The Etsy Blog

Featured Seller: Knot & Bow

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I run Knot & Bow out of my Brooklyn apartment, where I live with my husband and 2-year-old son. We are originally from North Carolina, and landed in New York when I took an internship here as part of my graduate program in arts administration. I loved my career, but when I went on maternity leave, Knot & Bow was born out of the desire for me to be at home more with my son. Now, I have my dream job.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love exploring New York City with my family. There is so much to do here, and we try not to take it for granted. It’s pretty amazing to be able to take our son to some of the best museums, parks, and zoos in the world — and it’s extra special to experience it through the eyes of a child. Aside from that, dreamy afternoons for me include baking, curling up with a good book, and drinking a cup of coffee.

What would be the title of your memoir?
Start Somewhere. It’s my new mantra. I am an incredibly indecisive person and can get bogged down and overwhelmed by details (I spent a full year planning before I launched Knot & Bow). I fully believe in the power of mulling over ideas, but I have realized that my biggest successes in life — both personal and professional — have come at times when I took the plunge and just got started on something I was interested in exploring.

Where does your inspiration come from?
It’s everywhere, and in places I’m sure I don’t even realize. My local sandwich shop wraps its sandwiches in brown butcher paper, and the Italian bakeries down the street tie up their boxes with layers of cherry red twine. The mix of people and places makes life in New York inspiring every day, and when I get out of the city, I’m generally taken aback by the nature around me.

What does handmade mean to you?
The thought, care, attention, and touch that has been imparted into an object by an individual, regardless of the role that they might play in its creation. It’s inspiring to think about how everything around us (outside of nature) was dreamed up and made by someone.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
I’m lucky to have amazing family and friends who have been so instrumental and influential to me throughout my life’s artistic ventures. I have several family members who have made their living as artisans, which has always been a huge inspiration to me. My husband has been a key part of Knot & Bow, acting as my teammate every step of the way, lending his expertise in photography and web development, and generally being my support system in what would otherwise be a solo venture.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I’ve been artistically inclined for as long as I can remember, spending school years in arts classrooms and summers at arts camps.

How would you describe your creative process?
I’ve always had a little trouble harnessing my creative energy, as I am a dabbler and my strong suit has never been in drawing or painting. Still, I find sketching to be such an important process for me, even if I am just writing down ideas and doodling.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
One of my favorite memories was visiting Penland School of Crafts one summer and watching all varieties of craftspeople at work — glassblowers, ceramicists, jewelry makers, etc. On a totally different end of the spectrum, I’ve always been intrigued by Cindy Sherman, and her ever-morphing sense of self.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
My wedding ring, which was made for me by my aunt, jepaterakjewelry. It’s a wide, 18 karat gold band textured with tiny raised spheres, and two tiny diamonds to symbolize my husband and me.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
Sometimes I try to spend a morning alone just drawing or thinking to organize my thoughts. But, I’m always in a better place when I’ve been able to spend some time playing outside with my kiddo and getting some head space. Working at home can be an around-the-clock job, so things seem to click better for me when I’m giving myself plenty of time off.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
I’m excited to see how Knot & Bow will grow and evolve over the years. I’d be thrilled to have my own little shop someday. My dream scenario for my personal life would be to have a blissful small house in the country with chickens and a garden, and a teeny landing pad in the city for living out our big city adventures.

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