Hello, my name is Kelly Massey and this is my line of handmade wearables, Pretty Penny.
I live in West Hollywood with my husband and fantastic, fun, little girl who is seven. They put up with my piles and piles of fabric and leaning towers of ink jars relatively cheerfully because they are often busy making things too.
Lately, I have been screen printing and sewing scarves and clothing out of bright and soft bamboo and cotton knits.
Winter Lights Clothing: I specialize in original one of a kind clothes for chicks who aren’t afraid to show off their curves.
I believe that every garment in existence would look 36,000,000 times prettier with corset lacing and ruffles. ^__^
I’ve been sewing for going on 10 years, and the past few have been devoted to clothing. I am self-taught and don’t care much for patterns, so I only have made a few basics that I use. Sewing should be fun and intuitive in my opinion, therefore I have a fondness for ‘winging it’ and ‘seeing what happens’.
Liza Rietz began designing and sewing custom and retail pieces in 2001. She has been a part of Portland’s artistic clothing community from the beginning of her career, participating in multiple group and independent fashion shows. Her designs have been available nationally in high-end boutiques in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
Rietz’s modern designs are structured yet feminine, detailed yet wearable, and are created individually, not mass-produced. Rietz designs two small lines annually, producing small batches of each design. Though her collections adhere to the seasons, her lines are not season-specific. Instead, Rietz focuses on designing clothes that are versatile and that easily translate to any time of year. Rietz’s designs are made out of all natural fabrics including cottons, linens, silks, and bamboos. With a small production run of each line, the individuality of each piece exemplifies how clothing can be artisitc and expressionistic.
Jennifer Joy Creative: All my creations are inspired by nature and my little family. I love to work with natural fibers such as hemp, linen and cotton for my clothing and wool, alpaca, bamboo, tencel, and various others for my yarn.
Please let me introduce you to Mika and her line of children’s clothing and accessories.
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I primarily make childrens clothing, but I also tend to have a bit of crafters ADD so I sew anything that catches my eye-key fobs, rice bags, cloth diapers and wipes, unpaper towels, mama cloth and so much more!
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
When I was a child my grandmother sewed, and tried to teach me but I wasn’t really interested. After she passed, I found the passion and taught myself to sew. I’ve never worked in another creative arena other than music which is a whole different realm.
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I make 100% of the items I offer. My husband is the “muscle” behind the Froggy Girl-he lugs boxes, show setup equipment, machines, etc. for me and he is my #1 cheerleader. I frequently ask for opinions and critiques from my family and friends-constructive criticism is the key to moving forward.
I like to say that my fabric speaks to me. I see a piece of fabric, and it tells me what it wants to be. I then build around that piece.
Finding a work/life balance is hard for anyone, but I think most especially work at home moms. I find myself all to frequently pulled in 100 directions, and making sure that my husband and children are the first direction I go to is definitely a challenge, and something I’m working on doing better in 2010.
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
Right now you can find my work primarily at www.froggygirldesigns.etsy.com, although I also maintain a storefront at www.hyenacart.com/froggygirldesigns and I’m starting to explore Store Envy as well. From about March or April onward, I try to do at least one show or fair per month. The only brick and mortar store carrying my items so far is Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Indiana. They carry a selection of my monogrammed badge reels.
What do you wish I had asked you?
I wish you had asked how you (I) overcome fears and get out of your comfort zone to get your work out there. I think that’s something that everyone faces starting out, and it’s something that I’m definitely tackling in 2010.
You have to take a deep breath, and go outside of your comfort zone. Submit your work to blogs to be reviewed, take your things to local stores and talk to the owners/buyers. Have faith in yourself and your product.
Fantastic advice, Mika, thank you! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just fill out the application.