Each week, we'll be featuring a member of our team with photos and a short interview. The Random Number Generator says it's Jennifer's honor to be our first spotlight! So without further babbling on my part, let's meet Jennifer Ladd from Wisconsin!
1. What inspires your creations?
My style is simplistic - I like sleek lines in the pieces I create. But I like to add excitement to the pieces with bold, bright, funky prints. I think this creates a nice balance.
My style has recently been influenced by my latest trip to Vietnam and Japan. I was inspired by the beautiful silks I saw in the shops in Hanoi and I have been using as many Asian fabrics as I can get my hands on!
2. What was the worst mistake you ever made on a project? Did you toss it or turn it to your advantage?
I often forget to open the zipper when making a lined zipper pouch. When I sew it all together, I can't turn it right side out. It's not a big deal - I just take part if it apart and redo it - it's just frustrating when I forget!
3. Do you like commercial patterns, making your own up, following tutorials or a mix of all three? Which one do you like most and why?
I prefer to make my own patterns. I'm pretty particular about the way I sew, so if I ever do follow a commercial pattern, I almost always end up taking each step apart and doing it the way I want, anyway.
4. Tell us about your crafting space.
I just moved to a new house, so I have my first sewing room! All my own! I am working on making it bright and cheerful, but I still have a lot of work to do on it. So far, my room is yellow with a large white sewing table and a bright pink sewing chair. I have a nook with a chair I upholstered with over-sized flowers - a place for my husband to sit when he visits me in my sewing world.
5. What is your favorite creation ever?
I think I will have a hard time selling my newest creation, a clasp clutch purse with bold flowers. My newest creation is always my favorite!
6. What's the oddest thing you've adapted to meet your sewing needs?
It's probably not too odd to fellow seamstresses, but my husband always laughs at me when I sew with pliers (a great way to hand sew through tough fabric).
7. Besides making bags, what else do you create or enjoy doing?
I also make baby bibs, burp cloths, and baby booties to sell in my shop. I've always been a crafty person, so I also enjoy other hobbies just for myself: pottery, bead work, stained glass, glass blowing, glass bead making, resin jewelry, mosaic, painting...
8. What's your favorite creation you have for sale right now? why?
My favorite at the moment is actually not a bag. I love my bunny slipper baby booties. I made three pairs and put them in my clear bins - they peek out at me as I sew and they always make me smile!
9. Any advice for fellow bag makers?
Always make what you like, not what you think others will like. That way, you'll be proud of each piece you make.
10. Favorite thing in your craft space?
My sister bought me a handmade pin cushion from Etsy seller Loosestring. I adore it!
11. How long have you been making bags and why did you start?
I've been sewing as long as I remember, and I started making bags as a teenager. I loved purses and saw so many in the stores that I wanted to buy, I didn't have the money for them, so I made my own bags. They were more unique than commercial bags and they got so many compliments that I just kept making them.
12. What the strangest thing someone has ever said to you in relation to your creations?
Not so much strange as unique: someone used one of my bags as a marriage proposal (he had me add a tag with a private message inside the bag!). How cute!