Saturday, February 6, 2010

Featured shop: Blue Kimono Studio

Upcycled Sweater Vest in Felted Wool. The Hallie

Upcycled Crochet Hat. Red Wool with Vintage Buttons

I am very happy to feature Blue Kimono Studio which features Beautiful "Green" Clothing for Women. Please take a moment to visit this FANTASTIC shop and learn more!

Thank you very much, Barbara, for taking the time to answer a few questions about your etsy business: Blue Kimono Studio -

Q. How did you hear about Etsy?
A. I heard about it from my sister, who runs a successful vintage shop on Etsy.

Q. What made you decide to sell on Etsy?
A. When I decided to start a business, I thought of Etsy because it's hard to start a business in my town at the moment. My sister's recommendation helped a lot.

Q. What is the philosophy of the Blue Kimono Studio?
A. I think beauty in everyday life can help us live better and be better people. My philosophy is to create beauty out of materials I already have, and in some small way give of myself to others.

Because I'm a woman, I want most to make beautiful things for women. We give so much; we demand so much of ourselves. I think we need to fill ourselves back up so we can get up and do it again, day after day. For a lot of us, wearing things of beauty helps us do that. If those things of beauty are produced with integrity, we can let them nurture us without guilt.

The issue of integrity is why I use only recycled materials. Thrift stores contain the cast-offs of lots of consuming; but by using fabrics I find there, I get to work with beautiful materials; and I can "make lemonade from lemons."

I have a guideline to use everything recycled whenever I possibly can, including thread, zippers, buttons, and yarn. And to use natural fibers exclusively--except when a color in a synthetic fabric is too yummy to pass up!

My philosophy is also an approach to business. I love operating as a cottage industry, person-to-person, where I can get to know my customers and their needs. It's a tremendous amount of work to be a one-person show, but so very rewarding!

Q. How did you originally get into "Green" Clothing for women?
A. In my early forties, I became discouraged with the clothing options for women who don't show up that much in the fashion magazines. I started looking at second hand clothes as sources of fabric rather than just garments. When I began refashioning for myself, I realized it was not only a way to exercise my love of design--it also FEELS good. I don't use up any new natural resources, and it's only my own two hands doing the work.

Q. What motivates and inspires you to create?
A. Very simply, making beautiful things is the best way I know to stay sane in the face of life's hard realities. I create to elevate my own day-to-day life...and it's the best feeling when something I make adds a little beauty to another woman's life.

Q. What are your interests outside Etsy?
A. My family; forests; hiking with my two West Highland terriers; reading; and eating delicious food!

Thank you very much, Barbara, for this wonderful interview!


  1. Thanks for the wonderful post, Helen! I'm honored to be here on your blog. Have just visited your other featured artist, Val, and her work is just gorgeous.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. Dear Barbara, you are sooooo very welcome! you have such a great shop and I am so very honored featuring it! Thank you! Very Happy Valentine's Day! Helen

  3. Great post Helen!