Christine and I are in Urban Tulsa this week!
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Crafting a New NicheLocal ladies turn old into new with handmade designs
BY LINDSAY BURLESON
Amby Barnes had always been a seamstress. Her crafting resume eventually expanded to include knitting as well. She soon found herself making bags, totes really, just for fun. Exploring the Internet for craft forums, she came across a link to Tulsa Craft Mafia. All of these separate elements came together in the creation of The Knit Owl, the craft business Barnes started in 2007.
The Tulsa Craft Mafia describes itself as "a great way to meet like-minded people, learn new crafty skills and get exposure for your indie business." All members have an established craft business, which can include selling crafts in area markets, at local shows or at etsy.com. Members meet once a month to showcase new products and provide tutorials on crafts, like screen printing or knitting, in order to get more people involved in crafting. In general, it's a support group for crafters beginning or continuing a business.
The Knit Owl's name came from Barnes' love of knitting. Additionally, at the time she began The Knit Owl, owls were becoming trendy again, and Barnes found herself collecting them. She also thought it was a fun wordplay on "night owl." In the year since she made her debut at Tulsa's Indie Emporium, The Knit Owl has spread locally and even internationally. What started with bags now includes rings, wristlet key fobs, fabric headbands, pins, earrings, pillows, wall art and coasters with all of The Knit Owl fashions and home accessories made from vintage fabrics. This, Barnes said, is where she really has fun. Hunting down the vintage fabric, whether through someone's grandmother or other outlets, and then turning them into something new entirely is what inspires her. Seeing a striped, floral or other patterned fabric might inspire her to make a new type of bag. (continue reading here)