Purls of Wisdom

Saturday Studio: Maddy Kaplan

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 26, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remeber Maddy Kaplan, Drexel University fashion design graduate, from Maker Monday? Take a look inside her studio at Drexel below!


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Have you met Maddy yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn and be inspired in the same classes that jumpstarted Maddy's passion for sewing and fashion? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #Narthberth #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #KidsCanSew #Drexel #LearntoSew

Maker Monday: Fashion Designer Madeline Kaplan

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

IMG_5566-1.jpgName: Madeline Kaplan

Age: 24

School: Drexel University, B.S. Fashion Design, class of 2016

Website: madelinekaplandesigns.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since she was five, Madeline (Maddy) Kaplan had a love for designing clothes. Maddy, who graduated from Drexel University with a fashion design B.S. in 2016, continues to pursue the passion that ignited when she learned how to sew at The Handwork Studio.

“When I was 5 years old I would staple fabrics together, and soon after I learned how to hand sew,” she said. “I would transform things like pant legs into scarves, and would add embellishments. I started going to lessons with Laura Kelly at her home and that's when I truly discovered my love for this world of creativity.”

Today, Maddy works as a fashion designer specializing in children’s apparel. Rather than her inspiration stemming from as specific element, she finds people and items she encounters throughout her everyday life inspiring. 

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“Colors and fabrics also give me a lot of inspiration, and I frequently use that as my jumping off point,” she said.

Maddy said she is most proud of her designs from her senior collections at Drexel.

“I designed and created an award winning kids collection,” she said. “It is whimsical and fun. I really stayed true to myself as a designer.”

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Although an award-winning designer, Maddy encountered obstacles while completing her degree at Drexel. One of her biggest challenges: a tailored coat.

“I picked a really complex design, when most of my classmates stuck to more simple silhouettes,” she said. “My design looked like one piece from the back, but in the front it had a separate cape. Halfway through constructing it, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out how to make it functionable.”

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Despite her challenges, she persevered and completed her piece.

“It turned out just as I had imagined it in my head, and it gave me an enormous sense of pride knowing that I was able to construct something like that,” she said.

Maddy finds that her fashion design mindset allows her to view the world differently than others.

“I look at everyday objects, and more frequently than not, I think about cool designs I could associate with them,” she said. “In my mind, design is everywhere--when you’re walking down a street, when you’re eating breakfast, what you’re thinking about right before you go to bed. It surrounds us everyday.” 

In regards to advice for aspiring fashion designers Maddy said, “Stay true to yourself. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s really the best advice someone can give. Since I graduated, I’ve faced several challenges. The fashion industry is extremely fast paced and hectic. There’s always a lot going on and sometimes you fall behind. You just have to focus on yourself and what makes you happy in the long run. You have to find your niche and where you fit in. That’s what’s really important.”

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Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to learn and be inspired in the same classes that jumpstarted Maddy's passion for sewing and fashion? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #Narthberth #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #KidsCanSew #Drexel #LearntoSew

Saturday Studio: Wing Tang

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remember Wing Tang, Univeristy of Delaware fashion design student studying abroad in Paris, from Maker Monday? Wing describes her workspace as “crowded, organized, yet comfy.” Here, she works on her design for the 2017 Half-Scale Alvanon Student Design Competition, which she recently entered. IMG_6257.jpg

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Have you met Wing yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog Here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Wing? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #UD

Maker Monday: Fashion Designer Wing Tang

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

IMG_3742.jpgName: Wing Tang

Age: 20

School: University of Delaware

Internship: Elie Saab, Paris

Bio: Wing Tang, upcoming junior apparel design student at the University of Delaware, has a passion for blending classic and trendy fashion elements to create sophisticated, high-end garments.

 

 

 

 

Design Discovery

P2120104-1.jpgAs a child, Wing discovered she had an act for designing. She gives the paper cash register she designed in the second grade the credit for jumpstarting her fashion design interest.

Today, Wings designs have share one quality with her first design--exquisite detail.

“I love to place special emphasis on small details, because it’s usually places people neglect,” she said.

Big Dreams

After busy days of school or interning for Eli Saab, Wing’s creative mind continues to focus on her designs. She often wakes up with inspiration from her dreams.

