Shop Address: www.cakehouse.etsy.com
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I live in brooklyn with my husband, 3-yr old son, and two cats. I just started Cakehouse this fall, when my son entered preschool and my tenure as a full-time stay at home mama came to an end. Besides craft and art, I love cooking, shopping at the farmer's market, listening to music, dancing, refashioning vintage clothes, and the New York Mets.
Secondhand/vintage sheets, pillowcases, and bedspreads are my main materials. I also felt secondhand wool sweaters.
I transform them into:
Napkins and coasters, which I screenprint with my drawings using water-based ink.
How do you do it?
First, I wash all of my thrift-store finds in unscented natural detergent and dry them out on the clothesline in my backyard (weather permitting....). The napkins are two layers of fabric, sewn up like a little pillowcase. I screenprint the motif on the bottom left-hand corner of the napkin. For the coasters, I follow the same pillowcase-like format, then put in a felted-wool insert for padding. Because the fabrics I use for the coasters are usually textured, I screenprint the motif on white fabric and attach it as an applique.
What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?
I studied textile design at F.I.T. before my son was born, and was at a bit of a loss as to what I wanted to do when I graduated. Thankfully I was able to stay home with my son for his first three years, so I had some time to think about it. I figured out was that I wanted to make products for the home, and I needed to work for myself. Then it dawned on me that I should incorporate my life-long love of secondhand and vintage goods into my business plan. I love the history and uniqueness of the stuff you can find in thrift stores. I'm at my happiest digging through piles of used goods at some crazy secondhand store, or spotting some old piece of furniture with potential on the curb. I hate to see things that still have some life in them be tossed away.
Once I found out about the trashion team, I was so excited to join and check out what other people were creating from other people's cast-offs.....
Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept?
Unfortunately, I don't remember......I grew up with two champion crafters and recyclers, my mom and my aunt. There was always an old shirt or pair of pants being chopped up and made into quilt squares, or a dress for one of my dolls.....
What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
My current motifs are foxes, cats, and llamas (or alpacas, if you'd prefer). I've just develpoed a new line of monograms, which I kicked off with a Valentine's Day design. Coming up, I want to expand past just napkins and coasters to include placemats, pillow covers, tea towels, and ipod/iphone cozies.
Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?
When you buy handmade, you're helping someone keep a small business afloat, and you're getting a product made with a whole lot more care and thought than anything you could buy in Target. You're really getting a labor of love. Believe me, no one would chose to run a small independent business unless they loved it..... :)
And when you buy from trashion, you get the added bonus of getting something even more unique, and of taking part in the most stylish kind of recycling.
Thanks for letting us in on the backstory of Cakehouse Kristen! We look forward to seeing more of your exciting screenprints!