A Handmade Heritage
Originally posted February 23, 2010
Recently I was asked if I was crafting or sewing before I created my organizers. The truth is that I was not. I think I made a pair of curtains about 5 years ago when my in-laws gave me a sewing machine. I just didn’t take the time to be creative.
I first created my organizer because I couldn’t find one like it to purchase. So it was kind of more of an “invention,” as strange as that sounds. But I quickly realized that there was a certain joy found in the process of designing and creating. And when other people, complete strangers to me, found value in something I created and actually wanted to pay for it, well that was just an amazing feeling.
As I started this small (well, tiny) business, I carried with me the knowledge that others in my family had successful businesses selling handmade items. My mother’s Grandmother was a wonderful seamstress. In addition to making beautiful clothes for her family (my mother still gets teary-eyed thinking about a little sailor dress made especially for her), my Great-Grandmother also sewed items for brides that she sold to Rich’s in Atlanta. Similarly, my Great-Aunt made hats that she sold to Rich’s.
My mother made many of her own clothes when she was younger, as well as clothes for my sisters and me, and wonderful quilts. My grandmother began painting later in life and was a naturally gifted artist. Her beautiful paintings grace the walls of all of her children’s and grandchildren’s homes. A glance at one of her paintings reminds me of her sweet nature, and that I should be as sweet to my family.
Handmade items from loved ones are treasured, especially generations later. At some point, it just became so much easier (and cheaper!) to run into the mall to pick something up. Now it seems that handmade items are making a comeback due to the recession. People are actually mending their clothes again, trying to make things last longer or perhaps even creatively altering clothes they already have for a different look.
Regardless of what happens with my business, I’m determined to keep sewing, designing, or creating. The process of creating is almost more important than the outcome. I may not be a brilliant seamstress like my Great-Grandmother, but I truly love the idea of carrying-on a heritage of handmade.