Because Mall is a Four Letter Word

Made & Found Spotlight: Crafty Ginger Mama


Jenn Marks from Crafty Ginger Mama

Describe your style, and what you plan to bring. What are your bestsellers?:
I’m a pragmatic tree hugger with a fondness for fun design. Most of my products aim to replace disposable, single-use paper or plastic with reusable, good-looking fabric alternatives: handmade useful stuff! I’m a (greying) ginger mom to two ginger kiddos, hence the moniker of Crafty Ginger Mama.

Regardless of trends, who are your style muses, how do they influence you?:
Day to day life is so (wonderfully!) full and busy and vibrant that I find myself almost viscerally attracted to minimalist, modern design. Clean lines and simple patterns are very soothing to me. Artish Studio’s furnishings and Windblown Jewelry are some local examples that come to mind for this aesthetic. In my own work, I will often pair a bright, busy pattern with a calmer one – I think this is a subconscious reflection of that internal contrast.

What are the things customers seek you out for?:
It’s always so lovely when I have folks come up to my table at markets, saying, “I bought one of your sandwich bags and we love it and now I need more!” The sandwich bags are always a top seller, though my reversible reusable bowl covers seem to be catching on as more and more folks are committing to reducing waste (yay!).

The other thing I get sought out for is my custom printed family recipe tea towels, especially since last year’s WRAL Go Ask Mom feature.

How did you learn your craft or business?:
My mom taught me to sew on a vintage 1950’s Singer Slant-O-Matic, the same model her mother taught her on, and the same model I use today. In fact, we’re pretty sure my electrician granddad tinkered with the presser foot I’ve got to make the machine sew faster! My mom sewed clothes, curtains, and dolls for me in my childhood…and she also built me a lot of furniture. She gifted me a sewing machine for high school graduation and a cordless drill when I moved into my first apartment – and, by extension, a DIY attitude before it was a hashtag :) Grad school helped foster steady, stubborn persistence…which comes in handy with the less interesting parts of being an entrepreneur!

What is your favorite way to put yourself in the mood for creativity or business mode?:
When it comes to inspiration, it’s outside – ideally, in nature and removed a bit from the hustle and bustle. When doing graphic illustration work for fabric designs, I need quiet to focus! Sewing doesn’t require the same kind of focus, so I can listen to music, but my tank of a machine is pretty loud, so I don’t get to keep up with podcasts as much as I’d like.

What advice would you give to an artist or business just starting out and/or what is the best advice you have received for your art or business?:
Get out there and be yourself. For folks around here, tap into the amazing creative community we are fortunate enough to have! I have learned so much from this community (like what to do on the morning of a Saturday market and you forgot to get small bills for change out at the bank), but I’ve also been lifted up in countless intangible ways by the amazing, brilliant, inventive, kind humans who make up the local creative ecosystem.

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