“Many images will flash back and forth in my dreams, and these images are usually things that I have encountered or been exposed to before,” she said. “Therefore, anything or anytime can be an inspiration for me.”

Alvanon Design Competition

P2090089.jpgWing takes pride in all of her designs, which greatly vary from one another in styles and techniques. Whether for school or competition, many of her creations have a completion deadline.

“I am very proud of the speed of my work progress when I am under stress,” she said.

Recently, Wing entered the 2017 Half-Scale Alvanon Student Design Competition. The fashion designer used the knowledge and techniques she acquired while studying and interning abroad in Paris, such as smocking, to draft and drape her entry.

“In Paris, I learned about smocking, and it became a technique that I have been researching and exploring around in the past semester,” Wing said. “I would describe smocking as roses with thorns. It’s a love and hate relationship, because I can get stuck in a pothole for a long time, or I can produce something very beautiful.”

Patience & Persistence

When asked about encountering challenges during her design and construction processes, Wing said obstacles often arise. However, with every problem comes a solution. While sometimes solutions are evident, others  take time to form.

“Patience, is something that you need while you are stuck, and you will just have to do it rather than thinking too much about it,” she said.

To Future Designers

In regards to advice for aspiring fashion designers, Wing said, “The most important advice I have is to have patience in anything that you are pursuing.”

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Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Wing? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionDesign #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #UD

Saturday Studio: Rachel Mednick

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 12, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remember Rachel Mednick, founder of organic childrenswear company Lucy & Leo, from Maker Monday? Rachel describes her studio as “bright, fun, and neatly messy.”


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Have you met Rachel yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Rachel? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #LucyandLeo

Maker Monday: Lucy & Leo Founder Rachel Mednick

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Aug 07, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

headshotrachelmednick.jpgName: Rachel Mednick

Age: 29

Company: Lucy & Leo

Website: www.lucyandleo.com

Follow: @lucyleoorganic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a child, Rachel Mednick began designing clothes for petite clients—her dolls. Now, she continues to design fashions for the smaller client, children, as the founder of Lucy & Leo, an organic childrenswear company.

Discovery          

Rachel learned how to sew from her mom on their household sewing machine. Throughout her schooling, her passion for design flourished.

 “When I was in middle school is when it really hit me, one of my friends and I would spend hours sketching different designs and once I was in high school I was taking classes at FIT (Fashion Institute of technology) on the weekends,” Rachel said.

Rachel graduated from Drexel University in 2009 earning a bachelor of science in fashion design and merchandising.

Inspiration

The NYC fashion designer draws inspiration from vintage garments, favorite childhood stories and movies.

“For example, my upcoming fall/winter collection is inspired by a collection of vintage Wizard of Oz books,” she said. “Each collection I do becomes by new favorite.”

However, Rachel said she enjoys designing spring/summer most because of the prints and colors.   

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 1.53.12 PM-1.pngObstacles

Rachel most often faces obstacles during the stages of product development of new pieces.  

“I find asking for help when I get stuck is key,” she said. “I have a great patternmaker at my factory that I work with and when I get stuck with something she can help.”

Everyday Life

Since designing is part of her business, Rachel has the opportunity to weave it throughout her everyday life, which she is grateful for.

“However, owning a business requires attention on a lot of different things so I only get to actually sit down and design a few days a year,” she said.

Advice

In regards to advice for future fashion designers and business owners, Rachel said,  “Do a lot of internships, study abroad, ask as many questions as possible and talk to lots of people who do what you want to do. The more you can learn the better--never stop learning!”

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Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Rachel? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #LucyandLeo

Saturday Studio: Sarah Salomonsky

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Aug 05, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remeber Sarah Salomonsky, fashion design student at Virginia Commonwealth University, from Maker Monday? Sarah is currently working on a summer course project of a full-embroidered tank top at her university studio, VCUarts’ Pollack Building. The Pollak Building is home to fashion design, interior design and merchandising majors. It also houses a 3-D printer, numerous student art exhibits, and a serene rooftop garden--one of the best places to watch sunsets on campus!


