickly reminded about who we really are, what we really value – and what really does matter.

Impact Fashion Show

What is the essence of Sequim to YOu? Every place has something hidden that the people need to understand. What is that hidden element that people need to understand about sequim?

Sequim is not somewhere to take at face value. On its surface, there can be some fairly strong political and religious opinions and it’s definitely somewhere that gossip travels quickly (and not always accurately). But what I have found is that no matter what someone believes, or what they might whisper, when you actually need this community they will step up with no questions asked.

Whether it was after the death of my father Jace Schmitz several years ago, or the death of my son last year, or this year in creating the virtual Impact Fashion Show, people (both those I know and those I don’t) rallied together to offer support, help, and kindness every chance they could. This is a place I never doubt I am loved and cared about, and that is a rare thing in this world.

Impact Fashion Show and FairTrade Fashion

What is ONE Creative Practice that you recommend for our readers at this time?

Meditation. It’s not an obvious creative practice, but I find it to help me most fully tap into my creativity, and it helps me focus on and feel what I most need to express!

If you could leave anytime for the future generations in Sequim, What would that be?

My next project – though not directly related to art – is going to be in the realm of providing more protections and safety for children in our community. I unfortunately experienced first hand the lack of systems and structures in place to protect children from known and repeated violent offenders, and it’s something I hope to protect the current and future children of Sequim from having to experience.

Hurt people hurt people, so the sooner we can stop creating more people who are hurt, and hurting, the sooner we can start creating a more healed culture and community.

Photos of Sica Schmitz

Find more and support Schmitz's work at:, @impactfashionshow, @sica_schmitz