Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From Delaware ChirpAndBloom

Starting this week , first week of July, 2010, I am staring to introduce wonderful Etsians from each state by the order of statehood dates. I am so happy to get to know all these artists and share their insights with you in creating their work. My first guest is ChirpAndBloom who used to be a sweater designer, currently designing kids' clothing from her own studio in Wilmington, Delaware.

S: What is your name and what is the story behind your shop’s name?

B: My name is Rebecca Harkin, but that feels so formal that I go by Becky most of the time. After years working in a high pressure fashion industry job, I feel lucky to be able to work from home where I can open the windows and appreciate the birds chirping and the flowers blooming.
I’m a gardener and we have birds galore on the property, so the name “chirp & bloom” seemed natural for my children’s clothing company.

S:When did you start your business?

B: I opened the chirp & bloom Etsy store in January of this year, so I’ve only been at it for a few months.

S: What are your motivations / inspirations in creating your work?

B: I read some advice somewhere that you should figure out what your dream job would be and don’t go after any jobs that aren’t a stepping stone to that job. I decided my ideal job would be managing the brand and directing the design of a children’s line of high quality, socially and
ecologically conscious clothing for a fun company with a family-friendly culture. I didn’t find any stepping stones, so I made my own.

Being on my own, I have the freedom to be inspired by whatever moves me. I’ve always liked the 1940’s for its cheerful aesthetic, wholesomeness, thriftiness, and its quilting and needlework traditions. I use vintage textiles like tablecloths, embroidered pillowcases, and printed yardage
whenever I can. I blab about it constantly on my blog:
I’m also inspired by my kids. In my single days, I lived in New York City and gravitated toward
dark, muddy colors. Now I like happy kid-friendly colors and even own pink pants! My garden inspires me too. We have several birdhouses and lots of flowering perennials. Pretty is good.

S: Tell us about your daily routines.

B: I do all the usual mom stuff. I get my two kids ready for school first thing. When the kids are at school it’s work time. That time is almost sacred to me because it is so limited, so no chores, no fooling around. At 1:00, I pick up my youngest from preschool and do errands or go to the playground with him, then come home in time to meet my daughter’s school bus. The rest of the afternoon is all about occupying the kids with crafts or homework, doing chores, making dinner, and maybe sneaking in a little computer time. We eat as a family, go for a walk or bike ride if it’s nice out, snuggle with the kids, then put them to bed. I’m back in the studio or at the computer by 9:00 if I haven’t fallen asleep in one of the kids’ beds. I try to be disciplined and turn in by 10:30, but I don’t always succeed because I really like what I’m doing. It’s always a time crunch, but it’s much less stressful than a demanding office job.

S:What is your favorite book?

B: Right now it’s _The Thunderbolt Kid_ by Bill Bryson. It’s a biography with a sense of humor about growing up in the midwest in the 1950’s.

S: What was your last travel destination?

B: We took a road trip up to Vermont for my cousin’s farmhouse wedding last September. It was rustic and fabulous with roosters crowing during the ceremony.

S: What do you do to relax?

B: Snuggling with the kids at bedtime is the ultimate in relaxation. A glass of wine with dinner to take the edge off is nice. I also like to watch TV. I admit it. I’ll watch any kind of decorating show, Project Runway, What Not to Wear, The Office, Colbert Report. We don’t have a TV in the bedroom, though. I’ll read before bed to wind down.

Align CenterAnyone who purchases an item from ChirpAndBloom in the first week of July and mentions "Floweredsky" will receive 20% discount.


Tulay Lawton said...

What a lovely article!!!

RIhandmade said...

Love this great article. Thank you for sharing.

Meltem said...

What a lovely shop! Great interview and models are super cute on her shop:)