Friday, June 1, 2012

reFurbished goes Steampunk

You may accuse me of gross blogligence. It seems working full-time in a manufacturing job rendered me uncreative for a good long time and I abandoned my craft and my blog. I'm finally feeling inspired again. I've been bitten by the steampunk bug, and it's resulted in a tremendous burst of productivity (if you don't know what steampunk is, it's a subculture based on a Mad Max meets Jane Austen asthetic. I recommend Googling it). Here's what I'll be peddling at the Spring Thang event in Port Dover this Sunday:

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I'm very pleased to be participating in the second definitely.not.the.mall artisan show at the Old Town Hall in Waterford (Ontario). The show will be held November 6&7th and features 20+ local artists and includes magnificent paintings, pottery, jewellery, and other amazing unique works.

I'm also thrilled that I was the featured artisan in an article written by Barbara Simpson for the Simcoe Reformer on Wednesday October 20. I hope this link works:

I'm still adjusting to my new life in my small town, and I can honestly say I've never been happier. reFurbished is growing slowly and steadily, and my plan is to launch a media blitz as soon as possible to capitalize on the Christmas season.

Last weekend my talented photographer friend Kat Barry (KitKat Photos) came to shoot my fall and winter collection for this year. The shoot included a series of pink bags that I designed for "Living Pink Through Fashion", a fundraiser for breast cancer in which I modeled and showed a few of my bags. The lovely Andrena Parris models my Valentine bag below:
So, BUSY is the word. Tomorrow I have to update my Etsy store and then ramp up production once again for November 6&7!

Monday, August 16, 2010

re:Furbished is Moving!!

I'm very excited to announce the re-location of my life and my business, to the picturesque little town of Waterford, Ontario. It's my hometown, and I'm really looking forward to the move. I'll finally have a whole room for my workspace (instead of the corner of my living room) and a display area. I've also been asked by more than one businessperson if I'd like to display my wares in their stores, and I have two pre-Christmas shows lined up. I need to update my Etsy shop but I won't be able to do my next photo shoot until the end of September - I may have to improvise as a short-term solution just to get my stuff back up on the site. Before you know it, people will be buying for fall and winter and I need to be ready! I finally completed a very large order for a customer in Chicago, and am shipping it out today. The customer sent three coats and a collar, and I made two headbands, one trapper hat, a pair of boot toppers, two bags, and a throw.

So now, of course in the middle of packing, I can't get any work done and it makes me that much more anxious about getting back to it. It's going to be a really busy fall and I'm praying for a beautiful snowy winter this year, which will inspire people to wear more furry accessories!
PS I tried to post images of ALL the items but blogger is being a piece of crap today so it's just not working. I'll try again later.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spring & Summer 2010 - Ad Campaign Sneak Preview!

Here are a few photos from my Spring-Summer 2o1o Collection! They'll be up on the website soon but this is the sneak preview for anyone who's actually checking out the blog :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

blog negligence

i'm sure anyone would agree that being productive and working is a better use of time than blogging - but really, how did almost two months pass since my last post? i was in a creative frenzy preparing for the wine and cheese on february 7th, which was a fun event but not very profitable. i scored a few contacts and a couple of custom orders, made some friends, drank some wine and ate some cheese. by all accounts it was a lovely evening - and now i have a nice pile of product in my trunk, ready for the next event.
the next event is a private show at the home in mount hope (just outside of hamilton). it's a ladies night, a regular event hosted by the accountant at my work. she's just settling the date so i'll know soon if i have one more week to crank out a few more bags, or two. and THEN it's time to roll out my spring ad campaign. i met with my photographer today and discussed concept and location - i've been getting over-excited and not sleeping again, with all the plans and ideas rampaging through my head. i love the change of seasons so much, it's a fresh start that renews my interest in my work.
meanwhile the weather is playing games - it's been a very mild winter but we're getting a bit of snow now, just enough to justify my snow tire purchase in december. charlie LOVES the snow and his enthusiasm is infectious, i admit. i've never particularly enjoyed the winter, but i've developed a knack for bundling up properly, and a gift for simply appreciating the beauty of the season rather than just seeing the inconvenience.
besides which, it's hard to sell fur items when it's not cold out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What just happened?

