Latifha Hudson: The art and the artist

The Art

Macramé – the art of knotting string in patterns to make decorative articles – is a unique technique that gives results to last a lifetime.

Latifha Hudson

From plant hangers to hammocks, macramé can be used to create almost any wellness or decorative essential. This is why Latifha Hudson, a registered physiotherapist launched Ja’Macrame (@jamacrame) in October 2020.

“I’ve always wanted to combine my passion for rehabilitation and art,” Hudson said, explaining the connection between her passion for art and therapy.

A macramé plant hanger. (Photo: contributed)

With the pandemic, the mental health of many across Jamaica has suffered tremendously. From the significant economic effects and job losses to personal struggles, even people who had never experienced rapid deterioration in their mental health are now unable to cope. Hudson’s dream of using art as therapy has been in the making for years. The benefits of art therapy range from reducing pain and stress to improving the ability to deal with pain and anxiety.

“I believe a lot of Jamaicans would benefit from this service especially since we have been living in a pandemic,” she said.

Macramé coaster

Ja’Macrame, coined from the words ‘Jamaica’ and ‘macramé, currently features coasters, wall hangings, yoga mat hangers, mirrors and plant hangers. In her journey to focus on art therapy, Hudson plans to expand the offerings of Ja’Macrame. The business features individual pieces named after endangered species in Jamaica, from ‘Albizia berteriana’ to ‘Acroporal Coral’ a coaster, the pieces emit an outdoor vibe. For Ja’Macrame’s most widely sold piece the Acropora coaster, sold in pairs, it takes Hudson a little over an hour to create it. All pieces are handmade with the packaging curated and executed by Hudson. “Being a small business owner, I do everything from ordering supplies to designing and creating products”.

She continued, “Art has really evolved in Jamaica, from music videos to product branding.”

You can find Ja’Macrame’s products at Fontana’s Waterloo branch in St Andrew, Jamaica.

The Artist

Latifha Hudson, owner of Ja’Macrame, Hudson’s Therapy (@hudsonstherapy) and Krochet Kollections (@krochetkollections)  began her journey as an artist at the tender age of ten. Back then it was a hobby, however, throughout the years it has evolved to become her ‘bread and butter’.

A decorative macramé wall hanging. (Photo: contributed)

Though art was discovered as one of her passions while attending high school, she discovered that she also wanted a career in healthcare. This led Hudson to focus on the sciences and visual arts in secondary school. The 26-year-old now has bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, offering orthopaedic, geriatrics, cardiopulmonary, neuro and paediatric physiotherapy through home visits.

–Jody-Ann Thompson