Tell us about your business.I'm an architect who is having way too much fun designing patterns; the down-turn in the economy resulted in less work, however this gave me the opportunity to dive into one of my passions- textiles. I draw all the patterns, which are digitally printed with eco-friendly inks onto fabric in NC. Then I cut and sew all the products in my studio in Yarmouth, ME. I use pillow insert, which are also made in Yarmouth ME by Cuddledown. I'd like to expand my business to incorporate various home decor products. I am determined to keep all my production in the US and in Maine as far as possible. Just like when designing a building, I pay attention to the details as well as the utilitarian aspects of any product. I'm proud of my products and I haven't had as much fun as this in a long time.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.I work out of my studio, which is above our garage. It gives me a lot of flexibility to work from home. When I take breaks I walk our dogs in the woods behind our house or walk downtown to do errands. I love feeling connected to my community. I serve on a town committee as well as being on the board of Portland Society for Architecture- doing my part of shaping the future of our built environment.
What inspires you?The inspiration for my patterns come from many sources. My childhood in Scandinavia and living in the beautiful state of Maine are definite influences. Every moment of the day though gives me ideas for patterns- it can be the flowers or trees that I pass on my walk or a building detail that stands out. I also love children's books and have always found them very inspirational.
What makes your business stand out?My products are colorful and cheerful at the same time as they are well-made. All the production is in the US, making it better for the environment without shipping it around the globe. The inks, which are used to print the fabric are eco-friendly and the digital process doesn't waste a lot of water. The patterns and colors for this season are compiled so they will be easy to mix and match.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Pursue what makes you happy- do the homework on what it takes to make your product, price it out, check out the competition. There is a lot of free advice and guidance to be had through Small Business Administration. Go for it. Expect to work hard. Talk to different people making things; I've gotten helpful advice from people who are making other kinds of products. Make friends with people across the board. Don't be afraid of giving advice to other people who haven't gotten as far as yourself- this planet is big enough for all of us.
What does American Made mean to you?American made means not only keeping the production in the US, but also being proud of being able to offer a well-made, well-designed product which will last a long while and which is produced in a safe and fair environment.
Mark Your Calendar
NOMINATIONSJun. 17, 2015
Nominate yourself or other aspiring entrepreneurs.Learn about American Made
VOTING BEGINSSep. 21, 2015
Vote for your favorite makers.
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 23, 2015
2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 7, 2015
Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets available July 2015.