For the past week or so I’ve been doing interviews with shops that are going to be affected by the CPSIA Law starting on February 10th, 2009. Turns out…my shop is also going to be affected so I thought I would do an interview with myself so you can see what will be missing from my shop in a few short weeks…
Please be forewarned…I tend to ramble 🙂
Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts. When did you first start creating things? What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?
I have been creating things for as long as I can remember. My Grandma Landwehr still tells the story of the quilt I made my brother for his birthday when my parents were house hunting in Wisconsin. I took my mom’s rag bin and hand stitched it together…it even included one of those furry toilet seat covers! Once I started school I LOVED art! I was lucky enough to be chosen in second grade to help paint a mural on a wall across from the library in the elementary school. I continued to take as many art classes that were available to me…I even got to make Ukrainian Eggs in third grade!
My middle school art teacher (THANKS Mrs. Pemberton!) told my dad that he should buy me whatever supplies I asked for because I would put them to good use…and he did. My dad has been very supportive and encouraging in all that I try to create…if it weren’t for him I don’t think I would be where I am today.
My High School offered some great art programs as well and when I could fit it into my schedule I took them…including Jewelry and Jewelry I.
I was only able to take one art class in college because for some reason art classes do not count toward a degree in Engineering and Madison (I honestly think that is ridiculous). I took a 2D-Design class that was pretty neat. I also was able to take a pottery class at a shop in Willy Street in Madison when I was doing my coop one semester.
Other than the classes I’ve taken I have just always been creating things. In college, when a strap on a girls tank top would rip off they would have me sew it up, or if we were at a party, sometimes we would just create a halter top! A good friend of mine was always having me make necklaces and things for his girlfriends 🙂 It was fun being the one that could help people out and fix things.
When I met my boyfriend’s (now husband) family, I discovered that his mom was also very crafty. I remember walking into her house for the first time, looking around and thinking, “This woman is going to like me.” And she does! They let me sell my jewelry in there road side apple store and it has grown from there. Once she saw that her son and I were serious she offered to teach me to quilt (the easier way at least). We would go over every Tuesday night and I would sew on her machine and she would make us an amazing dinner. The following Christmas, my parents got me my own machine…one of the best gifts ever!
My mother-in-law also dyes fabric 100% cotton fabric with fiber reactive Procion dyes for quilters. This means that the color that you are seeing is the color that it is going to stay…it will not wash out. I fell in love with this after my first lesson…it was just so fun to start out with a boring piece of white fabric and making it so unique and gorgeous! I thought…hey, this would be fun to do with onesies! And things have just grown from there. I actually will be running a hand-dying workshop shop this June (more details to come soon on http://www.quiltsbybarb.com/)
For about 9 months of the year I stay home and raise my adorable baby girls (15 mo apart). The other 3 months of the year I help run an apple store. My family and I own and operate an orchard in Wisconsin (http://www.lapaceksorchard.com/ and http://www.lapaceksorchard.blogspot.com/). I do sell my crafts and art at the apple store (surprisingly well), at craft sales, and a few shops in downtown Poynette, WI.
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS! My mind is always seeing something and trying to figure out how to make something amazing with it. My husband can tell when I haven’t been in my workroom for awhile because I’m cranky and he’ll say, “Just go downstairs and make something!” I also have to keep a sketch book by my bed because I’m always having new ideas while I’m sleeping.
On Martha Steward right after I had my second daughter. I opened my store five days after she was born (yes, I’m a little crazy).
Any words of advice to others?
Remember that you have to spend time promoting and talking to others. Unless your product is absolutely amazing or you get extremely lucky it’s not going to sell itself. Be patient and it will happen (at least I hope so :))
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
I sell a variety of things in my shop but the most items that I have are my hand-dyed onesies and outfits. I will technically no longer be able to sell these on February 10th.
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