Tell us about your business.My silk painting business began very part time over 20 years ago as a way of combining my passion for painting with a love of fashion design. It has evolved into a full time creative career that I couldn’t imagine not doing. I get to paint and create things I love that are in turn enjoyed by others. Inspiration for my current designs comes from some of my favorite things: patterns in nature, flowers, garden critters-especially beneficial insects and of course, my dogs who are constant companions in both my garden and art studio. I exhibit and sell my award winning wearable art nationally and internationally at select galleries, boutiques, art & craft shows and on my website cherireckers.com. Future plans include expanding my studio, making my designs available to a larger audience and creating jobs for others here in New Mexico. As I increase studio space and hire a studio and marketing assistant, I’ll gain more time and space for painting and producing more artwork.
What makes your business stand out?Each of my wearable art fashions is an original painting created with fiber-reactive dyes on silk. All are designed, painted and sewn individually by me in my New Mexico studio. Because they are made one at a time, I can pay particular attention to each detail and easily customize orders. The painting process begins with white silk as my “canvas”. I apply the translucent dyes freehand with paintbrushes (I do not use resist, wax or screens). Once applied, the colors cannot be erased. Whites and light shades must be “saved” and worked around. Though painting with dyes can sometimes be a challenge, the results are spectacular. My wearable art garments and accessories are designed to be worn, but they are also equally beautiful when displayed in the home and I encourage my collectors to do so. I believe it’s important to give back to community and regularly donate time, money, artwork and graphic design services to several nonprofit animal rescue, arts and veterans organizations.
What's the best business advice you've received?Follow your passion. Do what your love and do it well. Always keep your eyes open for opportunity.
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
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