Monday, September 22, 2014

Meet Featured Artist Yarelie Josephs of Yarelie J. Designs!

What is your business’ name? Yarelie J. Designs and I am Yarelie Josephs!

What sort of items do you make? I make an assortment of fabric items such as bags, wallets, and journals. Lately I've been making things that are more technology-focused like bags and sleeves for tablets, e-readers, and other electronic devices.

When and how did you learn your craft? My grandmother taught me how to sew. One of the first things I ever made was clothes for my Barbie dolls. When it comes to the stuff I'm doing now, I'm pretty much self-taught. When I have an idea for something new, I'll make some sketches and then head into my workroom to see what I can do.

Where do you get your inspiration from? I get a lot of inspiration from seeing the kind of stuff people are walking around with. If I see a really cool messenger bag, I might think about making something similar and putting my own twist on it. I also try to stay up-to-date on popular designs and styles.

How did you get started doing this as a business? A few years ago I decided to make a bag as a birthday present for my mother-in-law. I bought a pattern and made it and it turned out really well. Then I started making other things and discovered that I had a knack for it and enjoyed it and that's led me to this point.

Do you have any advice for other crafters/artisans just starting out? Try not to get frustrated. I've made things that sold the first time I put them out, and other things that sat around for months. It's important to believe in your work. If you make a quality product, someone, somewhere will appreciate it. Also, listen to your customers. If you keep hearing the same suggestions or ideas, it's probably worthwhile to explore them. It's important to network with your fellow artists, too. You can't always rely on the Internet to find out where a really good selling opportunity is going to be.

Anything else you would like to share? I'd like to thank the organizers of First Friday for giving me a place to sell my wares. I'm pretty new at this, and I've gotten a ton of support from a lot of great and talented folks.

Yarelie J. Designs will be a featured artist at the First Friday Indie Market on October 3, 2014  The market is located on the corner of MLK and Elm St in Downtown Greensboro, NC and is open from 4-9 pm.

To find out more about Yarelie J. Designs:

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