From Rugs to Riches?

In 2009, after the holidays, I began to think more seriously about the possibilities of Raw Materials Design. What I really wanted to do was to design things out of simple, raw and unrefined cotton and/or use found things (such as the rugs) to make other things.

As a stylist, I’m used to making something out of nothing. I don’t mean that in a bad way – I mean it in the best way possible – to get creative with what’s on hand. Also, I grew up in a farming and ranching family, making do and using what we had was a necessity!

My first of many stumbling blocks along this new business path was to figure out if I could efficiently produce my tote bags AND would enough people really want them? I’d had a lot of positive feedback but the economy was quickly heading south. As hardy and well-made as they were, was that enough?

I’d also starting toying with other ideas (remember one always turns into another!) and began to design aprons made from inexpensive painter’s drop cloths. I bought some drop cloths, took them to my friend Nancy and she began to transform my apron ideas into what is now the Classic Chef Apron, the French Waiter’s Apron, and the Child’s Chef apron.

Continuing to massage the best out of that fabulous fabric, my line of table/kitchen linens, including place mats, napkins, dishtowels and coasters (out of scraps) began to take shape.

At this point the labor was Nancy and I. She sewed, I schlepped! It was fine – for a while. But as more people asked me about purchasing my products it became clear we were going to need some help. A good problem to have? Maybe.

more tomorrow…

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