Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium
Tell us about yourself.
Katrin Reifeiss is a Beacon, NY based designer and artist who owns and operates her namesake collection of hand-dyed clothing and home goods. Influenced by her love of travel and painting, and the inspiration she finds in her happy place the beach, Katrin creates textile designs using Japanese Shibori and other dye techniques in her upstate NY studio. Specializing in Shibori Katrin takes the traditional Shibori techniques and re-creates them into modern patterns. As a designer it is her goal to create timeless designs, often of simple shapes to best feature the beauty of the hand-dyed fabric. Katrin creates for those that appreciate the time and effort that goes into each creation, focusing on craftsmanship and creativity, as her pieces are not meant to be disposed of after one season. All items are designed and manufactured in the USA and using when possible materials made in the USA. In addition to creating her own designs she teaches Japanese Shibori at Garrison Art Center and has taught at Beacon Art Studio, the Textile Arts Center in NYC and at organizations such as the Japan Society in Manhattan.
When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?
I opened my business in 2008 while working full-time. I decided that being financially stable with a day job, it could fuel my passion of creating hand-dyed clothing and textiles. I also have a very understanding husband who understood that nights after work and sometimes weekends I would go straight from my day job to my studio. In 2014 my position moved to another state so it was the perfect opportunity to work full-time on my passion. Now I am a mom and balancing work and motherhood has been difficult but terribly rewarding.
What inspires your work?
Mainly my happy place, the beach. When I dream of the beach I dream in blue and in effortless designs that can be worn from beach to street.
What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?
I like to think my designs stand out from other businesses that also create pieces using Shibori by the way I dye my fabric and also what I create with my fabric. I believe that everyone has their own hand, way of dyeing fabric that becomes unique to that person.
Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?
I am lucky, I have a studio in our house. The perfect set up for me and my son. Eventually in the future I would like to have a bigger studio outside the house but right now I am happy!
What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?
I now have a great list of suppliers for fabric, notions and other goods but when I first started out I should have done more research about finding the best suppliers for my needs.
Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?
Take great photos, can not stress that enough. I had not so great photos at one point, I think I can always improve on them but lighting I think along with background are the two most important things for a good photo.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?
Taking walks with my son. Love having my studio in my house but also it is in the house! So I like to get out often. Luckily we live within decent walking distance from town and are surrounded by trails and public parks which are also easy to get to. Getting out the house is important for the exercise and just to clear my mind. Other hobbies include cooking, especially now that we have a kitchen that doesn’t just fit one person like our Brooklyn apartment did.
What is your favorite quote?
h there are lots but a recent one is – When you buy from a small business an actual person does a happy dance.
Where can people find out more about your business?
If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.