Why did you turn to your handmade craft into a business?
I have always had a love for creating; whether painting, decorating, crafting, or sewing. After the arrival of my daughter, I quickly realized that there was a lack of clothing that fit my style – I adore crisp lines, bold accents, granny chic, and a lived-in feel. Wanting to satisfy my need for a creative outlet, as well as give my daughter some cute clothes, I started making my own. This simple act started a desire to outfit others in my creations!
My sisters and I had spent years talking about starting a business together since each of us have a unique craft we love, and yet we always pushed it off. We saw this as an opportunity to turn our love for creating into a business. Combining forces, we are able to offer a creative powerhouse under one name. The heart of POLYGONS+Peonies is children’s clothing, but as each sister adds her own creative flair, we are expanding our product offerings, which now include hand-embroidered art.
What inspires your craft?
Watching my children’s eyes light up when they see presents from the “sewing fairy” is one of my greatest joys. My children are my biggest influencers and my cutest critics. We know how three-year-olds tend to speak their minds!
I keep children in mind with every piece I create. I choose fabrics that I know will be soft against their skin, construct clothing so they can run, jump, and climb while wearing it, and accent pieces in beautiful trims that do not compromise a child’s ability to play!
What are a few benefits and challenges of being a handmade artisan?
There is no feeling like pursuing something you love. My proudest moments are when my children see how hard I’m working to reach my dream. It’s hard work and endless hours, especially in the beginning. There’s always the fear of failure that comes with putting yourself out there. However, pushing past it and giving it your all, even if you don’t succeed in the ways you thought you would, is always the most amazing feeling. I’ve been fortunate to find a wonderful community of fellow artisans and small businesses who want to help each other succeed!
Do you have a favorite memory surrounding your craft, company, and customers?
Sewing and crafting is a tradition in my family. From spectacular Halloween costumes to annual Christmas sweaters, my mother and grandmothers and great-grandmothers were always creating. Other families pass down China or heirloom jewelry, but we pass down fabric, buttons, and trims. There is a cloth doll that I received and still cherish to this day. It was made by my great-grandmother in 1946, and adorned with handmade clothing with intricate stitching. Though it’s old and worn, it has still held up. There is not a stitch out of place. There is just something special about handmade clothing that far surpasses mass produced “fast fashion” of today. When I saw a photo of my first customer in her POLYGONS+Peonies attire it moved me to tears! I’m so happy to be pursuing something so close to my heart!
Do you have any advice for other artisans?
Don’t be afraid to go after what you want! If you have a passion, then pursue it. Go after it with all your might. I hear so many people with regrets because they were too scared to start. It takes courage, it’s definitely hard work, but it’s so rewarding! Embrace the journey and help your fellow artisans and small businesses along the way. It’s wonderful when we can work together!