How did you get started in your chosen craft?
I taught my self to knit and crochet as a child. I felt it gave me a connection to the women in my family I’d never known. I had seen their afghans and doilies and wanted to make beautiful things like that, too. When I was older I learned to sew, and I designed my own bustle dress when I was high school. Although I eventually lost interest and left the fiber arts for many years, I returned to it when I was diagnosed with lupus. It was comforting, and I needed a good distraction. Making things kept my mind and my hands busy.
How do you make your craft store eco-friendly?
I try to make every aspect of running my business environmentally friendly, from the fabric, to the dye process, to the packaging. I try to consider things like the utilities and the water usage, and do what I can to minimize my impact. You can find more specifics on my blog, in my â€œWhat does ‘Eco-Friendly’ mean?â€ post.
Why did you want to join the EcoEtsy team?
When I saw the tutorials on the blog, I knew I had to be a part of the team. I was so impressed that the team members were finding such clever, creative ways to be eco-friendly.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
Much of my inspiration comes from nature, as observed daily at our home in the country. BBC costume dramas and other period films also inspire me greatly and send me to the pattern books and my sketchbook.
What piece in your shop is your favorite?
At the moment, the Eco-Fleece Duster Jacket is probably my favorite. I actually designed it for myself over a year ago. I decided to add it to my shop once I found a reliable source for the recycled fleece fabric. If you’ve seen any of the BBC Jane Austen adaptations, you may recognize the shape of the jacket â€“ it’s based on a pelisse from that era.
What are you currently working on?
My mind never shuts off, so I always have numerous projects â€œon the back burner.â€ I’m currently brewing up some new pieces for spring that will be versatile wardrobe â€œbasics.â€
What steps have you taken to lead a green lifestyle?
For many years now, we have tried to lead as green a lifestyle as possible. We use natural cleaners, we garden organically, we use cloth napkins, we try to conserve water & electricity, we use natural skin & body products, we eat mostly organic food, and we reuse or recycle everything we can.
Is your art/craft your full time job?
Since I have lupus, I am unable to have a regular job, which is why I came to Etsy. This way I don’t have to work if I’m not felling good, but I still have something I can work at and take pride in.
What do you do when you’re not crafting?
Spring through fall, a lot of my time goes to the working in the gardens and preserving the harvest. Otherwise I’m probably playing piano or snuggling up with a good book and a few kitties.
What’s the most eco-friendly purchase you’ve made?
That’s a tough one. Maybe we’re more eco-friendly in what we DON’T buy, since we try to avoid buying lots of stuff that will just end up in the landfill someday.