Piecing Together a Successful Indie Craft Business

Craft & Design

Bazaar Bizarre will make it’s central Texas debut at Maker Faire Austin in October. Billed as, “not your granny’s craft fair” Bazaar Bizarre has sprouted up across the country, and has given indie crafters a unique, fun venue in which to sell their wares. As we approach Austin’s first Bazaar Bizarre, I’ll be profiling some of the Austin vendors who will be participating. First up: Jennifer Ramos of Textile Fetish
Name of Business Owner: Jennifer Ramos
Name of Business: Textile Fetish
Years in Business: 7
Web site/Blog: Textile Fetish Shop and Jennifer’s Blog
Main type of handicraft made and sold:
I make and sell a wide variety of items, the common thread being that they are all sewn and feature unexpected fabric combinations. I abhor waste, so a good portion of what I use materials-wise is re-purposed/recycled, or else it’s comprised of scraps. Right now I’m obsessed with using small bits of fabric to make little bird appliqués. What you’ll find when you browse Textile Fetish is children’s clothing, multiple apron styles, bags, accessories and craft gear.
Jennifer’s Story:
When Ramos started sewing clothes for a friend’s daughter more than eight years ago, she didn’t know she was building experience, skills – and a stash – that would fuel a future as an indie craft business person.
“In 2000, I felt I’d hit a wall in my position working for The State,” says Ramos. “That’s when we decided to start our family and I ditched the nine-to-five. I took up sewing creatively. All the scraps I’d saved from sewing for my friend, not to mention the experience I’d gained, came in handy at that point and I taught myself patchwork.”
Since then, Ramos has created her unique patchwork items and sold them through her web site and boutiques, and has participated in craft fairs like Renegade and Felt Club as well as several smaller, local shows. She says it was the reputation of Bazaar Bizarre that drew her to apply for Austin’s first Baz Biz show.
“I’ve been following the success of Bazaar Bizarre since its beginnings in Boston,” she says. “I did my research. I found out who would be in charge of the show and then I applied. I couldn’t have gone in on blind faith.”
And though Ramos wasn’t able to attend last year’s Maker Faire Austin, she heard plenty of raves about the event from friends.
“After talking to people last year, I swore to myself I would be involved this year in some way,” says Ramos. “As with any such event, those of us in the ‘indie craft community’ get a huge charge out of being surrounded by like-minded people.”
Ramos says she’s found great inspiration and support from the Austin crafting community.
“I probably don’t have to tell you that there are creative people here with absolute super powers,” she says. “I actually have crafty crushes. But aside from that, Austin is a city full of people who strive to be unique.”
And that unique Austin flavor is what Ramos hopes visitors to Maker Faire Austin and Bazaar Bizarre take home with them in October.
“Austin is a progressive city and Austinites are laid back, but educated,” she says. “You get the Southern hospitality combined with a conscientious community.”
You can follow more of Jennifer’s work on her blog and browse her handmade items on her shop web site.

4 thoughts on “Piecing Together a Successful Indie Craft Business

  1. Kim says:

    Yay, Jennifer rules!

  2. college essays says:

    Such a small think. ;-) But such a great idea

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