Thursday, December 11, 2008

Knitting Contrisstmas Day 12: Bari J

Bari J----- your lovely handbags, belts, fobs and NOW fabric, all make my heart go pitter patter!

KC: Bari--- you have a husband and children and a very busy life, yet you are incredibly creative, and have been able to work very hard to get to the point you are at. What is the secret?????

No secret… something always has to give… My house is a mess.

KC: What is your background? Because your designs are so strong and in your own voice I wonder where you “come from?”

I am from Chicago. I grew up with a brother and two sisters. I was the big mouth of the group. I’m am the older of the two sisters, and to the chagrin of my brother always felt like I was the oldest child.

KC: When did you start out Bari? What were your first projects then?

Back in 2001 I was creating jewelry and collage art from vintage and found pieces and selling them to local boutiques. In early 2005 I had gotten bored of that, and made a little handbag for myself. I didn’t have a clue how to sew, so I made it all up as I went along. The ladies at the local quilt store still talk about that first bag. They didn’t think I was going to make it.

KC: Did you have a vision for where you are now?

If you’d have asked me then what I would be doing now I would have been completely off-base. My vision for creating fabric started about a year ago, but it wasn’t until last March that I said it aloud. What I’d like now is to bring Bari J. into the craft/sewing industry. I’ve always stood on the line between crafting and fashion, but recently it became very clear to me that I need to be part of the quilting/crafting/sewing industry. It’s where my heart is.

KC: What has been your biggest breakthrough?

I can’t really say there’s been on big break through. It’s been a combination of persistence and luck that have been carrying me through.

KC: What is your favorite creative pastime among your many interests?

My new favorite pastime is quilting.

KC: Do you think that women, especially creative women still feel compelled to try to squeeze it all in?

Oh, yes! And the guilt when I realize that I can’t! But recently I’ve given myself a little more slack… I’m almost 40, it’s about time I gave myself some elbow room.

KC: I’ve been asking everyone this Contrisstmas if when they create, do they do it for the love of the process or for the end result. Where are you on this spectrum?

Process. Absolutely. Process.

KC: What is left for you to tackle?

What’s not to tackle? Paper, dinnerware, clothing, any and any surface there is to design. I’m in.

KC: Tell me about your fabric line to debut next Spring at Quilt Market?

I’ve signed on with Windham fabric. The working name for the line is Perennial.

KC: What else do you do to feed your inner creative muse?

I read a lot.

KC: What do you do during the holidays? Anything special?

Stay at home and hang out, cook/bake and eat far too much. My parents usually come in town. Mom and I make kolatchkies which are a pastry dough type of cookie with preserves in them… and the recipe actually calls for vanilla ice cream in the dough. Apparently that’s what makes it soft and sweet. Yum. And, during the school break we seem to be painting a room in the house for the past couple years. I’ve got some other honey-dos lined up too.

KC: Will you continue with your lovely bags and accessories?

Yes. And more.

KC: What advice would you give those who would like to follow the path of finding an audience and make a living with their passion?

Persistence. Persistence. Persistence. Do not give up no matter what gets in your way.

KC: Bari, I'm a huge fan and will be watching with great interest, I know that the readers will be as well! Happy Holidays!

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