Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Local Featured Seller: Savvy Frills

Who are you?  Karen Williams – owner, Savvy Frills

Where are you located?  Cary, NC

What do you create?  My store sells my handmade items - mainly fiber arts (knit, crochet, woven).  As I build my store, I will also sell handmade beaded items and decorative stationery

What is your favorite place to visit in the "triangle"? My favorite place to visit in the triangle is Downtown Knits in Apex.  There I can sit with my friends, knit and crochet, and gather ideas.  I’ve formed some wonderful friendships there and have been able to sharpen my skills greatly.

Growing up, I’ve always watched my mom sew, knit, and crochet.  When I was in high school, my aunt taught me how to cross stitch.  I tried to knit, but didn’t really have the dexterity.  I picked crocheting simple stitches.  I didn’t do much creating for many years – not until my children were older and could entertain themselves safely.  I began crocheting a few items, but my family could only use so many scarves.

When my son was 5 years old, he was diagnosed with a rare disease (now classified as a type of cancer.)  When he was 9 years old, his doctors found a brain tumor related to the disease.  Over the course of his treatment, we had such generous support from friends and family.  I felt strongly about “paying it forward”, but wasn’t sure where to start.  After lots of prayers and personal reflection, I found an on-line charity to find needed homes for my handmade items.  After several years of sending monthly packages to Pennsylvania, I felt the need to pull back from that work and focus closer around home.

I signed up with Head Huggers as a satellite office for Wake County and surrounding areas.  At church I formed a group “Crafting Blessings” and taught many of the ladies how to loom knit.  Over these past few years, I continue to be amazed by the contributions and talents.  I’ve recently received contributions from a lady in the western NC mountains, and have been contacted by several others throughout Wake County.  Our handmade items have been distributed to local hospitals, cancer centers, hospice, children's homes, and shelters.  We’ve even sent bags of items overseas in the missions fields.

Also, in these past few years, I began carving out one evening each week for some “me” time.  I decided to check out Knit Night at my local yarn store in Apex – Downtown Knits.  All of the ladies are so talented, and I felt so much like a beginner.  Everyone was so nice and encouraging, and decided to try my hand once again at knitting.  Before I knew it, I was knitting more that crocheting.  Not only have I sharpened all of my skills, I have learned so much about different yarns, explored lots of beautiful patterns, and made some treasurable friendships.

To pick my most cherished handmade item would be difficult.  Cherished by me……… not really.  My joy comes from items for other people and seeing them enjoy and appreciate the gift.  My children have afghans – I love seeing them cuddling up under them.  I’ve made prayer shawls and afghans for loved ones, who have told me over and over how comforted they felt while wrapped up.  I receive thank-you letters from patients who are warmed by the chemo hats I’ve made.  Those are the items I most cherish.  Not the actual item, but the way the item makes someone feel comforted and loved.

To make my items, all I need is some yarn and needles (or a hook).  Depending on where I am, how much free time I have, how much room I have, how warm or cold the temperature is, I can find the perfect project to take with me.  Working with these materials is so easy for on-the-go.  With the purchase of a tablet, even the patterns and additional help can be pulled up in a second.

My goal with this Etsy shop is to supplement my family’s income.  I’d love to be able to put my current full-time job behind me in a few years and devote that time instead to building and maintaining the Savvy Frills store.

For now, my days are spent working my full-time job, taking care of my family (and pets), attending church, working on charity projects, creating items for and maintaining my Savvy Frills store, exercising to keep the doctors off my back, and spending quality time with my family and friends.  There never seems to be enough hours in a day -enough days in the weekend, but I continue to be blessed with my accomplishments.

When people stop in my Etsy shop, it is my hope that people will find that perfect gift.  I like to think people are drawn to Etsy in search of quality handmade items.  I, personally, believe in supporting local artists.  I plan on getting most of my Christmas shopping done on Etsy this year and years to come.

In addition to etsy, Savvy Frills is also on its own website, a blog, twitter, facebook, instagram, and pinterest

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

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