Nob Hill’s local upcycling store NEO Thread, also known as “New Life,” has been on hold since February 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic but continues to keep a space for creativity for all of its dedicated shoppers.

Sarah Holley, the owner, founder, seamstress and expert of upcycling, has been in the process of designing and drafting more creative activities for the “wonderfully misunderstood Albuquerque” since 2019.

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is “the process of changing something you already own into better quality or more valuable to your liking,” as explained previously in the Daily Lobo.

Holley created NEO Thread with the intention to “empower others to be cool girls who care.”

Every piece and collection in NEO Thread is completely original and reduces the waste produced by fast fashion, according to the organization’s website.

NEO Thread also held regular children’s workshops pre-pandemic, where children would design their own pants and bags, and journaling workshops, where strangers bonded over embroidery and self-expression.

Holley said the last time NEO Thread had any workshops was back in February, “which is hard to believe for the creative souls.”

“We are fighting and getting creative in our own games to survive,” Holley said.

Since the beginning of March, Holley has been on a mission to find more places and activities to keep the creative space alive.

For someone fairly new to the fashion business, Holley has moved from an online store to a physical location rather quickly. Being one of four siblings raised in Santa Fe, her father taught her at an early age how to sew. 

Since learning little hints of creation here and there, Holley has been inspired ever since and is making daily changes to her boutique.

Holly has been in the process of setting a date for a clothing swap in collaboration with Jakia Fuller, owner of local business Remnant Design Co. Their intention is to have the public bring an old piece of clothing and learn how to transform it into something new.

“We don’t really have a clothing swap culture here, so I really want to promote further accessibility in folks getting to recreate their wardrobe at a very accessible price, especially to make fashion circular,” Holley said.

Fuller has been upcycling for three years now and is looking forward to launching her line this upcoming January.

“My dream in my mind is to cultivate this community and identify people by asking about fashion,” Fuller said.

Fuller said she is currently brainstorming ideas to stay connected with the community through fashion videos and interviews.

Holley’s most recent collection is called La Flora y Nata, or “the best of the best, the cream of the flour” as Holley called it. This collection carries a mix of subtle fabrics, which is the “opposite side of last season’s collection, which was big, vibrant and bold.”

Cameron Ward is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter at xx_cameo_xx