This week my guest on Friday Finds, is Julie!
Tell me a little bit about yourself/the history of your store.
Thanks for asking! I currently work in two worlds: as an artisan, designing and creating earth friendly practical and fine art pieces, and also an author and speaker on Autism Spectrum Disorders, notably Asperger’s Syndrome. My artisan business began the same year my book, Asperger’s in Pink, was published (2010). At the time, everything was placed under the umbrella of “Julie Clark Art”, but as my artisan business grew and evolved, it became necessary to split my work into two distinct areas, and renaming the creative part of my business was most definitely in order! Hence, “Wave and Willow” was born. At present, Wave and Willow focuses on fiber art pieces, as well as handmade purse-totes and zip pouches with an artsy or fashion forward flair. Although a selection of both categories is offered online, most fine art pieces are available offline.
Tell me what makes your store UNIQUE from all the other stores that sell a product similar to yours.
Many shops offer pouches and totes using similar high quality designer fabric, but a few things that make Wave and Willow products different are that each and every one is handmade, using earth friendly materials and practices as much as possible. This means sustainable materials such as cotton batting are used – no polyester or foam filling, ever. Occasionally, metallic elements or embellishments may be used, but the body of each piece is always made of eco-friendly materials. Many artisans, especially larger companies, apply products to make the pieces waterproof or stain proof. I choose not to use those products as most are harmful not only to the environment, but to those who use them, as well. Along that line, the fabric is prewashed with an unscented detergent before use, as standard practice is to chemically treat the bolts of material in order for it to ship and be stored safely. Many do not take this extra step as it does take more time, but I feel it is worth it to remove those chemicals from the end product as much as possible. Afterall, who wants to regularly handle a clutch or purse-tote that is coated with something meant to keep bugs or mold at bay?
Another aspect of Wave and Willow that makes it unique is giving back. Occasionally, a specific charity will be highlighted and a portion of sales donated to it. For instance, for April (Autism Awareness Month), a portion of all sales were dedicated to the Autism Society of North Carolina. Last year, a portion went to Hospice in honor of a fellow artisan who had lung cancer. As Wave and Willow grows, this key element will grow, as well.
Feature one of your items and tell the story about that particular item.
Although my zip pouches and thread paintings are extremely popular, my totes are one item that are up and coming, and that I’m very excited about. Unlike traditional totes made of stiff canvas, Wave and Willow totes are made of 100% cotton, have a lightweight feel, and are easy to roll up and store. They are washable, breathable, and eco-friendly, too. Wave and Willow totes have a slimmer profile than most totes, and being smaller than standard totes, some consider them to be a nice substitute for a purse. For others, the standard sized totes in my shop make for a stylish shoe bag for commuting. The cotton lining, as opposed to scratchy canvas or polyester, is smooth against your fave pumps!
Do you do custom orders, designs, etc. If you do, what kinds of services do you offer for custom orders, what are your policies regarding custom orders?
Custom orders are accepted on a very limited basis, for simple tote purses, cross-body mini’s, and zip pouches, only. Depending on the size of the order, as well as the fabric requested, a down payment may be optional and extra charges may apply. All custom work is final sale.
Blog: www.JulieClarkArt.com (for links to my shop, reviews, as well as my other life as an author)
Upcoming website: www.WaveandWillow.com
Thank you Julie!
Have a great weekend everyone!