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Have you met Sarah yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to learn skills similar to Sarah? You can find our summer sewing camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #VCUarts

Maker Monday: Artist of Many Trades Sarah Salomonsky

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

2787 copy.jpgName: Sarah Salomonsky

Age: 20

School: Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Studio: VCUarts

Bio: Sarah Salomonsky, a rising fashion design junior at Virginia Commonwealth University, is an artist of many talents--especially in needle arts and crafting! Outside of the classroom, she is working to start her own streetwise, or outdoor, accessories line consisting of knitted hats, scarves and socks.

 

 

Artistic Genes

2760 copy.jpgA daughter to an artist, a granddaughter to an artist and a great granddaughter to the renowned portrait painter David Silvette, Sarah began taking art classes as a kindergartener. Passionate about painting, Sarah continued taking courses throughout high school.

“One of my favorite pieces is a painting I did in high school,” Sarah said. “It was an abstract portrait of my friend Andy. I feel like nothing better really embodies my aesthetic like this painting, in particular, does.”

As a senior, she applied to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Pratt Institute. Sarah’s initial intention was to attend VCU as a sculpture student. However, a collector of Vogue issues since the age of 13, she decided to reroute her future and study fashion design.

“I have always had a knack for fashion,” Sarah said.

Inspired by Others

Sarah finds inspiration from other designers and their creations. Her favorite sculptor and painter are Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso.

“I love large colors and abstract portraiture,” she said.

When it comes to fashion, Sarah looks to designers’ Instagram accounts and fashion blogs for inspiration. She follows Anwar Carrots, Gucci, Zanita Studio and Aureta.

Always Learning

0606171202a copy-1.jpgSarah is currently constructing an entirely embroidered tank top for a summer course at VCU. After class, she faces about eight hours of homework each day.

“Pushing through the pain of those days you just really don’t want to work has, by far, been one of the hardest things I’ve done in relation to an assignment or project,” she said. “Embroidery is painstaking work that is insanely time consuming and I had definitely underestimated the intensity of such a fine, delicate craft.”

Sarah has learned how to persevere through challenges and obstacles she faces during the construction processes of her creations. As a fashion design student, she has experienced the rewards of hard work and dedication when transforming a brilliant design concept into a reality.

“I have learned from my few years of schooling that your work is a good as you make it. The harder you work and the more time you put into a project the better it becomes,” she said.

To Future Artists

Sarah advises the next generation of artists to work hard, remain dedicated, and never give up.

“The amount of work you put in determines the level of your success” she said. 


Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to be exercise their creativity like Sarah? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #HandworkandMachineSewing #FashionandMachineSewing #KidsCanSew #LearntoSew #VCUarts

Saturday Studio: Bella Weems

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Sat, Jul 22, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Remember Bella Weems, founder of Origami Owl at age 14, from Maker Monday? Bella describes her workspace as “happy, inspirational and colorful.


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Have you met Bella yet? Read her Maker Monday Blog here.


Be sure to check back every week to see another amazing studio!

Want your children to exercise their creativity like Bella? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #FashionBootCamp #NeedleArts #OrigamiOwl #LivingLocket #BellaWeems

Maker Monday: Origami Owl Founder Bella Weems

Posted by Kelsey Underwood on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Founder Bella Weems.jpgName: Bella Weems

Age: 21

Company: Origami Owl

Website: https://www.origamiowl.com

Follow Origami Owl: @OrigamiOwl (Instagram, Facebook & Twitter)

Follow Bella: @bella_weems (Instagram) & @BellaWeems (Facebook)

 

 

 

Like most teenagers, Bella Weems asked her parents for a car as a gift on her sixteenth birthday. However, Bella is not like most teenagers.

Her parents’ response to the then 14-year-old’s request: no. Instead, Bella’s parents encouraged her to work toward her dream by earning the money for a car herself.

“From then on, I was determined to buy a car for my 16th birthday,” she said. “My parents inspired me to turn my dream into a reality and I wasn’t going to stop until that happened.”

Origin Owl

A lover of jewelry, Bella has many memories of making jewelry at bead stores with her mom at the beach. Inspired, Bella began selling personalizable lockets, or living lockets, at home sale parties and boutiques.

“Now, I didn’t create a locket, those have been around for centuries, but I realized that I wanted to help people tell their personal story within a locket, so I would buy earrings and cut off the backings to create a ‘charm’ to help tell a person’s story,” she said.

