Indie Spotlight + Giveaway: Dierdre Sowa of Love in Bloom Designs

We are really closing in on the holidays, huh? Here’s a two-for-one Indie Crafter Spotlight & Indie Giveaway for ya! I met Dierdre Sowa, owner of Love in Bloom Designs, earlier this year at the UNCORKED!/Vagina Monologues event at the Charter Oak Cultural Center. She was wearing the most darling little flower on her head and… well, I’ll let her tell you the story :) Read on after the interview for details on how to score one of your own Love in Bloom hair accessories!

Poor & Pretty: Dee, you’ve been wearing your own creations for years. What made you decide to turn it into a business?
Dierdre Sowa: Well, you did! I was in a performance of the Vagina Monologues this past February where we were asked to wear only red and black for the shows. I borrowed a black skirt from a friend, pulled a red shirt from my closet, and added some fun tights but it didn’t feel like my personality came through at all. The night before the dress rehearsal, I decided to make a red and black flower for my hair to personalize my outfit a bit. I received so many questions in the next few nights about where I got my headband! You had a table at the vendor fair prior to one of the performances. You asked if I made it, then suggested I sell them on Etsy. So, thanks!! :)

P&P: When did you start making your own fashion pieces? Does creativity run in your family?
DS: When I was younger, my mom and I used to make a lot of gifts for the holidays using fabric. I remember making stuffed cats and fabric covered photo albums — we had a lot of fun with those. As I got older, I tried my hand at other types of crafts including jewelry and soap {yes, soap!} making. I didn’t do so well with the soap but I still enjoy making my own jewelry. Maybe they’ll make it to my Etsy shop someday!
P&P: So when did you start sewing?
DS: In college, I worked in a quilt shop where I was surrounded by incredibly creative people and fabric. Lots of fabric! The women in the shop encouraged me to try sewing and once I started, I fell in love with it. I have made a few quilts now and I really love that I can take pieces of fabric and create a special gift for someone I love.

The item that I am most proud of has to be my wedding bouquet. My husband and I got married a little over a year ago and I made my bouquet out of brooches, buttons, and earrings. It turned out better than I imagined and it was so much fun to put together.

P&P: What a gorgeous bouquet! When will those be in your shop?
DS: Since my wedding, I have received many, many questions about whether or not I would consider making and selling bouquets like mine. I would really enjoy creating unique bouquets for women to carry on their special day, so that is something I’m considering, hopefully for the near future.

P&P: Can we have a peek inside of your studio?

P&P: Dee, what advice do you have for crafters who want to start selling their creations?
DS: Be patient and don’t forget to have fun. It’s not an easy thing to do, starting a business of any size takes time and energy. I have said from the beginning that I would be making these flowers and bows for myself to wear anyways, so I might as well put them online and see what happens.

P&P: Who are some of your favorite indie artists?
DS: This is a difficult question for me to answer. Every time I go to a craft fair or look around online at what other crafters and artists are doing, I am so impressed. I am amazed by the items that people create and the ability people have to take ordinary things and make them extraordinary. It takes courage to believe that something you made is special enough, that someone else might consider buying it. I don’t think people really understand that part, the courage part. As an indie crafter or artist, you don’t have a large organization backing you, so you are really putting yourself out there in a way most people don’t ever have to professionally.

P&P: Do you have any shows coming up?
DS: I will be at a show on November 29th in Hartford that is being held for state employees. My husband works for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, so I will be there for pre-holiday shopping. I am looking forward to focusing on more shows in the spring; they are a lot of fun!

Aren’t those just gorgeous? How perfect would they be as a stocking stuffer? Guess what? You could win one! Here’s how: “Like” Love in Bloom Designs on Facebook, “Like” Poor & Pretty on Facebook, then leave a comment in this Facebook album on the hair clip/accessory that you would like to win! The contest ends at 10:00 pm EST on Sunday, December 16th.

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