Were those holidays? Since my last post I've been working without cease (other than the requisite holiday feasting days and ensuing recovery periods). The twenty custom orders that I acquired in December were all completed in time, and now I'm happily taking my time completing a few more that I picked up, while dreaming of my new spring collections. I get so excited about my creative ideas and concepts that I can't sleep at night, which inevitably leads to my downfall - not enough sleep makes me easy prey for the lurking rhinovirus, just watching and waiting for the day when I'm too tired and weak to fight it off...but I digress. What it comes down to is that I love my work, and I love being so busy that the time flies. I barely noticed the arrival of 2010, but I have high hopes for the growth of reFurbished and RE:PLAY BAGS. It's already time to coordinate a photo shoot for the website, if only I had the product already! I have my collections plotted out, right down to the names and colours - so it's simply a matter of putting my nose to the grindstone and churning them out, one by one. The trick is to keep them hidden so I don't sell them before the photo shoot - I was carrying one of my bags just before the holidays, having sworn that I wouldn't sell it to anyone because it's for next fall's line (getting way ahead of myself, but I do like to be prepared!), and as soon as Merianne said "Oh, I really, REALLY love that bag" I knew I was going home with my stuff in a plastic bag. I'm not complaining, but I really do need to control the urge to carry them if I'm not ready to part with them! Maybe she'll let me borrow it back when I need it.
Sometimes I just can't focus because I fixate on other projects. For instance, yesterday I found a white fox coat at Talize (my favourite local secondhand store). It cost me almost nothing, becauses there were several tears in the fur and the lining is torn and stained. The fur itself is clean, fluffy, and the coat has a marvellous hood. I knew this fox was destined to be worn, not taken apart. As of this evening, I've patched the tears, removed the liner, and lengthened the sleeves using a fox collar that I already had (I'm 6' tall, and I like my wrists covered!). Every time I make myself put down the coat and start something else, I can't get my mind to let go of "what am I going to use for the liner?". My brain goes where it wants to, and eventually a solution just creeps in from the edge somehow, looking like a coincidence. Almost everything I've made had an element of serendipity in its makeup - or maybe it's just that I've trained myself to see the potential in every scrap, so I don't overlook it when tab A fits into slot B, or the curve of that scrap matches the curve of this one.
My biggest rule in working this way has been "Don't think, just do". If I stop and think too hard about how remarkable it is that I can do this, that I can make things and sell them and have people love them, I'll trip. So I just keep doing it.
So welcome to 2010. May it be a creative and inspiring year for the world.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

On the fringe

Every now and then I get a little too attached to a bag that I've made for someone else. This one is for Merianne's daughter Carley, who is a handbag addict. She ordered a custom bag from me on the weekend, based on a brown fringed clutch that I had at the show. I just added the finishing touches to the bag this afternoon and I'm delivering the bag to its new home on Saturday, despite the burning urge to keep it and make something else for her. I often have to fight the urge to hoard my bags - I remind myself that the whole point of making these pieces is for customers to buy them. I can always make another one like it (and my brain whines, "but it won't be THAT one", you know what I'm saying). Almost every bag sold this weekend had been a favourite in its time, before I moved on to the next. I suppose it's a good policy to never sell anything I wouldn't carry myself. At any rate, it's the first completed order from my list of 14, and I have three more scheduled for completion tomorrow - a trapper hat (grey rabbit inside, black rabbit outside), and two small bags. My goal is to have all the custom orders done before the week of the 21st so I can deliver them the 23rd if necessary, since I'll be in that area for the holidays.
I'd also like to mention that fur trapper hats are EVERYWHERE in advertising this season - today they appeared repeatedly in the flyers for The Bay and Danier Leather. I saw one in Winners yesterday that was leather and raccoon, and it was being sold for $150. I wonder if I should raise my prices...
Have you ever been so utterly delighted with your life that you just can't help squealing with joy? That's where I'm at.
Happy crafting, everyone!