Bancroft Studio Tour


Studio tour clothing upcycler and Monteagle resident Lucky Maloo (her real name is Miriam Hookings—the other is her artisan handle) had her moment of inspiration in 2012 when she came across hugely successful Etsy creator, Katwise, stitcher of wackily-designed coats and sweaters using found clothing. She quickly took an online tutorial of hers and hasn’t looked back, creating not only funkily-altered sustainable one-of-a-kind clothing including dresses, legwarmers and skirts but also pillows, T-shirt quilts and even leather to create stools and other objects with zero waste (all scraps are utilized as stuffing for pillows).

A native of Belleville—where her dad was a well-known local radio personality—she navigated lower public school before being moved along at grade seven to the highly-regarded Albert College to gain her upper school education. She sang and performed in school choirs and also took piano lessons; and recalls immersing herself in sketching on a regular basis. After grade 13, she enrolled at Concordia University studying English as her major but soon realized it wasn’t for her. She did, however, develop a deep admiration for the city of Montreal and its underground art and music scene.

Returning to Ontario in 1988, Maloo ended up in Toronto’s west end as a participant in a Parkdale artist-run gallery, living there and creating and showing installation pieces and performance art. Next, she acquired Libido, a vintage clothing store on Queen West where she learned to discern high quality materials and deepened her love of vintage fabric and design. A clutch of years followed with her learning jewelry-making and working in bars and retail stores. After meeting her husband, Michael, she and he got the urge to get out of the Big Smoke and live somewhere healthier and saner. And in 2001 they purchased their rural home on the Musclow-Greenview Road and settled there permanently with their young son—who eventually was joined by a brother and a sister.

Over the two decades she has lived in the area, she and Michael have performed at local venues in a band they assembled; she has performed on stage in plays and dances—primarily at the Village Playhouse; and she has developed her burgeoning career making unique upcycled products. She uses a vintage sewing machine passed down from her mother but makes primary use of a serger: (from Google): “It sews a seam, trims the

excess fabric simultaneously, and creates a ‘loopy’ overcast stitch over the raw edge of the material, so the edges are contained and don’t unravel or look sloppy.”

Lucky loves her life up here, enraptured by the place and opportunities and her art and artisan pursuits that she regards as “spiritual practices”. Connect with Maloo/Hookings at to book a visit to her studio shop at 2219 Musclow-Greenview Road, Musclo—as well as to get info on her participation in the Bancroft and Area Studio tour during the last two weekends this September.

(Profile writing and photo by Allan O’Marra)