Aug 30, 2012

Customer Spotlight: Jo Bangles

Hi girls, I am so pleased to introduce you to one of our amazing customers, Katrina. Katrina runs a lovely shop, Jo Bangles. Katrina is a true talent, as you can see from her beautiful work. 

(Katrina and her beautiful family)

I really have no self control when it comes to pretty pictures full of eye candy. So, as you can see, I've included nearly everything I could!  I'll let Katrina take it from here.



 

  

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Katrina (aka Trina) Ashburn and I am a sewing addict. There I said it. Isn't admittance the first step in recovery? But seriously, a little about myself... I am a stay at home mom to three beautiful blessings, Noah "6 about to be 7"- direct quote, Avairy my 4 year old Diva who often refers to her age as "This how many!" while holding up 4 fingers, and Lincoln my 6 1/2 month old sweetheart who reminds me of a baby koala who never leaves his mothers side. I live in the big ole' state of Texas with my Coast Guard veteran Hubby of 8 years. After living in Texas for 20 years we got married in 2004 and moved to Michigan for 3 1/2 and I could, in a sense, say there is where my sewing took shape.
         (Ruffle Skirt - left)  (Brooke Dress & Ruffle Pants - right)                                                          

We had our first baby in 2005 and I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design in 2007. I dabble in just about everything though from Cake Pops. Sewing, Jewelry Making, Crafting to Photography as well. I work alongside my photography parter Robin Maxwell with Life in Bloom Studio (www.lifeinbloomstudio.com) mainly with weddings now that our third baby is here. She, Robin, is a blessing in creating the perfect setting for our pieces to be photographed in. My thanks goes out to her immensely! I actually developed my photog skills first and then decided to be able to stay at home, sewing was just more convenient for us. And thus, here I am!

2. Is there a story behind your shop name?
Our name gets a lot of questions. Ha! Joe Bangles... Bo Jangles? Yes, there is a pun intended for it. But in a real sense my husband and I always talk about opening a coffee house that doubled as a boutique selling handmade jewelry and such. So hence the name Joe = Coffee and Bangles = Jewelry was created. My mom and I actually put the name together while shopping one day and it just kind of stuck.




3. What is your sewing story? Who/what inspires you?
My sewing story, let me think... Well it all really started when I was pretty little. I would watch my mom sitting at her sewing table stitching me up some new garbs for Easter sunday. I watched her closely and she even let me practice on her spare sewing machine, fixing the snags and screw ups I would create every time with patience and love. I knew then that I needed to learn to sew because I wanted to be just like her! 



My main source of inspiration comes from the Lord but secondly my children. Those little people are so amazing! I'm also inspired by what I see coming in the photography studio. People are constantly coming in with adorable clothing for their little ones and when I see something I analyze it, look over it and tell myself, "I can make that!" I would have to say though that I learned most of my skills by just doing it. Reading patterns and making mistakes. Over time I've gotten pretty confident in my abilities and I hope to share them with my kids one day. 



( Lauren Ruffle Dress )                
 

4. What was your first sewing project?

Oh, gosh.. My first sewing project? One that I can actually remember is when I was living with my new hubby in Michigan and it was our first Christmas. I didn't have a sewing machine but I really wanted to sew us some stockings! So I hand stitched 3 elaborate stockings. Adorned with our names and everything. The extra one was for the dog. Ha!



5. What was your biggest sewing disaster?
My biggest sewing disaster? Do I have to just talk about one? I've had many but in every one I've learned what NOT to do and what TO DO better. One particular sewing disaster I can remember was an apron knot dress for a client of mine. I cut everything out and stitched it up entirely. When I was finished I said to myself, "Now, that seems REALLY small." When I got to looking at my measurements I miscalculated and my math didn't add up right. At all. I was off by about 4 inches in length and width. 





My hubby often says, "It's amazing that your projects come out!" I'm terrible at math. I even remember a conversation while riding in a car with some friends and the question was raised in reference to a songs lyrics, "What is 257 weeks anyway?" I blurted out, "Well, that's how many weeks are in a year." Really?? Brain neurons weren't computing that day. I honestly don't know how I've gotten this far. A lot of grace and love from up above I'm sure! 



6. Tell us about your fabric stash, sewing space, and/or favorite sewing supplies.
My fabric stash? You could call me a fabric hoarder if you like. I have an armoire that is filled to the brim with material. Every time I open it I hear the hallelujah chorus and golden rays of sunshine fill the room. If only there was more time in a day to create! My sewing space as of right now is our dining room. We tried our spare room in the back but I couldn't see or HEAR what the kids were getting into so I ditched it and now reside at the dining table. Often times it's covered in pattern pieces and fabric that we eat in the living room. I'm no Martha, obviously, but we enjoy our evenings together no  matter where we dine. My favorite sewing supplies consist of my machine and serger. I don't know how I did it before without my serger for sure. It has revolutionized my craft and upped my product to a whole new level!


7. Aside from sewing, what do you enjoy doing?
Aside from sewing I love camping and hiking, playing with my children, visiting new places and I love taking pictures of my kids. But in actuality my life consists a lot of getting orders out and day to day activities. When I can do the other things I really love also, it's a real treat!

8. What advice would you like to share with new sewists?
My advice to new sewers? Measure twice, cut once. It will save you a lot of headache! And another, not all etsy patterns are created equal but Little Lizard King gets it right every time! I purchase hers constantly. Another thing don't be scared. My mom sent me her sewing machine while I was in MI and I was scared. Literally petrified to touch it. I don't know whether I thought the needle was going to eat my finger or I was afraid of failure but I didn't touch it for months. It took my husband showing me how to use it for me to even open it up. I'm sure glad he did!


9. Where can we find you online (FB, Etsy, blog, etc.)?
You can find our lovely shop at www.etsy.com/shop/joebangles OR Joe Bangles on Facebook. We'd love to have you stop by and say hello!

10. Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers? 

I would love customer suggestion as to what we should create next. I take custom orders on a continual basis and would love to work with you all. Thanks so much for reading about our shop!  




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