ST. LOUIS – There are countless setbacks people can face in our world. But St Louisan Allisha Jones-Pickens thinks you can conquer them. She has faced more than a fair share of adversity.
“When I say angry, I was angry,” she explained.
Anger and frustration led Jones-Pickens to become violent.
“I was fighting all the time. I castigated everything and everyone around me. I was fighting with box cutters, razor blades under my tongue and bats,” she said.
The fights led to a prison sentence for assault.
“Seven and a half years,” she revealed.
The time spent behind bars gave him time to find himself. She attended counseling sessions alongside other inmates and got her anger issues under control.
“Finally, I broke down and cried,” she said.
Jones-Pickens found an outlet for her emotions with the help of an elderly inmate.
“She actually saved my life,” she said.
Ella Ross taught her the art of crochet.
” It was not easy. But I’m grateful that I persevered,” she said.
She did more than stick to it. Jones-Pickens also discovered his special talent. The ability to crochet just by looking at your subject.
“It’s a gift and I know it’s a gift. She taught me to watch it. See it and do it,” she said.
Upon her release from prison, Jones-Pickets was not entirely sure of her future.
“It was the scariest moment of my life because I came home with nothing but a prison-issued jogger on my back,” she explained.
But she also had the ability to crochet. She started making realistic dolls and her life started to change.
She has made dolls for celebrities like St Louis rapper Nelly, NBA star Jayson Tatum and TV talk show host Ellen.
The dolls she enjoys making the most are grief dolls to help people through their grief.
“People send me videos of someone crying as they take their doll out of their deceased loved one’s bag,” she said.
The touching moments became her motivation to make a difference and be a positive influence.
” It’s my goal. Just to give back,” she said.
She faced her fears and is now putting the hands she fought with to good use.
“I had to become strong enough to step into the unknown, the unknown, who I can be if I just believed I could do it,” she explained.
Now her goal is to use her crochet skills to set an example for others by showing them what’s possible when you have confidence in yourself.
“Don’t let people tell you you’re doomed because you made a mistake. Your past does not dictate your future,” she said.
If you want to know more about her dolls or learn more about her foundation here is the link: https://www.communityofhopestl.org/.