I'm a fashion designer and seamstress creating handcrafted goods that will get better with age. My collection of leather and waxed canvas bags, aprons, and home decor is built by transforming quality textiles into heirloom pieces to tell your unique story.
What inspired you to start your business?
My grandma and mom both sewed a lot when I was a kid. I fell in love with fashion and the thought of creating something wearable from scratch. I first learned how to sew while studying fashion design at Iowa State University. During a semester abroad in London, I took a leatherworking and shoemaking course. I loved the process of industrial sewing and making a high quality product full of character. I also learned about the problems within the fashion industry and how we as consumers and makers can create positive impact through the items we wear. I knew I needed to be a maker and to create a business with a focus on ethical fashion.
What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?
Get very clear about your product offerings and how best to communicate them in order to find your ideal clients. When you first start a business, it's easy to want to offer a little bit of everything. Don't get me wrong, there is a time for trying out products to see which stick. However, like a lot of creative minds, I got stuck in that phase. It was after I scaled back my product offerings, started speaking directly to my ideal customer, and simplified my process that my business began to flourish.
What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?
I grew up in a small farming town of 400 people in northern Illinois. My brothers and I spent our days hiking, biking, playing sports, and swimming in grandma's pool. We were surrounded by family and friends who felt like family. We always vacationed to a little lake in Wisconsin. It was the best childhood, so it's not surprising that most of those hobbies followed me into adulthood. I still spend most of my free time outdoors - living and working on a Wisconsin farm, hiking, biking, swimming, and exploring the Midwest. My ideal vacation is a trip to a lakeside cabin full of slow mornings and coffee on the dock, then hiking and paddleboarding all day, and dinner at a supperclub in the evening. Most of the inspiration for my work comes from the lifestyle, landscapes, and quaint towns found here in Wisconsin. I'm lucky to live near one of my favorite small towns, New Glarus, WI - look it up!