Once Upon A Time, in a land just north of here, there lived a princess named Stephanie. She loved bunnies and rock ‘n’ roll and had magical colour-changing hair. Above all, though, she liked to make things with her hands and she loved to make people feel good about themselves.
When Princess Stephanie was still quite young, she happened upon a magical sewing machine. Being naturally inquisitive and talented, she soon picked up the craft of sewing. The garments she made with the magical sewing machine made people smile and feel good about themselves. Sometimes a prince would try to save her, or people would tell her she needed to be a princess in another kingdom for a while before starting her own, but nothing was as fun and interesting as making things with the magical sewing machine in her own realm.
In that time, however, there was a shadow in the land. Many kingdoms had come under an evil spell called Fast Fashion. Princess Stephanie was upset to see how this spell made some kings and queens treat their subjects. Many owed their prosperity to practices which hurt the people and wilderness in other lands. Some even gave their subjects things to wear which were unhealthy or made them unhappy!
“This will not stand!” said Princess Stephanie. “I must find out how to break this evil spell!”
Princess Stephanie went on a quest throughout the land, and spoke to many people from far and wide.
She met a sorceress who gave her a pair of magical knitting needles and taught her to cast spells of warmth and softness with them.
“This is great!” said Princess Stephanie, “But it still isn’t the answer.”
She met a prince who was also a smith, and instead of trying to save her he joined her quest. He made beautiful jewellery out of the finest metals instead of the harmful metals the Fast Fashion curse made some smiths use.
“I definitely need allies like you.” said Princess Stephanie. “But this still isn’t the answer.”
She continued to travel the lands, asking questions and speaking to many learned sages about textile magic. She learned the secrets of bamboo and the lore of hemp and linen. Silk and wool and recycled fibers were also of great interest to her. At last, she felt she had found her answer.
“I have a plan!” said Princess Stephanie. And she packed up her magic sewing machine and took it to the port city of Vancouver.
She set up a small kingdom on the Main Street and became Queen Stephanie the First. She sent for the finest sustainable fibers and encouraged other kingdoms to give her materials they would not use instead of throwing them out. This intimidated some of the other rulers.
“It will never work, it’s too hard!” They said. But Queen Stephanie had her magical sewing machine and she was determined.
Queen Stephanie and her sewing machine made many comfortable and healthy things for the people of Vancouver, but the spell of Fast Fashion was still over the land.
“I’m only one ruler! This spell is too strong for me to break all on my own!” she sighed, discouraged. “If only there were more rulers helping to break it.”
Then Queen Stephanie had another idea. She started inviting other princesses to come visit her kingdom for a while. They came from far and wide and from all walks of life.
One was a fairy princess who liked to write stories, but who had such a love of people that she became a herald to show and tell them all of Queen Stephanie’s creations to help them feel happy. One was from across the oceans and eventually returned there as a queen herself, but while she stayed was Queen Stephanie’s second in command. There was an elf from the Forests of the Half Moon who had come to Vancouver to learn to tell stories through clothing.
There were all these and more. Queen Stehphanie taught them all a lot, and they taught her in turn. Some stayed for a while, then took their new knowledge and skills elsewhere to continue combatting the evil spell. Others stayed to help Queen Stephanie train more princesses.
Once the kingdom was strong enough, they established a stronghold on the Isle of Granville, where people from all over the world came to see the crafts and fashion of Vancouver. This stronghold was entrusted to a warrior-queen from Caledonia, a city far to the east, and her good friend, a good witch who wove beautiful things.
They built another stronghold across the water in Victoria, a city on the Isle of Vancouver. The princess who held this stronghold could spin love right into the very yarn she used with her own pair of magical knitting needles. She also found and trained many princesses who then took her lessons out into the world.
Between the Kingdom and two strongholds, Queen Stephanie and her magical sewing machine were able to help many people in Vancouver and all over the world. The evil spell of Fast Fashion started to weaken, but it was not yet defeated. They continue to work to this very day.
Legend has it, if you visit their kingdom they will teach you how to help yourself and others until the spell is finally broken and we can all live happily ever after.
The End ~ To Be Continued…