Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Local Featured Seller: Designing Impressions

Who are you? Designing Impressions

Where are you located? I live on the backside of Apex, NC towards New Hill, in what’s left of country living in Wake County.

What do you create? I crochet little plush animals that are perfect as purse charms, key chains, or zipper pulls. These are handmade in an amigurumi fashion with soft bodies and polymer clay eyes.

I crochet cases in a variety of sizes are handmade with many customizable. There are button flap wallets to fit short stacks of business cards or credit cards. The next size is a little larger for tall stacks of cards or standard cell phones. The next larger size is ideal for android phones or passport books. These sized cases are also great as an on-the-hip style purse for all of your essentials.

I have also taken this size of case and instead of using a utilitarian carabineer spring lock and created mini purses. These small purses have detachable short straps. They still have a simple design but are made from luxurious yarns and are best as evening bags.

The last size crochet case is made to hold your e-reader or tablet. Kindles and Nook Colors fit as well as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. These cases look like fun purses instead of the standard business looking covers you see everywhere.

Last but not least, I have a small collection of amigurumi crochet plush toys in original designs. They are securely sewn together and are made without any plastic pieces. Perfect for young children, but I think they would be fun as stress relievers or office décor.

Crocheted Owl Keychain by Designing Impressions on etsy
What is your favorite place to visit in the "triangle?" I am a bargain hunter. The search for hidden treasures is more fun than coupon shopping to me. I love the local Goodwill stores or course, and then there is Guardian Angel Thrift Store in Fuquay-Varina. I like shopping there because they donate so much to Alzheimer’s research.

When it’s family time, we love to canoe at Shearon Lake or picnic by the Haw River. When time allows, we go to the NC Zoo in Asheboro. My daughter who's 7 enjoys these outings and it really brings the family together.

When did you start creating? The question should be when have I not created? When I was in school I was able to participate in specialized art classes. I enjoyed learning water color painting, pottery and pen and ink.

When I was at home, my mother taught me how to sew and crochet. She also taught me how to make trash into treasures by stripping and staining furniture and reupholstering chairs.

As an adult, I painted murals in homes and advertising on the windows of the fitness center downtown Apex. I was able to get a free membership for my work and that was good. I worked for a few years as a wire wrapper for a home party jewelry business and sewed quilted burp clothes for another. I spent a summer making hypertufa yard art and selling at the NC Flea Market. I’ve sewn window treatments for individuals.

Last year, I opened my shop on Etsy with beaded jewelry. It was an easy jump for me because I was already wire wrapping pendants and earrings. Shortly afterwards, I realized that the handmade market was saturated with jewelry. Less than a year later, I moved to crochet.

I started with crochet flower brooches and then the amigurumi plush charms. Once I started showing these at craft shows things started rolling. From the small plushes, the toys were born. And from there, I created my line of cases.

What is your most cherished handmade item? So many of my belongings are either vintage or handmade, it’s hard to decide. I have several jugs that I found on trips to Seagroves, NC and I love their styles and stories. But, I think the most cherished handmade items are the wood pieces that my father in law has made for us. Knowing him and his love for the craft and for us makes the boxes and games he’s made very precious to us.
Handmade eReader ruffle crochet case by Designing Impressions on etsy
Why did you choose your medium? My house is small and space is very limited. I decided to crochet because the tools required are small. Compare it to trying to find a permanent place for the sewing machine, it was a no brainer. I can create just about anything out of yarn. The choices of yarn available today are outstanding. I am able to mix and match the colors to my heart’s delight. I can make something that’s durable or delicate.

What/who inspires you? I enjoy receiving feedback from people. It doesn’t matter whether they purchase or not. I want to create products that are usable and beautiful. My personal taste is a little quirky and living in the country with limited personal contact doesn’t help. I people watch to see what they are wearing and how they are wearing. I listen to what they say about my products and ask questions to help me understand what is important to my potential customers.
Designing Impression's Crocheted Bird's Next Brooch
What do you do when you are not creating?My days stay full with family life. While my daughter is at school, I promote my shop online and follow up on local venue opportunities. When she comes home, I spend the afternoon helping with homework. After her bedtime, I create.

I also have 12 laying hens that require regular upkeep, two acres of yard to mow, vegetables to grow and can, and deer and foxes to scare.

So after you've viewed these wonderful crocheted creations in the Designing Impressions shop on etsy, you can find her here, too: Artfire Studio, Facebook, Blog, Stumble, Pinterest, Twitter, Flickr, Picassa, and Ravelry.

NCTriangle Team members who'd like to be featured, please contact Shore Debris.


  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit of my life with you. I really appreciate it.

  2. OK... I LOOOOVE that bag. 'nuff said.