TABITHA GILMORE-BARNES STUDIO
Tell us about your business.From 1974-1976, I attended Fashion Institute of Technology as an evening student in the Textile Arts Department, and graduated SUNY New Paltz with a B.S. Art Education in 1995. I have been selling my handwoven products since 1980, and upon moving to the Catskills in 1990, I have been spinning and dyeing Delaware County wools and Alpaca fibers. I sell these yarns as well as using them in my woven lap blankets, scarves, and some pillows. Since 2007 I am a member of the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild (www.catsguild.org) and continue to be featured in the Pure Catskills Guide to Farm Fresh Products (www.purecatskills.com). I am also participating in the second annual Andes-Margaretville-Roxbury Open Studios Tour (http://amropenstudios.org/barnes.html). In five years, I plan to expand my business to include woven tapestries that highlight the intimate details of nature in the Catskill Mountains, NYS. I am constantly inspired by the seasonal changes seen from my studio windows.
What makes your business stand out?My business is unique because my products are all hand made. I use Delaware County, NYS wools and alpaca fibers to dye and spin on my Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel; I sell these as yarn balls for hobbyists, while also weaving with them on my 16Harness AVL dobby loom. I usually weave my woolen products using either a twill or herringbone pattern. My table linens are woven in commercially prepared 'perle' cottons. I usually weave using an overshot pattern. Overshot patterns provide interesting motifs while linking to the historical connection to American textiles of the early 1700's-mid 1800's, and to Delaware County's agriculture legacy. My table linens accent one's dining experience while echoing the colors and delicacy of one's bone china.
What's the best business advice you've received?The importance of having business plan and a checking account to keep myself accountable that this is a business and not a hobby. Also, by having a business plan I evaluate more effectively which craft venues optimize my marketing and selling. And, lastly, by having a business plan I recognize readily what marketing and social media skills I need to learn and implement.
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