Warm Hugs Design
Tell us about your business.I was laid off from my job as a new home sales agent here in California in 2008 so I suddenly had lots of time to sew and craft. My creativity emerged. I paired my love of anything vintage with repurposing and started designing pillowcase dresses, aprons, tote bags and bibs in 2009. In 2010 I began selling my designs at local craft shows and at farmer's markets. In the past two years I started sewing more baby items in hopes "if I sew it they will come" (meaning grandchildren) and it worked! I now have a 3 1/2 month old grandson! I am having so much fun upcycling my collection of vintage fabric yo-yos with vintage buttons on baby onsies, headbands, hairclips, and bracelets. I enjoy sharing with the public about repurposing and how just because a vintage embroidered table runner has stains and rips we don't have to throw it away - I make pin cushions or sachets out of it! To see all the hand work someone did long ago still being enjoyed and used gives me great joy and purpose.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.I sew in my tiny extra bedroom in my home. It looks like I'm a fabric hoarder as I have quite the collection of vintage fabric collected from estate sales and thrift stores. I love vintage linens!
What inspires you?The fabric. It gives me inspiration when I look at what pieces I can salvage from a particular linen. My customers make suggestions from time to time when I'm selling in my booth at farmer's markets so I listen to them too!
What makes your business stand out?My niche is that I take vintage linens and buttons and repurpose them. For example I use vintage buttons and make bracelets and stud earrings. Or I use vintage chenille bedspreads with holes and stains to make pillow covers, bibs or baby blankets. My designs are different, something you don't see in booths at craft shows. It's unique. Also when customers come into my booth it evokes a feeling of olden times - of grandma. Or memories of a dear Aunt or mother who loved to sew and craft. Times where many things were hand made.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Take your items around to local shows for sale and see how the public responds. Research online sales like Etsy and if it's a good fit go for it!
What does American Made mean to you?Handcrafted here in America. Pride of workmanship.
Mark Your Calendar
WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
AMERICAN MADE MEETUPNov. 7, 2014
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AMERICAN MADE SUMMITNov. 8, 2014
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RENEGADE CRAFT FAIRNov. 15 - 16, 2014
Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.Learn More