TAG Treasury Team

Monday, January 23, 2012

Featured Shop of the Week: Stitches and Hearts

This little ball of energy, Bekah, is the owner of Stitches and Hearts. Originally from the coast of Virginia, she received her BA in Communication from Christopher Newport University, then set her sights on a Masters in Speech Communication, which she acquired upon graduating from the University of Georgia, located in Athens, Georgia. Bekah currently makes her living as a Human Resources Associate for a nonprofit near Washington, D.C. which she says, "is great because I am a HUGE people person. I am a very, very communal person. I jump at the opportunity to be with people any day of the week!"

In her free time, Bekah leads a Christian youth group of 6th grade girls. Her focus in particular lies in fostering self esteem in these young women. "It is a HUGE drive for me in why I do what I do. They are SUCH a big part of my life, and they definitely teach me way more than I teach them." I could almost hear her beaming in the email!

I asked Bekah to tell me what or who inspires her in her craft. Her exact words tell the story so beautifully. "My mom is the entire reason why I am crafty. I have always been musical, but there is a BIG difference in art types. My mother is a wonderful painter, and I grew up with her always trying to teach me hands on art. I have always been mathematical, and so when she and my father started raising alpacas and spinning the wool into yarn, I found my perfect niche,in knitting! Knitting helps me connect to my mother on an artistic level, even though it's all about counting and repetition! I also think that it's a GREAT stress reliever - and it helps me be patient enough to sit still sometimes and just rest."

When I asked what she is passionate about, this was Bekah's response, "As odd as this sounds, I am very passionate about emotions in general. I studied emotion in graduate school, and what I believe of art is that it draws us in by the emotions they make us feel. Emotions cause us to linger, to crave, to get up and be something. Even in our worst sadness, we are driven to move.

Bekah's mom had an Etsy shop and at that time, people could bid on jobs in the Alchemy feature Etsy offered. Her dad encouraged her to bid on a job. Bekah says, "Oddly, my very first sale was sewing decorations on a pair of Chuck Taylors. I made an account, won, and fixed the shoes. Soon after I decided to start up an actual shop, and started putting up my knit creations. After that, my shop just seemed to expand itself.

One of Bekah's favorite creations is this pair of gloves, which is consequently the very first pair she ever made. An avid collector of buttons, Bekah says, "I LOVE collecting up buttons! I search for them everywhere, and sometimes even purchase thrift store shirts just to cut them off and keep them until I find a cool project to use them on. I wish I could find these same buttons again."

Another personal favorite for Bekah are her one of a kind, yarn scrap gloves. They are a compilation of all of her gloves and they are darling! Here is a look at them in a current listing on Etsy:

"Finally, I just ADORE making these long gloves, because I never get bored with all the color changes. I also just really like the picture because my blue hair looks so good. They are also one of my best selling gloves!"

Bekah also wanted to add that she has an amazing husband that serves as not only "cheerleader" for her Etsy business, but he has been known to photograph her creations and participate as a model as seen here. "It's because of him that I even have a mens' line of products at all!! He loves it when I take time out to knit, because it means that he can get in some quality video game time with his Xbox 360."

You can also find Bekah elsewhere on the web:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/StitchesnHearts
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/stitchesnhearts/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stitches-and-Hearts/173163612789008?sk=wall

Finally, I asked Bekah to share her favorite piece of advice. "Oh wow, how can I pick? One thing that's really affected me is something that I was told in a Christian Organization in college. One of my leaders looked at me one day and said "Sometimes you have to be that which you want to change." Meaning, staying away in a bubble is NEVER going to affect change anywhere. You have to meet people exactly where they are to reach out and lift them up. I am very, very blessed to somehow be able to make people feel comfortable and open up. Maybe it's because I'm so short," she says with a giggle.

Interview and article written by Leanna of Seams Victorian, Bits and Purses, and Teez Loueez.