This week for Feature Me Friday, we have Susan of
Ginkgo Fabrics from Camano Island, WA.
Who is Ginkgo Fabrics?
I sell one-of-a-kind handbags that range from recycled wool to
What’s the first thing you remember making?
I was a teenager taking home economics. For extra credit, I
thought I would make a pair of slacks. Just couldn’t figure it
out. Tried & tried! This experience took care of any future
sewing projects for me!!
Why work with recycled materials?
It’s the challenge of it all. I met a gal a few years ago who
worked in a fabric store. Somehow we got on the subject of
“making purses out of wool sweaters”. What a concept; I
thought she was goofy. I got sucked in deep!
Now I have bags & bags & bags of wool sweaters, blankets,
anything wool, but also leather, suede, tapestry, jewelry &
Lately, the net packaging for food has been the item to save.
Oh, & the plastic bags!! Who’s goofy now??? I also know I am
helping the eco-friendly cause & it does make me feel good.
Where do you work?
This is my work space. I work from my home. It may look
cluttered & yes it is, but it is organized mess. The room is
12’w X 16’d not including the closet. Can you tell? I cover
everything with sheets to keep the wool dust from settling on
my books, supplies, etc. It’s easier just to throw those sheets
in the washer.
How do you get from A to Z?
After a sweater has been washed & felted, I cut the sweater
into what I think would produce a nice handbag, but most of
the time the sweater dictates the shape and I go from there.
I usually know then how I want to finish that particular bag.
However, there are those times I sit on a purse for days. I’m
usually working on 3-4 bags at any given time.
What are your favorite tools?
I have 2 Viking sewing machine, they have been faithful to
me. And so has that seam ripper!
What music do you listen to?
I may have a TV on in another room but usually I like it quiet!!
Read any good books lately?
I don’t really read novels. I borrow a lot of books from the library
for “how to” ideas. I also subscribe to quite a few magazines.
Who inspires you?
That would be my husband. He brings me back to reality &
makes me laugh. Great sounding board even when he’s really
What do you do for fun?
This may sound a bit quirky but my husband & I have taken up
“Zumba”. We have so much fun doing this, we laugh, we sweat
& in the end we really feel great.
Where can we find your work?
I usually do a fall show @ the Camano Island Coffee Roaster
(exhibit is up for 8-10 weeks) here on the island. This year I did
a spring show at the Roaster. I also do a few Craft Fairs in the fall.
How do you promote your work?
Facebook, Etsy of course, but mostly word of mouth.
Have any words of wisdom?
Your ideas may sound far fetched, but they’re probably great
ideas. Make them happen! You don’t want to say, “I should have.”
What’s in your future?
Creating new ideas for those unique products!!!!