Creative Entrepreneurship

I Heart Charlotte

I love Charlotte Reid Besaw! Meet her one time and she makes you feel like you’ve been best buds forever. She’s fun, super creative and talented as you can see from her HandCandy Mittens website. She turned me on to the Beekman Boys. I love her liberal politics. She posts cool stuff on her Facebook page. If I tell you that she’s a hoot and a half, you’ll believe me after you see that her profile pic is a little boy pissing on GMO villan Monsanto. See what I mean?


Anyway, I love what she wrote on Network! this morning in response to this common question in the professional art/craft world, “How long have you been doing it full-time and what did it take for you to get there?”

I have done this full-time since 2006. My hubby came on board (that is, he now works with me) in 2010. He has a part-time job with our village, but it only amounts to 3-4 hours a day at best. He gives me a couple of hours cutting and sewing linings for me, and is my sherpa for shows, serving as chauffeur, waiter, laborer, and best buddy. I also have a lady who does hand finishing for me, and hire a cutter when I can afford it. We have wholesale accounts in around 40 stores, so that extends our season with shows. We live a very simple life. Our vehicles are not brand new, and we paid cash for them… they are not pretty, but they get us from point A to B and provide sleeping quarters on the road. We don’t have credit cards, we love to cook our own meals on the road, we have a garden and can our veggies, we are junkers. We have the best life that we could imagine, and could not be happier since we left the world of retail and restaurants( for me) and construction(, for him). Yes, the hours are long, the bookkeeping and paperwork suck, but I would not go back to the alternative. I work all the time, but I am a maker. It is what I do. Without a creative outlet (Colleen :)) I would lose my mind. I must sew. And God bless me, I can make enough money to pay my bills, fill our bellies, and be happy. Our shows are like little vacations, especially in the summer. We have canoes, and love to strap one to the top of the vehicle…great way to wind down on a Saturday night.

Surrounded by Mittens


Comments on: "I Heart Charlotte" (1)

  1. Oh, Stefani, you make my heart sing! Thanks for all the kind words. I hardly know what to say…but of course, just give me a minute, and I will have it. I love what I do, and feel so fortunate to love my job and all the great folks I meet on the road. Crafters and artists are the very best sorts of people, and I can boast of a large crafty family, for you have all become my brothers and sisters along the way.
    I heart you, Stefani! You have been part of my success, for Rochester Artisans has proved itself to be an important resource for advice and encouragement. Thanks for all your hard work!


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