Day FIVE of Knitting Contrissmas rolls out with the wonderful Amy Barickman, founder of Indygo Junction and The Vintage Workshop sewist, author and much more. Amy is graciously contributing a fantastic giveaway as well! A copy of Vintage Notions goes to the winner! Comment by December 10th at midnight to win!
KC: I’m in love with your book “Vintage Notions”— one of the prizes in my collection for sure! How long did it take you to put together such a treasure of a book?
AB: About a year and a half…I was lucky to have a wonderful editor and graphic designer to work with. We all shared passion for the content so the process was an experience we all enjoyed.
KC: Tell us about the fabric line that goes along with the book, “The Dressmaking Collection from Red Rooster Fabrics”.(above)
AB: I love the vintage charm and yet modern and clean colors—- no doubt this line will be a huge success. We created this line based on the original illustrations for the Institute. Alice Seipp remained the illustrator for the life of the school so the wealth of the art she created was extensive.
KC: What is your favorite thing to do creatively? Do you knit, crochet, embroider… paint, etc?
AB: Actually I rarely have time to actually “craft”, most of my creative time is spent architecting product development for Indygo Junction or mining my vintage collection for content that is inspiring and relevant for today. As far as handmade projects most of creativity involves sewing or crafting with my daughter.
KC: Your company The Vintage Workshop achieves blending vintage images and artwork with the ability for todays creative crafters to access the images digitally and use them in their projects. How will The Vintage Workshop grow in 2012?
AB: We are building a new site which will feature a marketplace of “vintage finds” and plan to expand the craft supplies we offer…we want our blog audience to grow, I love sharing my image collection with our image-a-day giveaway
KC: I hope that everyone has signed up for the e-newsletter from The Vintage Workshop! It’s great to be able to see fresh new ideas monthly but also to receive “Amy’s Picks” with a free image download monthly! How do you have so many wonderful ideas?
AB: Actually, Tina we have expanded the Amy’s Pick to be a DAILY giveaway on our blog. I am a collector and my vintage collection is wonderful inspiration whether it be a fabulous graphic image or a vintage image that inspires a pattern for Indygo Junction. On my BLOG I have written several blog posts that describe more about the collection and my creative process.
KC: You first began in 1990 with Indygo Junction representing wonderfully talented designers and bringing patterns and ideas to sewists and crafters and have continued that ever since. What has been the most popular pattern offered? How do you find the designers who work with Indygo Junction, do you accept new designers?
AB: Our most popular pattern is Grids and Grommets a purse pattern, a functional and versatile design in two sizes. The pattern uses the wonderful snap in grommets that were originally designed for home dec use. The success of that pattern has lead us to design several other grommet patterns. I am always looking for new designers. Many times I meet them at shows-art festivals or trade shows are great venues to find talented designers. Also with our 20 years in biz providing good brand recognition, artist come to us with submissions. The process is started online with photos being sent then we review the material to see if there is a good fit. We strategize how to best market the designers work-pattern or book. There is a lot of collaboration as the process progresses.
KC: Among your many talents is that of fabric designer, I can’t believe all of the hats you wear so well! Do you have a favorite collection?
AB: Thanks Tina, I do not go it alone– I have many talented people I work with to make it all happen. My favorite collection is probably my new Vintage Notion’s Dressmaking line. Since it was inspired by my Vintage Notion book it was so much fun to see it come together.
KC: How exciting to have been selected as one of nine Women Entrepreneur Honorees by Country Living Magazine and featured in their March 2007 issue— I remember it well. You truly have been a groundbreaking entrepreneur and role model for women in the industry. What is your best advice for a woman who would like to make a living in sewing, quilting or crafting?
AB: I was fortunate to be recognized and so thrilled with that opportunity. As far as advice I guess the best advice is get started by doing what you love, take baby steps.Through my 20 years I have seen success and learned from failure. Just be cautious, test the waters before you dive in!! Do lots of research on others who have blazed a path for you to follow. Learn from their mistakes. I was recently featured in a book, Country Living Mom’s Guide to Running a Business, this book provides WONDERFUL advice from a variety of creative arts entrepreneurs.
KC: It’s been a wonderful year for you Amy! What’s coming up for you in 2012?
AB: We are busy preparing new patterns and books that will launch in 2012 and beyond. Several new fabric lines are launching including a fun Vintage Notions inspired collection, Halloween Masquerade. We also will be adding e-patterns to our Indygo Junction site as well as new video content. We have a Vintage-Inspired, Modern Style Sewing Challenge we are launching with Coats & Clark and Singer which will be hosted by BurdaStyle.com.
KC: How do you refresh yourself in order to keep great ideas coming?
AB: I am always trend watching. I love fashion and love to keep current with the latest styles and themes and then think of ways I can apply them to products for my business. Here is a link to my inspiration gallery on my blog for a peek at some recent photos I took while window/trend shopping in NY last week. I also am constantly mining my vintage collection for content. There is so much wonderful material that is timeless!!
KC: Are you making handcrafted items for the holidays this year? If so, can we peek into your gift basket?
AB: I am making some Christmas ornaments, simple designs from our Indygo Junction book Winter White…I also love the idea of these spool ornaments I found at an antique mall recently and hope to make a few to top Christmas packages. We are featuring them in an upcoming blog post on amybarickman.com
KC: What does a typical day look like for you, I know we’re all interested to know how you do it all so very well!
AB: I have a team of incredibly talented and dedicated staff and designers that help pull it all together. My day is getting kids off to school in am then usually several product development meetings a day also strategizing our blog content . Shooting photos, reviewing projects, planning videos ect.– those are all the fun creative parts of the biz I enjoy!! There is always the business side to tend to as well, that is where finding the balance gets challenging because I just want to do the fun stuff!!
KC: Yes, we are ALL about doing the fun stuff, aren’t we?
KC: Tell me Amy are you a blog reader? Do you read blogs in the creative community?
AB: I do have some favorite blogs a few come to mind.. Skip to my Lou, Today’s Creative Blog, Cathe Holden’s Just Something I Made, Design Sponge, and Amy Powers Inspire Co.
KC: Who is your inspiration?
AB: I have so many people that inspire me! But the standout has to be Mary Brooks Picken. I call her my “Julia”. Her work as the founder of the Woman’s Institute and later as the authority on fashion and dressmaking (she authored the Singer Sewing Book which sold 8 million copies) has been a driving force in my creative life/business over the past few years. Her sense of style as well as her philosophy for living have given me a purpose and offered me the chance to connect with a new audience and that has been so exciting!! Her legacy has given me renewed enthusiasm for sharing the fulfillment we can find through creativity through home arts-sewing knitting, cooking whatever you fancy!!!
Thanks so much for taking the time to spend with us today Amy, I know the winner of Vintage Notions will absolutely love it! Enter by commenting by midnight on December 10th!