Every Monday now through the end of the year I am interviewing other artists and crafters in the hopes of spreading some handmade love and appreciation. September features makers of baby/children’s items.
Happy Labor Day! Wow, can you believe it’s already September? Even though I’m always a little disappointed when summer comes to an end, I do love the fall (especially in New England!). The bright hues of the leaves changing colors, hot apple cider, wearing boots and cozier clothes.
I’m also happy that it is September because in addition to it meaning it’s my birthday month (hint, hint), I’m kicking off my weekly artisan interview series! This month I will be featuring those who make baby and children’s items (which you know I will be loading up on on the months to come).
I’m really excited to start by introducing to you Beth of Pink Pigeon Creations (how cute is the name of her shop?). I met Beth at the beginning of June at my first Greenway Open Markets. Beth makes a lovely array of eco-friendly cloth travel items for babies, toddlers, and moms, including wet bags, snack bags, aprons, nursing, and carseat covers, and the most adorable hooded towels (which I will no doubt be purchasing for my little one), all of which I can’t help to check out every time I see her at a show.
How did you get started making baby and children’s items?
When I was pregnant with my son, all my other hobbies were off-limits (horseback riding, snow skiing, volleyball, and drinking wine are all frowned on by OBs!). I had several friends and family members who had babies on the way, so I used my free time to make diaper bags and changing mats and assorted other gifts. At some point, I decided to put a few on etsy, and the rest is history.
What is the story behind your shop’s name?
I’m from Kentucky, and love horses. Pink Pigeon was a Thorobred race horse and broodmare of champions in the 1970s. When I bought my first house, it was across the street from the farm she had lived on, and I thought naming my business for her was a sweet way to bring a little piece of Kentucky with me to Massachusetts.
What do you like most about having your own creative business? What do you find most challenging?
Having my own business gives me the freedom to focus on the products and designs that mean the most to me and gives me the flexibility to spend time with my son as well. I also really love meeting with people at artisan markets and seeing how what I create resonates with them. The tough part is two-fold – balancing sewing time vs “business” time, and paring down the list of fabrics I work with. (It’s currently at 50, and that’s down from about 85 at one point!)
What inspires you to create?
I love designing things to solve the problems that I find as a mom, and those that friends and customers mention.
What do you think motivates others to buy handmade?
I think there are a lot of different motivators – some people prefer to support individual artisans instead of large corporations. Some people like the opportunity to customize what they buy, and a handmade artisan item can virtually always be customized. Some people like the one-of-a-kind nature of artisan items. Some people really enjoy the artisan community and the experience of shopping at a handmade marketplace. I hope the people who buy from me are motivated by a few of those things!
I have so many! Quilts, jewelry, soap (I am totally addicted to Cherry Almond soap from Jennifer’s Handmade Soap!), glassware, tons of stuff that I LOVE. My grandfather was a needlepoint artisan, and I have a huge collection of pieces he made which I cherish, both for their artistry and their sentimentality. I could never pick a single favorite.
When you are not sewing, what do you like to do with your time?
I coach girls youth volleyball (u14 or u15, generally) in the winters and do camps in the summers, I snowski, and any chance I get to sit with a book and a glass of wine is fantastic. That said, most of my time away from my business is spent with my son and my husband.
What is something people might not know about you?
I’m a roller coaster enthusiast, and have ridden most of the world record coasters in recent years!
What is one piece of advice you would offer to others with their own creative business?
If you love it, do it. It’s ok to grow slowly, to change what you make as you go, and to take days off when you need them.
Thanks for being on my blog, Beth, and be sure to check out Pink Pigeon Creations!