Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meet FredMADE - Member Spotlight on Jodie Rackley

I don't know if you've heard...but the FredMADE Team Captain is KIND OF a big deal.  She's Jodie Rackley, the hip, indie queen of felty goodness and all things Lova Revolutionary.  

Not only does Jodie run a very successful handmade business, but her work has been featured on,, and a very inspiring Quit Your Day Job post on the Etsy blog.  In case you weren't impressed enough, Jodie just published her first book, Happy Stitch and it is available in bookstores nationwide as well as online (I TOLD you she was a big deal!)

So besides all that handmade awesome, Jodie is pleasant as punch and was motivated to form FredMADE to help gather other talented artisans in our area and start the Indie Craft Revolution this side of I-95.  Keep reading for a great little interview in our first ever Meet FredMADE Member Spotlight!

The Skinny on Jodie
Member:  Jodie Rackly, Captain
Age:  31

Where in our area do you live?

Are you originally from this area?
I am from Fredericksburg, born and raised, but have lived in a few different cities in NoVA.

Where can we find your handmade items?
Etsy is where my main shop can be found, but my goods can be found at cool boutiques all across the country.  I also have a pattern shop on Craftsy.

Jodie's Craft
Describe your crafting aesthetic in three words:
Bright, colorful, cute

What item do you feel is most representative of your style?
Most of my items have certain qualities in common - they all use felt, fabric, and floss!  My most favorite item I make is my fox dreamcatchers, but one of my most popular has been the owl phone cozy!  Both are pretty notable in my shop.

If you could impart one piece of wisdom to aspiring handmade entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Be yourself, I really feel like developing your own personal style in your work and your own artist mark is really important.  Plus, bue innovative!  Try a new item that you've never seen made before, use materials in new ways, etc.  Find a need and make it for people!

Favorite crafting background noise?
It varies, since being a full time crafter can get pretty lonely (no co-workers!)  I'm usually having a Netflix marathon, listening to CraftyPod or CraftSanity podcasts, check out Pandora or NPR.  And my guilty pleasure - the morning shows + Price is Right - and nope, I haven't moved on to Soap Operas yet.
Crafting tool you cannot live without?
My fiskars micro tip scissors, soft grip and sometimes my rotary cutter!

Crafting tool you have always lusted after but never purchased?
Most of my tools are pretty basic, but I'd love a super awesome sewing machine, a professional laser cutter or a screen printing set up.

Jodie's Life
Do you have a skill other than making super cute things?
I always feel sort of like a jack of all trades - I'm pretty good at various things!  I like painting and drawing, writing sometimes, researching things, baking & cooking, and being thrifty and resourceful.

What do you love the most about your family (furry family included)?
They're pretty awesome, what can I say!  My husband has always been really supportive of my crafty pursuits which I'm thankful for and my furry friends - my black lab and maine coon kitty are always the best company during the day!

If you couldn't be a crafter, what would you be and why?
That's a hard one!  I really feel like I'm doing what I'm meant to do, so I'm sure if I wasn't doing something particularly crafty, I would certainly still be doing something creative!  Sometimes I think I'd like to teach or maybe learn photography or graphic design.

Jodie's Community
Favorite local shopping?
I love browsing downtown Fredericksburg or downtown Culpeper for unique goodies and vintage.

Favorite local place to eat?
I can't choose just one!  Neither are fancy but my favorites are La Pizzeria (best pizza ever, anywhere) and Sammy T's (mostly veggie and vegan food).  Their falafel and hand cut fries are delicious!

Favorite thing about living in Virginia?
I love all the history in Virginia.  There are so many important places here!  Fred'burg is great since it's in close proximity to DC and Richmond when you need something fun to do!  I've always loved the mountains when you need a relaxing road trip!

To learn more about the stitchy fabulousness that is Jodie Rackley, check out her following links:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Studio Tour - Nadir Lawrence of Stitch Sense Designs

It is my pleasure to present our very first Studio Tour!  Nadir Lawrence, a FredMADE member and the lovely brain behind Stitch Sense Designs, graciously opened her home and crafting space to the FredMADE family (and friends!)  Read on for an awesome interview, perfect organization and creative space inspiration....

First off, give us the scoop on Nadir!
Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be the first studio tour on FredMADE! My name is Nadir and I live with my sweet hubby in our beautiful & historic town.  I blog over at Stitch Sense Designs where I love to write about all things random, crafty, homey & yarny in my life :-)  I've been crocheting for almost 16 years & have loved gifting things to friends & family.  After getting many custom requests from loved ones, I finally decided to open up my Etsy shopStitch Sense Designs in August of 2010. I sell handmade jewelry & crochet goodies & just love the Etsy & blogging community. I've met so many wonderful people through there & I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to meet many other local crafters & artisans through FredMade! I hope we can meet face to face sometime & hope that you’ll stop by my shop, blog or fan page for a chat or to see what I’m up to!

Where in our region do you live?
Spotsylvania, VA

Tell us briefly about your creative space and the products you create in it:
My office/studio is the spare room in our little rental house.  It’s small & there are paint splatters on the floor but it's cozy & I love working in it. The room is full of all my Etsy supplies & stock of anything from crochet rosette headbands, scarves & baby cocoons to custom jewelry & other creative crafts that I love to do.

What works best about your set up?
The best thing is the “stations” or “zones” I designated to hold certain items & supplies. Like the closet holds all of my scrapbooking & card making things, the short cubbie shelves hold most of my yarn, & the baskets & various other boxes on shelves hold other supplies like paints, adhesives, brushes, thread, etc. it all really helps keep me organized.

What in your studio helps you stay focused?
Even though I’m still working on getting more creative artwork & d├ęcor on the walls, I really love reading the little word quotes I have around the room.  Also, the photos of trees & having family pictures all around keep me inspired.

What is your "go to" creative tool?
I love all of my crochet hooks, they’re the best tool that I craft with well. I also really love my glue gun, we’re best buds.

What would make your creative process easier in regards to your space or the tools in it?
I’d love to have less obvious storage space; sometimes open shelving can be distracting because if something is out of place, I want to fix it right away instead of completing the project at hand. 

What would your dream studio have that yours currently does not?
I’d love a large flat work space or table other than my desk or the floor. It would be great for when I’m sketching out a crochet design or when I make jewelry to have an easy surface to work on. 

What in your studio best reflects your personal style?
Well, I just started to rearrange some things in there & right now, it’s sort of a hodgepodge.  All of the furniture is either borrowed or was gifted to us, so I don’t want to get rid of anything.I’m making it work the best way I can.  I also really love the love seat we have in there, it’s great to sit & crochet my latest project on.

Thanks so much Nadir for letting us have a peek!  It's a charming space for the creation of charming items.  Learn more about Stitch Sense Designs and Nadir's crafty ways here: