Tell us about your business.I started my batik business in the small kitchen of the first home my husband and I shared together. I was in an MFA program for printmaking at the time. I began by making floursack towels in an effort to pay for more art supplies! After I graduated, it seemed natural to keep working on this line as part of my employment. I practice an old technique--applying hot wax resist and dye to fabric--to produce my contemporary fabrics. I now design my own patterns, which are translated into copper stamps at the Red Lotus cooperative studio in Indonesia. I use these stamps to apply hot wax onto various fibers, then hand dye each item in my garage studio. I remove the wax from the fabric by boiling it, which produces a sturdy fabric and allows me to reclaim my wax. The next big step for my studio is the development of an innovative website that allows customers to more directly experience the joy of the creative process as they visually design their own fabrics with my patterns.
What makes your business stand out?I think that the fusion of an old technique given a modern voice makes my handcrafted products unique. I also take quite a bit of care with each piece that I offer for sale. Each item that leaves my shop is one that I craft from beginning to end. I see the fabric at each step of the process, which guarantees a genuine handcrafted product.
What's the best business advice you've received?Start with reasonable goals and then continually push yourself to grow in a sustainable fashion.
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
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