Welcome to the Spring 2014 installation of The Handmade Market’s Artist Spotlight series! First up is Rachel Bone of Red Prairie Press in Baltimore, MD. Red Prairie Press is an independent, hand-printed apparel shop that celebrates strong, healthy, art-loving women who care about sustainability and ethical manufacturing. Rachel uses only sweatshop-free apparel, and her designing and screen printing is done by hand using non-toxic water based inks that don’t require chemicals for cleanup. Whenever possible, she uses worker-friendly, eco-conscious and sustainable materials.
How do you define and measure success for yourself and your business? I think success is finding a job in which you are happy, feeling like you’re accomplishing something, and feeling like you are improving on your field. For me personally, this includes not harming the environment or society and making things ethically and responsibly.
When work gets really intense, do you lean in or step back? Tell us how and why that approach works for you and your biz. I prefer to be incredibly busy, especially physically. I love designing new prints for my apparel, but my secret love is the printing itself. I like feeling tired at the end of a day.
How do you connect with other creative types? Does this happen online, in person, or some of both? A little of both, I think — I have two girlfriends I walk with for an hour every morning for exercise. They are also both self employed and running creative businesses, and it’s almost like having a business meeting every morning. We let out all our frustrations and our aspirations, drink our coffee, talk about things that are working and not working for us, and cheer each other on as we approach more challenging projects. By the time I get to work around 9:30, I’m revved up and feel like there’s someone keeping me accountable, because they know what I’ve promised to get done that day and will ask about it tomorrow!
Is there a new item that you’d like to share on our blog? Although sadly they won’t be quite done by The Handmade Market, I am working tirelessly (with some help from a few very talented people) on a brand new line of sewn-in-Baltimore apparel. The fabrics we’re using are organic cotton/hemp blend and incredibly soft & sturdy. I’m over the moon excited about this.
What city should you really live in? I visited Carrboro a few years ago and fell in love. If we ever leave Baltimore, I hope we get to live there, next to the food co-op. I would also be very happy in any city in Italy, because I can eat my weight in bread and olives. Until then, Baltimore is a magical treasure that has been overlooked until very recently. I think I live in exactly the right place for now!
Be sure to visit Rachel and her Red Prairie Press booth at The Handmade Market on Saturday, May 3 — we just know you’ll love her many stylish (and comfy!) tops, shirts, and scarves!