Saturday, August 11, 2012

Interview with Susan of Abundant Haven

Custom Map Pillow - Abundant Haven

Susan  from Abundant Haven got in touch because she was interested in cross promoting her vintage style pillows (especially ring bearer pillows and flower baskets) with my vintage nautical wedding invitations - what a great match! She kindly agreed to do an interview about her lovely work for us as well!

When did you learn to sew, and what led you to start creating pillows in particular?
I don't remember for sure when I learned to sew, but it was at an early age under the guidance of my mom. I think I have been making my own patterns from nearly the beginning (much to her chagrin actually!), be it clothing, accessories, or now creatures.

My earliest memories are of fabrics and color...from around the age of four. My best friend and I used to search out stray pieces of fabric in our houses and stitch doll clothes from them by hand. I completely lucked out because my Mom was curious (and talented!) about everything handmade and taught me to sew, embroider, crochet, knit, quilt, paint, needlepoint...the works! There was always time to work on projects during cold Wisconsin winters.

In High School I spent a ton of time in the Home Ec rooms...cooking, sewing and interior design. My college degree is in Fashion Design and Apparel Manufacturing. I worked in the clothing industry as a Patternmaker, Designer and Technical Designer for many large corporations. As I advanced in my career and became a Director I became painfully aware of the lack of creativity in my life and the huge stressors of managing large teams, hitting major deadlines, price points and federal rules and regulations. Everything had gone overseas to large manufacturers and while exciting, it left a huge GAP in my soul as a creative person.

Established Date Pillow - Abundant Haven

Do you have a day job too, in addition to your creative work?
This is my full-time employment...I am so blessed to be doing what I LOVE even though it had it's scary financial moments in the beginning. The more I lived this beautiful, creative life, the more I knew it would be difficult to ever return to corporate America! My past definitely prepared me for running my own business.

What state are most of your etsy customers from?
I have shipped product to all 50 states but tend to have a lot of customers in the southern states and in California. I ship quite a bit to Australia and Canada as well. I just finished custom map pillows for clients in Singapore, South Carolina and Oklahoma. Such extremes! :)

Farmhouse Basket - Abundant Haven


What are your three favorite pieces right now in your etsy shop?

My three favorite pieces in my shop are:

1. Vintage Map Pillows - Simply supply the lake, island or location you wish to have imprinted and custom artwork will be sent for your approval before pillow construction begins.

2. Chickenwire Baskets / Liners - Charming oblong wire basket is perfect for holding quest soaps, tea and hot chocolate packets or as a catch-all in your office for post-its, scissors and twine.
 

3. Established Date Pillows - PERFECT for a housewarming, wedding, b-day or anniversary gift! Celebrate special occasions and milestones with a personalized pillow bearing the last name and established date of your friends or family.


Finally, What does your ideal Saturday (or day off) look like?

I love to meet up with friends at the Madison Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. There is this spicy cheese bread that is absolutely amazing and beautiful produce, flowers and fun treats. The market stretches along all 4 sides of the capitol building and is a fun social event. Sometimes we walk along the lake, hit an exhibit at the art museum or grab coffee on State Street, which blends right into the University.



Personalized Ring Bearer Pillow - Abundant Haven

Thanks so much Susan! I'm jealous about the amazing sounding Madison farmer's market, I hope you have a treat for me next time you go! I hop my blog readers will get a chance to check out Susan's etsy shop, Abundant Haven , and you can also follow her her blog as well!

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