In tune with textiles
Me & C. is a landmark business — literally — with its graphic T-shirts.
Over the Past decade, Carolyn Holdsworth has lived by the phrase, “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.” So it’s only fitting that today, after exploring numerous jobs and adventures, she’s creating hand-printed graphic T-shirts showcasing favourite local landmarks. A Torontonian who studied music at Western University, Holdsworth is the creative mind behind Me & C., established in spring 2016. C was her nickname in university where she was “part of this incredible community of artists, performers and creative types.” Using her photographs, borrowing from local photographers and taking suggestions from locals, the 39-yearold entrepreneur sells her one of a kind T-shirts for $30. A classical vocalist, Holdsworth has trained as a master-level Reiki practitioner, and has worked in office administration, as a yoga instructor for kids and as a professional dog walker. She has “read personal development books, taken classes and conquered many 30-day challenges. In the end, it was a one-day screen-printing workshop that stuck,” Holdsworth said. After Western, Holdsworth grew tired of the music audition circuit in Toronto, so she moved back to London. While in the GTA, she fell in love with an artist’s screen-printed T-shirts showcasing Toronto landmarks. “I felt really connected to it,” Holdsworth explained. “It was really exciting for me to have somebody’s art on a T-shirt that represented the community I lived in. So when I moved back to London, I thought it would be a wonderful thing to bring here.” With low initial investment, Holdsworth’s father, Chris, built a light table/screen printing table that sits in her London apartment. She can print two T-shirts at a time, then switch them out. Holdsworth originally sold Me & C. at Forest City Flea. Today she sells her T-shirts at the Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market located at the Wester Fair, as well as at local retailers including the Museum London shop and Heist in Wortley Village. Downtown’s Lofthouse Living carries Holdsworth’s cotton T-shirt pillows. Holdsworth cuts the fabric, then sends it to Handmade In London to be sewn into pillows. “I really enjoy the creative process,” said Holdsworth, who plans to open an online store this summer. “It’s the reason I started this business. And it has been a really fun process because people get excited about having their photography on a T-shirt.” “The other reason I am doing this is because we all have a connection to the city we live in, and it creates a feeling of kindness to create something that brings excitement and connects us all together.” Her T-shirts showcase 25 London images, including Joe Kool’s restaurant, University College at Western, a Wortley Village street scene and Aeolian Hall. She’s working on Labatt Park and Blackfriars Bridge designs. “People are constantly suggesting other local favourites that you’ll see on my T-shirts in the future,” said Holdsworth, who plans to turn Me & C. into a “more social enterprise model.” She already donates a portion of her sales to local not-for-profits. Holdsworth added, “When you wear my designs, you’re promoting a culture where everyone belongs and everyone thrives — a community in which we take care of one another. Because London is not just our city, it’s our home.”