String and Bone Studio
"Just keep making things. Passion shows. If you love what you make it will find an audience."
Stephanie, String and Bone Studio
Briefly describe for us, your business and about your products.
I use my drawings of plants, animals and insects to create a unique series of textiles. I then embellish those with embroidery and make pillows as well as stand alone embroidery hoops and canvases.
What’s the story behind your shop’s name?
I'm pretty sure my sister came up with it. I'd been working on an embroidery project all day, and she was trying to get me to come and help her make food. I was trying to finish up, and she got exasperated and said if I didn't get moving all that would be left of me was string and bone. It made me laugh, and worked with a lot of my skeleton and botanical embroidery, so eventually it became my shop!
What sparked your decision and motivated you to start becoming a maker?
No one thing. I have always been creative and I have always made things. I was a drawing major at the U of M, and I love textiles and fibre art. I think combining my drawings with fabric and embroidery was inevitable. Taking the final step and opening my shop just felt natural. I really wanted to be my own boss and spend my time creating beautiful things. So far so good.
What do you love most about what you make and being a maker?
Again it is hard to choose! I love drawing. I love unpacking new fabrics. I love sitting on the couch with an embroidery hoop and bingeing my favourite shows while surrounded by piles of thread, scissors and my two dogs.
And the freedom to choose what I make, when I make it, and even where I make it. Not having anyone to answer to is great.
What’s the most favourite thing you’ve made and why?
If I had to choose I'd say it is either one of my bee hoops or the fox in chunky glasses pillow. The bees because they are one of my favourite things to draw or stitch, and the pillow because it is just awesome and super comfy.
What’s the most difficult part about what you make?
Time. Embroidery takes a lot of time. It doesn't matter how much you try and streamline the process, or how efficient you are at multi-tasking. The actual stitching takes forever, even after you've been doing it for ages. A lot of people may not realize the amount of time invested in each piece, but if the shop is empty, don't worry – I am busy stitching more!
How does your product connect with your customer or community?
In Winnipeg it is definitely the markets and local shops. The number of people who go out of their way to come out and support local makers is amazing!
What was your most memorable experience with a customer?
Being told by a customer that "I had to find your booth first" at one of the holiday markets this year. That made my day.
What are some of the typical impressions or interactions you have at markets and what are your responses?
Q: Are those your drawings on the fabric?
A: Yes, they are all my original drawings.
Q: How do you get them on the fabric?
A: The pencil and ink images are scanned and digitally printed on canvas or linen, and then I add the embroidery details by hand.
Q: Do you do custom pieces?
A: Sometimes. It depends on the time of year and my workload. You can message me through my Etsy shop.
What advice would you give a maker who’s just starting out?
Just keep making things. Passion shows. If you love what you make it will find an audience.