Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Velvet & Tweed

Working solista in the creative field certainly has it's highs and lows. Even in this downslide economy, I'd still take working for myself, and all the risks that come with that, then working for "the man" in a corner office cubicle again, le odor of burnt microwave popcorn wafting down the blue industrial carpeted, bad fluorescent lit hallways, the lonnnng meetings that seem to go nowhere, but offer a great excuse to order in Thai food for everyone. And there always seems to be at least one manic and crazy-eyed co-worker everyone is afraid will go off the deep end someday and maybe take a few of us down in the process. Zoikes! Nope, I sure don't miss those days at all, even when it's so tempting to pack it all in and receive a hard earned fat regular paycheck with paid vacation and benefits again.

It's not easy wearing all the hats sometimes, and though it's self imposed, in order not to burn out I often look for inspiration and guidance from others in the creative field. I learn a lot from these women (and men) and am inspired again and again by these generous and talented folks who like me, are risk takers at heart.

Enter, Tina Schreiber of "Velvet & Tweed." Tina found me on one of my blogs, (I've been a bad, bad blogger of late). Tina's shop is an adorable
infant and toddler's clothing shop in the city, and she is one of our many talented vendors joining us for Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular. I liked her and her chosen craft immediately, and though she's made her home in San Francisco, she's a midwestern gal from Cleveland, Ohio, with a midwesterner's sensibility, and a fine mind to dream and create with. Her love of her chosen craft of well-made children's clothing is obvious and her eye for wonderful design and fabric shines through. Psst. I'm a sucker for a finely outfitted dapper little dude, and the lovely laughing little ladies modeling Velvet & Tweed's fine collections.

C: Welcome Tina, please tell us how did you come up with the name of your business Velvet & Tweed?
T: The name came from a passion for textiles, their textures, colors, and ability to transform a simple frock into something that evokes emotion and creates memories. When looking back on photos from a first Christmas or a family picnic, it is wonderful to remember how your little girl twirled in her favorite dress, or how dapper your little boy looked on grandpa's lap. Fabric such as tweed, velvet, pink silk, and crisp cotton can turn an ordinary outfit into something really special.

C: Where are you located?
T: San Francisco

C: Your hometown?
T: Cleveland, OH

C: What is it that you make?
T: "We design and make special occasion clothing for infants & toddlers, intended to be timeless and lovely, heirloom outfits that can be passed down for generations."

C: What is your favorite and least favorite thing about what you do?
T: "My favorite thing about what we do is seeing the reactions of moms & dads to our clothing-- the look of nostalgia and an innocence captured for their little ones. After all, children grow up quickly; there is no need to rush it! My least favorite thing about what we do is finding enough time in the day to do everything we want to do for this amazing brand!"

C: Tina, what brings you creative inspiration?
T: "My creative inspiration comes from my childhood. My parents had lots of diverse interests and I always wanted to be involved: from sewing and baking to camping and woodworking. These wonderful childhood memories inspired me to capture these moments in design: the perfect garden party dress, the sweetest pink birthday party dress, or the coziest corduroy jacket."

C: What advice would you give to a young designer who wanted to start a business such as yours?
T: "Get as much experience as you can in your field. Realize that you can learn a great deal from working for big companies and finding mentors to guide you. Your perfect business will reveal itself with the experience you've collected."

C: Do you have any exciting news or future business plans you'd like to share?
T: "Our most exciting news is how quickly we are growing and how well received we are by the most beautiful baby boutiques across the country and around the world! Internationally, we can be found in Australia and Norway!"

C: That is wonderful news! Velvet & Tweed going international. And speaking of inernational, or international man of mystery that is, Sean Connery or Roger Moore?
T: "Roger Moore (but actually, I'd like to nominate a candidate: Daniel Craig!")

C: LOL! I'd have to agree with that one, Roger Moore is infinitely more interesting then Sean Connery, devilish glint in his eye as though he is in on a private joke with you. And Daniel C. isn't too shabby either, we almost share a birthday!

C: A lot of us creatives burn the midnight oil, I'm one of them and often find myself on a weird eating schedule not in sync with my 9-5 friends. What is your favorite midnight snack?
T: "Cheese & Crackers!"

C: Thatta girl! And in my book, the stinkier the cheese, the better! Favorite book and movie?
T: Favorite Book: "Water for Elephants."

C: I loved Water for Elephants! I read it when it first came out, it was my inspiration for Craftaluma. Plus, I have a major soft spot for Elephants, and am sickened by how they are mistreated in captivity and hunted down for their tusks in the wild. Do you have a favorite movie?
T: (at the moment) "Miracle on 34th Street."

C: Your throwing a dinner party, who would you invite (living or not living) and why?
T: "My closest girlfriends (4 of the most inspiring, fun, professional women ever), Martha Stewart (my role model), and my boyfriend (lucky guy to be surrounded by such amazing women!). Oh, and Julia Childs as the chef, and Bing Crosby to sing while we dine."

C: It's so important for women and entrepreneurs to surround themselves with supportive great gals and cronies, I'm totally down with that. Thanks Tina. I can't wait to see you soon at Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular!

You can find boutiques that carry Tina's delightful wares at:

Velvet & Tweed


Elaine Elwick Barr said...

Let the sneak previews begin! I can't wait to see this table at the show!! Great interview C!

xoxo, e

Rain said...

Her stuff is adorable! I just met her at Hand Born! She's the sweetest person!

Petaluma Craft Mafia said...

Rain, not to sound too maudlin, but you are just a sweet pumpkin yourself!

Mutual crafty love all around!

Cheers you cutie!