one who weaves

American Made Since 2011

Susan Buss

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I weave one of a kind products functional rugs, blankets, scarves, table runners, and place mats. I keep a gallery presence and teach weaving.

Tell us about your business.

In 1998 I learned how to weave on a loom in my college fiber course. I took that knowledge with me when an adult weaving instructor was needed. I felt it was very important to weave along side my students so they had the opportunity to see the potential of the craft they were learning. I feel very strongly about making sure crafts like weaving don't fade away. Not only do I teach adults I bring looms to at risk students in the inner city of Milwaukee and teach them how to use a loom and allow them to interact with fiber. All the while weaving my own products in my home studio and the studio I teach. In 2011 my family of 5 with one on the way, fell into financial hardship, so I began to weave for production. I joined etsy and sold at few craft fairs. I see my business evolving along with my production. Milwaukee has a huge local/handmade following, I would like to have a store front as well as web presence to sell local handmade crafts year round, yarns, and offer classes in fiberarts.

What makes your business stand out?

Incorporating community, local and handmade, and valuing the craft- its history its potential.

What's the best business advice you've received?

My mother who recently passed away after a long battle and a great deal of pain said, " You are the maker of beautiful things, keep going." When I sit at my loom and see all the beautiful things in my studio she gave to me that I use for inspiration and feel like breaking down, I say to myself and know it to be true "You are the maker of beautiful things." I want to foster this beauty in everyone. My students often say "Susan, you are so patient.." My patience is derived from knowing human ability, although the majority of them struggle with learning weaving as a craft (it's complicated!), I would guess 80% or more succeed. If they don't succeed they still feel gratified for trying and thankful for the experience and my encouragement.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

    Nominate yourself
  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

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