A few weeks ago, I was lucky to spend an afternoon with Joan and Krista Anne from The Makery, a local start-up that gives North Carolina artisans a venue to spotlight their products in limited-time flash sales. More importantly, The Makery also features artists in thorough, generous blog posts, giving our community a rare look behind-the-scenes to see what artists' studios look like, plus juicy details about their processes and inspiration. I had an amazing time with these ladies! Our "interview" was very laid back, and they were so enthusiastic that I found myself rambling on long beyond the time we'd all allotted. (See what I did there? The trick to being verbose is to just blame it on someone else's excellent listening skills. That way you turn it into a compliment and deflect attention. Learned it from my family.)
It's not every day that I take a step back and really get some perspective on how I got here. Six years ago, I started a clothing line as a hobby, printing on the equipment at my old job, late-late, while the business was closed for the night. Next, I volunteered as a shop assistant at the University of North Carolina so I could print on the silkscreen tables there. I used to ride around on my Honda scooter with my screens balanced vertically on the floor in front of me, squeezed awkwardly between my knees. (To get the full awkwardness of the picture, I think you have to keep in mind that I'm only 5'2". I just don't have enough leg to lend any to balancing silkscreens at 35mph.)
After volunteering at UNC, I just printed on my roommate's kitchen table until I finally rented a bigger house with a spare bedroom--my first dedicated studio! This was around the time I met my partner, Eric, over four years ago. It wasn't too long before he helped me make the biggest transition thus far, when we rented a commercial space so we could invest in the professional grade equipment you see in these photos. And finally, a year after that, we realized that if we bought a house, we could build a studio to our own exact specs and save a ton of money in the process. And here we are. All the shots in this post are from our custom-built backyard workshop where I spend my days pushing squeegees, listening to NPR, and drinking way too much coffee.
It is all too easy for me to get caught up in the stress and chaos of the holiday shopping season and lose sight of how far we've come and how fun this all is. (It's November 8th and I've already had my first good cry of the season, and it was over...wait for it...polyurethane. I cried about polyurethane.) Sitting at my kitchen table and dishing it out with the ladies from The Makery, though, the Flytrap story was oh so clear--not only where we've been but also where we're heading! On the Makery blog you can read the fabulous article they wrote...and while you're on the site, do some shopping! This is a fabulous place to treat yourself to some of the best work coming out of North Carolina, and it changes up frequently. (Our scarves and a couple of tees are featured through the end of 2013, but you never know what else you'll find!)
I'll end by sharing some of the fun shots we took during our visit--I hope you enjoy them! I pledge not to cry about polyurethane any more. Good talk.