What is your name?
What is the name of your business?
J. Savage Goods
Where can people follow your work?
On Instragram at @jsavagegoods.
How did you end up in Buffalo? Are you a Buffalo native?
My husband grew up here as did my parents but they landed in Rochester (where I grew up). I lived in Brooklyn for 11 years and my husband and I became tired of the city. We could barely afford to live there plus we knew we wanted to start a family. Buffalo was a familiar place to us and close to our families. We were able to buy a house and I was able to start a business.
How did you become a ShopCraft member?
I started with a few items for a Father’s Day event and was asked to apply to become member. So happy I did!
In what way(s) is your work and/or lifestyle environmentally friendly?
I try to use eco friendly fabrics as much as possible. I look for suppliers who value sustainability as much as I do. The company that prints my fabric uses water based inks that aren’t harmful to the environment. My husband and I are very conscious as well about making environmentally sound choices. We installed solar panels on our house (where my studio is as well) and we use reusable bags and try to eliminate using plastic goods as much as possible (although sometimes that is easier said than done). We do not use any products that test on animals – as bunny owners that is extremely important to us.
Describe your creative process in as much detail as possible:
My process has definitely changed a lot in the last few years. It continues to evolve as well. I started out just making hats as I had worked with a hat designer for a few years and it was what I knew at the time. Hat making is a tough business though and the market is pretty slim.
I started creating other things including home goods, bags and scarves. I have a back ground in illustration and graphic design and I missed that element in my life which lead me to creating my own fabrics. I usually sketch out an idea and it develops from there. I work mostly digitally when creating my fabrics and I plan to add more printed goods to my collection.
I have also had to adjust my process and what I make since the birth of my son 10 months ago. It’s hard for me to get to sewing during the day so as of now I’m developing more designs and fabric. He has also been an inspiration to add more children’s items and kid friendly fabrics.
What does it mean to you to be a member of an artist collective like ShopCraft?
ShopCraft is such an important space. I love being a member of an artistic community that supports each other. I feel honored to be with such a talented group of people.
How do you order your wings?
I’m going to get a lot of flack for this one but I don’t like wings. Do chicken fingers count? Those I take medium.
What is the most meaningful thing a customer/client has said to you about your work?
When I had a customer tell me the hat I made for her gave her confidence.
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?
To just keep creating. I think self doubt is something that every artist feels. If there is something you want to make or an idea you have just do it whether it turns out how you want it to or not. You will learn something through the process and you never know what that could lead you too. Also practice is everything. No one is just immediately good at something. It takes practice and patience.
What about Buffalo inspires you?
Definitely the architecture, the old neighborhoods and industrial buildings. Also all the amazing food here. I love drawing food.
What is your super power?
Right now I would say functioning on no sleep.
Tell us a joke:
Why did the mushroom go to the party? Because he was a fungi.
What is your most prized possession?
A copy of J.M Barrie’s Peter and Wendy that was my Great Grandmother’s from 1911. It’s been with me everywhere I’ve lived. It even spent some time in the back of my car. I’m not quite sure how it got there. It has the old, original illustrations that are just beautiful.
Anything else you want to share with the world?
People often ask where the name of my business comes from, Savage is my mother’s maiden name. My grandmother always wore and owned a lot of hats so that was the inspiration for Savage Millinery. I wanted to keep the savage name in my company when I started making other products, and so it become J. Savage Goods.