Every Monday now through December 16 I am interviewing other artists and crafters in the hopes of spreading some handmade love and appreciation. You can read more about it here. The month of October features fiber artists.
This week’s featured artist not only makes beautiful handmade t-shirts and art prints, but she’s an award-winning children’s book illustrator! Through her silk-screened t-shirts and bags made from eco-friendly bamboo and organic cotton, artist Eujin Neilan of Uni-T, shares positive messages such as “laugh more” and “dream more.”
Not only is Eujin an accomplished artist, but she is an inspiration for other makers as she opened her own handmade shop in a local upscale mall where she is surrounded by large-scale national and international chains. Way to go, Eujin!
I was promoting “walk to school” for children with other moms where my kids went to school, and made my first T-shirt for fun saying “walk more” with an image of three female figures walking. I got a lot of praises for the shirt’s design, so I started making more T-shirts, including “dream more,” “love more,” “bike more,” T-shirts and I couldn’t stop since then making more and more.
I sold these T-shirts in flea markets, farmers and artisans market, and then a kiosk in the mall. I eventually opened my very own shop/studio in Natick Collection in Natick, MA where I print and design my shirts.
What I most like about my work are the challenges of coming up with new designs and new ideas to promote my work. The most challenging part is bookkeeping. 🙁
What is the story behind your shop’s name?
Uni-T sounds like Unity! Unity is the basic philosophy of my line of hand-printed T-shirts. Our interest and passion might be different but we are all in unity. My t-shirts are about being yourself and inspiring others.
Also, my childhood nick name is “Uni.” It means Uni’s Tee!
What do you think motivates others to buy handmade?
Because they are unique and many of my customers likes to support small business. They enjoy meeting the artist who made the product and sometimes hearing a story about what inspired me to create the product they are buying.
When you are not designing and creating handmade items, what do you like to do with your time?
Antiquing, Hiking, exercising, and imagining.
What is one piece of advice you would offer to others with their own creative business?
One thing I learned in doing business is “you will never know unless you try.” I am not waiting for the opportunity to come to me but I am chasing them instead. So, don’t assume anything negative and just try and see what happens.
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