Following such great success with home selling, Bella upgraded her business to a kiosk at the local mall. While working at the kiosk, Bella encountered many customers who asked how they could purchase her jewelry in their hometown.

“That’s when (Bella and her parents) decided to move into an office and open up as an official social selling company empowering women to start their own businesses,” she said.

Today, Bella sells her lockets and other jewelry creations through her e-commerce site and Origami Owl designers.

“We have come a long way since then and now have beautifully designed ‘charms’ and many charm categories to choose from; like family, faith, sports, hobbies, food and charity cause ribbons to name a few,” she said. “We also offer other product categories like watches, inscriptions, rings, sentiments, core, plates, dangles, all sizes of living lockets, etc., which all can be customized as well. We always ask: every locket tells a story, what’s yours?”

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Inspired Owl

Throughout her Origami Owl journey, Bella’s biggest inspiration and role model has been her mom.

“She is very important to me, it’s because of her belief in me that I am who I am today,” she said. “I saw her sacrifice many times so my dreams could come true.”

Bella said Origami Owl is more than buying her Jeep, which she did purchase in time for her sixteenth birthday.

“We together wanted to take this special opportunity to bless other individuals by offering a business that could change their lives and their family’s lives forever,” she said.  “Also, providing people with a way to share their personal story in an Origami Owl Living Locket, it is magical.”

Bella also sees Origami Owl designers as role models and inspirations.

"What (the designers) do to build their businesses while taking care of their families, some working full time jobs, also volunteering and giving back within their communities, they are truly amazing and inspire me everyday,” she said. “That’s why I do what I do, to support our wonderful Designers.”

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Prideful Owl

Bella takes most pride in the Origami Owl Living Locket.

“Each unique locket helps tell a person’s story and no locket story is the same because it is special to the person who has lived that journey,” she said. “Being able to help people tell their story and then give them a way to wear that story in a locket makes me feel very proud that we at Origami Owl can connect with people in a very meaningful way.”

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Challenged Owl

Throughout her journey, Bella said she has faced many struggles—especially in the beginning.

“When we started the company, (we) had to create a waitlist because we never dreamed this company would take off the way it did,” she said. “Our first priority was, and still is, always finding a way to support our designers so they have great success.”

Bella said she learned the importance of positivity, surrounding herself with people who support her dream and working as a team for the greater good through her experiences.

“ I have had many wonderful business ‘teachers’ within the Origami Owl family,” she said.

Everyday Owl

A strong believer in her products, Bella completes her look with Origami Owl every day.

Everyday, because of Origami Owl jewelry, I have the opportunity to create a new story in my own locket which has a special meaning about maybe how I am feeling, what new dreams I am hoping for, keeping those I love close to me and a reminder of how blessed I truly am because of my family, our designers and Origami Owl,” she said.

Opportunities for Future Owlettes

Recently, Bella started the Owlette program, which empowers kids between the ages of 11 and 17 to work alongside a parent, who works as an Origami Owl designer, to help manage, sell, and learn life skills.

Origami Owl also just introduced Origami Owl Family of Brands acquiring willa, a social selling brand that offers safer skincare formulas and a business learning opportunity similar to the Owlette Program known as willagirls.

'Willa Doss, who started the willa brand, and I have become good friends and both of us are so inspired to keep encouraging other teens to reach their dreams because if we can do it, anyone can,” Bella said. “Together, we are working to empower Origami Owl Owlettes and willagirls to go after their dreams and be a Force For Good in the world.”

To Future Owlettes

In regards to advising future jewelry designers and entrepreneurs, Bella said, “I always remind those younger than me that they are never too young or too old to reach their dreams. I also share with them to never let anyone say they can’t do something because they can if they just believe in themselves. I encourage them to surround themselves with people who will support their dream and believe in who they are and remind them what can be accomplished with hard work and perseverance!”


Be sure to check back every week to meet another amazing maker!

Want your children to be exercise their creativity like Bella? You can find our summer camp programs here. For project ideas join our YouTube Channel or visit our Store.

#TheHandworkStudio #SummerCamp #FashionBootCamp #NeedleArts #OrigamiOwl #LivingLocket #BellaWeems