Detroit artist, Jessica Sheeran, began her craft show career with crocheted and knitted goodies. Just for fun, she put a shark face on a pillow and it sold the second someone spotted it. By the time the next craft fair rolled around, Jessica had made sharks and monsters galore— sales boomed and now the frighteningly adorable stuffed animals are her primary commodity.
She goes into her creation process with a blank slate. The design of each critter is dictated by the fabric and eyes. This plan-free way of making leaves room for a good bit of surprise for Jessica by the time she’s finished the last stitches. No two are alike.
When I asked Jessica what misconceptions people have about her and her work, she said,
“Because some of the things I make are so weird and wild, I’ve often been asked if I’m on drugs because apparently I have to be ‘out of my mind’ in some way, shape, or form to come up with some of the things I come up with. I try to take that as an unusual compliment that has been worded a little wonky because I’m completely drug free (I don’t even drink!) but it’s kind of a bummer to hear someone assume that your creativity comes from a chemical.”
In my mind, the flow of her creativity comes from an unbridled imagination. Much of her inspiration came from that crucial time in childhood when anything was possible if you could simply dream it. The world would be a more colorful, fantastic place if people like Jessica and her Cool Critters abounded. To think like a child is quite possibly one of the most valuable gifts of all.
Stay tuned, later on this week Jess is going to give us a tutorial on how to make one of these monsters on your own.
Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of a good leader is not to be daunted by unfulfilled needs. To instead see obstacles as a problem to be solved and not a crippling factor that prevents progress. Just four years ago, Veronika Scott was challenged by a class assignment to create something that solved a social need. After spending time at Detroit homeless shelters, Veronika envisioned a waterproof, heat-trapping jacket that could transform into a sleeping bag.
A good leader is also open to criticism and input. So when one of the women staying at the shelter told Veronica that they needed jobs, not jackets, Veronika listened. The jackets did seem like a temporary fix to a larger issue. How could this project meet an even greater need in the community?
One of the most devastating blows a society can thrust upon itself is an environment where women don’t realize how valuable they are. Veronika stepped up to the plate to knock down those misconceptions. She is now the founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, a non-profit that employs women in homeless shelters to make jackets for the homeless of Detroit. It’s an atmosphere where women who once had little hope can learn and change their way of thinking. They have the opportunity to realize that they hold the power to change their future. They are strong, independent, and capable.
Meet Teia. She’s been a seamstress at The Empowerment Plan for over a year. Teia recognized this job as a once in lifetime opportunity and she has used it as a step in the right direction for herself and her two children. Way to go, Teia. Your efforts are an inspiration to us all.
Teia’s outfit: Carhartt Women’s Force Performance Tank, Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt, & Slim Fit Nyona Jean
Happy Independence Day! Let’s not forget the freedom that came to Americans this day in 1776. May there be joy and appreciation. If you like the vest posted above, take a look at how to make one for yourself here.
The perfect pair of blue jeans are hard to find. Well, Carhartt’s all women design team came up with a few new styles that are sure to fit your needs. Check out the Jasper Jean, pictured above. They have just the right amount of stretch from the Work-Flex® Technology that lets you move around while you work. The mid-rise cut and contoured waistband prevent gapping so no matter what your job calls for, we’ve got you covered.
It’s time to clean out the old jeans in your closet so you can stock up on Carhartt’s new denim options for working women. I cleaned out my closet this past weekend and decided to say goodbye to a few outdated pants. With some creativity and a little elbow grease, you can turn what was once considered trash into art.
Getting in the spirit of the season, I stitched a quote that nods to the mindset of Thanksgiving.
“I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health.” -Voltaire
Viewing life with a more thankful attitude can make all the difference. The more grateful you are, the more you can spread the sentiment around to others. Try your hand at stitching for your next DIY project. You can either follow the template provided above, or you can test out some of the other stitching examples shown in the chart. Go on! Have fun with it!
check out this great working gal’s outfit: Women’s Annapolis Long-Sleeve T-Shirt, Weathered Wildwood Jacket, & Carhartt Women’s Jasper Jean
Let the rejoicing begin! Carhartt fall styles are here. (take a peek for yourself) I went to the Carhartt store in downtown Chicago and came away with a bag full of goodies. There are some really great new plaids, pant fits, and warm jackets. Stay tuned in the next few weeks as I highlight some of my favorite fall items.
Lydia from Argaman&Defiance was destined for fabric design. Her name means ‘the maker of purple dye.’ All of Lydia’s products are naturally dyed in her Chicago studio. You have to check out the beautiful silk scarves she makes. I’m obsessed! It was fun to watch Lydia work. So much love and attention to detail is put into each piece. Keep an eye out for the wholesale bridal line in winter 2014 for great wedding items. (including ribbon, wine cozies, table runners, and shawls suited for the handmade, rustic wedding) Keep up with Lydia and Argaman&Defiance on facebook for updates.
See what Lydia is wearing here: El Paso Shorts, Annapolis Shirt, Norfolk Henley, & Tomboy Hooded Vest
With the 4th just around the corner, it’s time to get your Betty Ross on! Carhartt Women’s Tomboy Hooded Vest is perfect for sporting your American pride. All you need is scrap fabric, paint, and thread. Stitch up a storm and you have your outfit for Independence Day. Whatever your holiday activities may be, this is a great outfit. It’s ideal for fishing, boating, bbq-ing, etc… My favorite thing about this vest is the media port to deal with those headphone wires easily.
shop this look: Tomboy Hooded Vest, Cheyenne Shirt, & El Paso Short
Hope you all had a relaxing Memorial Day! I spent mine at Outer Banks with friends. It’s such a great time of year to be outside, whether for picnics, reading, or catching some sun. Check out the pocket I added to my Carhartt blanket. It’s great for keeping odds and ends from blowing away when your outside.
shop this look: Clarkston Cami, El Paso Shorts, Carhartt Blanket