Sunday, August 04, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 69

This week we are in Shelburne, VT..

Name: Brittany Witt
Age: 34
Occupation: Owner :: Red House Inc

Tell us a little about yourself.

Well... I am a wife and a mother. Our family lives in Vermont, the most lovely place on planet Earth. We are originally from Arizona, both my husband born and raised in Phoenix. We gave up everything to start our lives over, away from the arid dry desert and onto a small forested village. Our big move happened just a few short years ago when our children were just eight and six. It took us a good while to get our footing, but we have and we feel like we are living a blessed life; the one we were always meant to live

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I found my creativity in just recent years. I have been continually inspired by this simple life we sought to live. Inspired to create small joys within it, therefore feeling more joy all of the time. I began making more handmade everything, from ice creams and treats, to banners and bows, to full out parties and holidays. I decided that I would fully live the life I was destined for, in that, I would remove myself from fast paced and frantic to more intentional and meaningful. 

I began to sell on Etsy just this spring, as a means to continue to stay at home while my children grow.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?

I have always wanted to live in Vermont, in a small red house, with a wood burning stove. I wanted to smell my fire going as I raked the fall leaves in my yard. I wanted to drink apple cider with my little ones and watch the winter come. I do believe this was my destiny and not just a simple wish in my heart ... for we came here with next to nothing, we lived in a small loft above a jewelry shop for over a year, we were not certain we would ever be able to buy a house again; here or anywhere.

Then, one day, 1/4 mile from where were living, a small red house with a wood burning stove went up for sale. And wouldn't you know it, the house was for us.

We live in it now. We heat our house totally with wood. We do all the things I always wanted to do. It only seemed fitting to name our next adventure Red House.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

The Etsy shop is not my full time job. Being a homemaker in every sense of the word is what I 'do'. Within the context of that title I feel as though I am always working on Red House. I am always drawing inspiration from our daily lives to feed the creative process. Our long term goal would be to have our in home studio be both my husband and my own full time devotion. We hope to work side by side, on our own terms, creating art and sharing it with the world.  

How would you describe your creative process? 

Red House is definitely a partnership and our process is finding its footing all of the time. My husband is the skilled pen in our gig, in that he draws all of our designs by hand. We begin by simply talking about what we would like to see on a fabric and go back and forth until one particular idea stands out among the rest. Mister Witt draws several images and we pick out which ones work together. As for the sewing, same process really except I often find myself alone in our studio just playing with shapes and ideas. I will make a prototype and when Matt gets home from work he will say, "Awesome job darling! I love it!" And of course we will tweak it and see what can be improved. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

His inspiration, our inspiration on what he draws comes from our surroundings. Our geese are ones we see flying above us, our flowers are seen on nature walks in our forrest, and our bicycles are how we like to get around. As for me, I am inspired by home decor when sewing. I love a good tote bag and all its functionality, but I also love how my bag looks, hanging on a hook, awaiting its next use. I don't want a bag that I shove in a drawer or in the back of my car. I want it to have multiple functions 1. carrying items from one place to another and 2. being a decoration.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? 

This is something I would like to get into within the next year. There is a lot of research I need to do to be ready for something like this. I have my eye on The Renegade Craft Show coming up in December. Keep your fingers crossed!!

What is your most cherished handmade item?

Of all the things that I have handmade, for myself, I cherish my apron the most. The longer I have it, the more stains it acquires, the more tattered it gets ... the more i love it so.

Of the things that have been handmade for me, it is a small neon Red House that stands on a lovely green box. It was made by Our Sue who hand carried it all the way from England. It was made in honor of our Red House endeavor and I adore it.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I love to make short videos of life in Vermont. I am an avid runner and I practice Bikram yoga. Though very new at it, I love to tend to my small vegetable garden in my backyard and I hope to become good enough at it that I am eating mostly from garden to table during our Vermont summers in the years to come! I absolutely love to bring my small radio to the lake and hand with my family. But I think my very favorite thing to do is to cook dinner for my family each night of the week. I find that although quite ordinary on most nights it is a ritual I simply could not live without.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?

Interesting question. I do not think I ever pictured myself growing up and even now still feel like a small child on the inside. I didn't go to college right out of high school. I traveled. I didn't have much aspiration towards any certain career ... that is, until I became a mother.

Five years from now you will be…


Describe yourself in five words:

Meticulous. Thoughtful. Loyal. Reliable. Determined.  

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

Bright Eyes :: The Lumineers :: Vampire Weekend :: Paleo :: Young Buffalo 

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Just. Keep. Going.