What is your name?
What is the name of your business?
Mermaid & Weasel
How did you end up in Buffalo? Are you a Buffalo native?
I am from Buffalo. I grew up on the west side, not far from ShopCraft.
How did you become a ShopCraft member?
I was approached by Christa and couldn’t have been more thrilled! It was an honor to have somebody value my work and want me to be a part of such a magnificent collective of artists. I remember the first time I visited the space, back when my husband and I owned our storefront. I was inspired by how everything was set up and run.
In what way(s) is your work and/or lifestyle environmentally friendly?
I try to reduce waste as much as possible. I recycle everything I can to minimize trash. I don’t use plastic baggies or plastic wrap for my lunches. If I forget a reusable bag at the store, I feel like a troll. As for my work, I don’t use any fiber with animal products. I primarily use acrylic and cotton yarns. I am given yarn by others and always find ways to reuse it. Last year I used yarn given to me for a project that I had put together for the Buffalo Infringement Festival. Big piles of trash make me sad.
Describe your creative process in as much detail as possible:
My creative process is pretty frantic. I love making cute things. I come up with ideas and go right to the internet for inspiration. Hmm…an avocado would look ridiculously adorable with a face! So would a cactus! A butter lamb really needs to be crocheted….easier to send to your relative in Florida! When I don’t have orders to fulfill, I’m making lots of fun things. I kind of have something that I call crochet ADD…I’ll be working on one project, and then find a pattern that I want to try. I’ll put down the project I’m working on and start on the next. I’m like a squirrel running after shiny things. Or is that a raccoon? When it comes to yarn, I have tons of colors. That makes things a lot easier to start yet another pattern without having to run to the craft store….again!
What does it mean to you to be a member of an artist collective like ShopCraft?
Becoming a member of ShopCraft has meant a great deal to me. I’m overjoyed by the makers and artist community in Buffalo and all the talent here in our amazing city. The makers community really puts a lot of effort and support into each other. There are so many wonderful events for us to sell our work. ShopCraft is warm, cozy, inviting, and full of great energy! Learning about each artist is such a great way to get to know them. I’m really excited to spend time there, meeting and interacting with customers again in a storefront setting.
How do you order your wings?
My favorite is the seitan wings at Merge. Extra crispy with BBQ sauce and ranch dressing!
What is the most meaningful thing a customer/client has said to you about your work?
When I hear people making happy noises and giggling, that makes me smile. When we had our storefront up on Main Street, a little girl and her mom came in. She picked up a crochet item…I don’t remember exactly what it was. Her mom asked her what it was used for. Her answer was so sweet and simple. She said that you just put it by you and it makes you happy. That’s the reaction I’m looking for 🙂
If you could share a piece of advice with people who think they are ‘not creative’, or don’t think their art is ‘good enough’, what would it be?
Never ever stop what you love doing. It takes a lot of practice and effort to get good at what you do. Do a lot of it. Mess up. Pull it apart. Do it again.
What about Buffalo inspires you?
It’s an incredibly beautiful city, filled with talented people. I love that we have four seasons (I don’t love how long winter is though ;). I love the architecture, the abundant amount of opportunities to be creative, the festivals, Canalside, the food…THE FOOD!!, the murals, rainbows painted in Allentown, and a thousand other things. There is beauty everywhere in the Queen City. Even that nickname is inspiring.
What is your super power?
I can find things. Like…you lose something, I will find it. I guess that’s why I’m a Hufflepuff 🙂
What is your favorite charitable organization?
Pin Ups for a Cause. I’m a member and love it dearly. We volunteer at lots of not-for-profit events, working with organizations like the WNY Food Bank, Roswell Park, and the VA Hospital in Buffalo. We work a lot with veterans. It brings a lot of meaning into my life while making others happy.
Tell us a joke:
Q: What did they llama say to the blade of grass? A: Nice knawing you!
What is your most prized possession?
My cats are like my kids. My husband and I have four female cats. They are furry balls of amazing. And my Jeep Wrangler. I’ve had it for just about 13 years. The jeep is more of a possession. Actually, I think the cats own us 🙂
Anything else you’d like to share with the world?
I’m married to the sweetest weasel in the world, my husband John. He is the reason why I do this. He supports and loves me in every way possible.