Amber and I first went to Nashville last August for a class at Craft South with Denyse Schmidt and brought you this report about our favorite Nashville peeps including Fringe Supply Co, Shutters and Shuttles, and Anna Maria Horner's beautiful home. I loved it so much and couldn't wait to get back. When Karen Templer let me know that Jen Beeman of Grainline Studio was coming into town to teach at Craft South I decided it would be a great excuse to visit and have a fun long weekend. There are so many inspiring women doing amazing things there, I had to write another report of a whole new crew of Nashville makers I met this weekend and new studios I was able to tour.
Most of the weekend was spent hanging out talking and knitting with Karen, Jen and Kate Gagnon Osborn of Kelbourne Woolens who joined in the fun. Kate and I had a day to ourselves while Jen and Karen taught the Stowe Bag class at Craft South. We met up with Alexia Abegg of Green Bee Designs and Cotton + Steel who gave us a tour of her studio. Alexia works in a studio shared with her mom who runs Green Bee Designs with her as well as her father who is a painter and her sisters who have a vintage clothing store - what an inspiring, creative family!
If you're a Cotton + Steel fan like we are, you would have died at Alexia's huge stash of Cotton + Steel prints and basics. She had a bolt of every fabric she had ever designed = swoon! We got a sneak peak of her upcoming collection and trust me, you're going to love it. Her studio was a fun blend of organized drawers of Green Bee Patterns, sewn samples and quilts and unique vintage pieces.
I love seeing what types of tools and machines people use. Alexia and her mom Michelle have two beautiful machines - a Pfaff and a Janome which look surprisingly similar...
Our next stop was Earthen Studio - home to Golden Apothecary, Camellia Fiber Company and Sonadora Handmade. Rebekka Seale is the woman behind Camellia Fiber Company and she is a lovely human. She handspins beautiful yarns from fiber that is undyed or that she dyes herself using natural dyes. These bulky thick and thin yarns are absolutely irresistible.
We had a great time chatting with Rebekka about nerdy things like sheep breeds and wool types - the best types of conversation! It was so inspiring to see someone making a living spinning yarn and doing such a great job at it.
Lisa Garcia owns Sonadora Handmade and is also a fiber artist. Lisa makes beautiful wall hangings that mostly use Rebekka's handspun yarn. The natural colors and textures create the perfect contrast with the geometric metal and wood that go into her work. My favorite item Lisa makes is a chair from hand-knotted cotton cord on a steel frame she designed and has manufactured in Nashville - so many great things happening here!
All of the clothes are manufactured at her studio by a small team of of people who cut and sew each piece to order. Everything from the production methods to the designs themselves is a positive and transparent challenge to mainstream fashion industry. The designs are timeless classics in quality natural fabrics so your investment can last you for years to come.
I really loved the design and the space - the clothes are made on site where there is also office space as well as a showroom for finished goods. In addition to selling finished goods, there were some bolts of leftover fabric for sale at the studio. You'll be pleased to know that Fancy Tiger Crafts will soon be carrying remnant fabrics from Elizabeth Suzann! We will have a couple of gorgeous tencel fabrics in this spring with more wools coming this fall!
The best part was that there was a sample sale happening at the Elizabeth Suzann showroom the weekend we were in town - score! Kate, Jen, Karen and I each picked up some beautiful pieces. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I can't wait to wear my new tops! Thanks again to Karen Templer of Fringe for being such a generous host for another fun weekend in Nashville. Hopefully I'll be able to make it back again soon.