12 Days of a Mitten Crafted Christmas
Dec. 12 - Home on Green Willow and Lou Lou's Place Meet & Greets and 10% off HGW and LLP all day! All Artisan Meet & Greets are from 4PM-6PM at the boutique refreshments provided.
Meet Erin, the Artisan behind Home on Green Willow
Tell us a little about yourself:
I've always enjoyed anything that allowed me to be creative and hands-on. Trying to be like my clever, artistic, crafty mom I would set up a craft booth in our basement and sell my handmade goods to family members. Throughout school every few years we did the “When I Grow Up” projects. In third grade I was going to be an author, in fifth grade and I was going to be a photographer and in eighth grade I found out that I could be an interior designer! I never would have thought in twenty years there would be this thing called blogging and I could wrap all three of these jobs into one! While my pre-teen plan was to move to New York, work as an interior designer, and live in an apartment full of cats, it has only partially (thankfully) come true. I did study interior design and merchandising in college, but it did not lead me to New York. I am employed full time as a visual merchandiser in West Michigan and spend most of my evenings working on projects around our home (and adding to my never ending to-do list), creating pillows, and growing Home On Green Willow.
I grew up in Fowlerville, Michigan and moved to Kalamazoo to attend Western Michigan University. I fell in love with West Michigan (and a boy) and have lived in the Kalamazoo area ever since.
Tell us about your Mitten crafted specialty:
I think my pillows were a bit of a happy accident. Like I said before I've always been creative, my mom taught me how to use a sewing machine pretty young and I would sew random things like table runners and aprons. But at the time I began making my pillows my sewing machine hadn't been touched for a few years. I don't remember how I came across her but I found Melanie Ham on YouTube and her sewing tutorials are the best she ignited something in me to get out my sewing machine and create! She had a tutorial for a simple envelope pillow cover and I decided that's what I needed to make for our front porch pillows to change them over for the Fall. From there I wanted to make more personalized covers and started experimenting with designs and printing. It quickly grew from making pillows for our own home to making them for others. Since then I have upgraded our printer and use a high quality ink that allows the covers to be washed. I also now use zippers instead of an envelope closure. All of my pillows are made from start to finish in our home. I am very lucky to have a space I can dedicate to my business. Creating designs, printing, cutting, sewing, and packaging are all done in one place. I have an assistant who makes an appearance on Instagram once in a while, but she has four legs and lays down on the job a lot so the work is all on me.
What inspires you?:
Tangible results. I need to know that when I am working on a project that in the end there will be something I can see resulting from my work. As far as design inspiration I love Instagram. I like that there are real people behind the photos and everyone I have come across are so full of encouragement.
What is your favorite Michigan Christmas Activity?:
It's not specific to Christmas but in the winter I love going to hikes with our dog and my husband. He would probably tell you differently because I'll complain about being cold real quickly, but I think Michigan in winter is one of the prettiest things.
What are three things you can't live without?:
My notebook. Instagram. My running shoes and my BodyFlow class.
Who is your favorite Michigan artist or artisan?:
I recently discovered Handcrafted Beauty from Hudsonville. I'm no beauty guru, more often than not you can find me in my running clothes and my hair a mess, but I love their products! I have two favorite Michigan candle makers, The Kalamazoo Candle Company and The Candle Crate. Also can I include Honey Shea? Technically shes from Indiana, but just barely across the state line. She creates jewelry that is perfectly my style and I am a sucker for her necklaces! If your not getting a pillow from me for Christmas it's a safe bet you'll be getting something from one of these local makers!
Why do you buy local?:
I want to support others who are on a similar venture as myself and pursuing their dreams. Yes, it might cost more than going to Target or Hobby Lobby, but there is a whole lot more love put into local handmade products.
What is your most memorable and favorite family Christmas tradition?:I think it's a tradition a lot of families have but we always got (and still get) pajamas on Christmas eve. I also loved that our stockings would be filled up with small things we were able to open first thing in the morning while waiting for our parents to get up.
Upcoming Events: Dec. 13 - A Very Blogger Christmas Event! Calling all Michigan bloggers check our website for details! Dec. 16 - Tandem for Two Meet & Greet and 10% off TFT all day! Dec. 17 - Llewminate Lighting Meet & Greet and 10% off LL all day! Dec. 18 - ArtGoodies Meet & Greet and 10% off ATG all day! Dec. 19 - CASignDesign Meet & Greet and 10% off CAS all day!
All Artisan Meet & Greets are from 4PM-6PM at the boutique refreshments provided.
Stop in and see us soon!