Maker Spotlight: INDIGO & SNOW

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We can’t believe our Chicago Fair is just around the corner! We’re counting down the days and are thrilled to be featuring INDIGO & SNOW! These beautiful textiles will be making their way to Division Street this weekend!

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Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?

The first time I ever worked with indigo there was a huge snowstorm that day. At the time I was dyeing with a dear friend of mine, artist Liza Sylvestre, I was coordinating our plan via email and I remember writing p.s. INDIGO & SNOW that would be a good name for our label. It resonates with me because I like that SNOW references a geographical landscape where this work is being created.

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When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?

I began experimenting with hand-printing textiles nearly 15 years ago and began dyeing textiles full-time in 2013. I do what I do because it feels magical. When I am dyeing textiles, I go into a flow zone and it feels like my highest state of being. The state of being you want to have in a yoga class, but at times your brain remains too distracted to surrender to that place–where you know you are channeling energy that is way bigger than you, where you feel so connected to an intense life force energy. I go into that state of being when I work with textiles. I know in my core, it is my highest state of being, my calling, my gift.

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Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?

I don’t choose to use the word “failure” it feels too loaded. I have made a lot of mistakes and continually face challenges as I navigate this process. For me the most important insights gained are learning to trust the universe and the timing of things. I often think I know what’s best when I have a goal or career expectation of how something is going to play out. When it doesn’t go according to my plan I will feel a sense of “failure” or disappointment in that moment. But the passage of time allows me the perspective to evaluate and more often than not I am so grateful that the events unfolded as they did.

What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?

My proudest moment was when the NYT’s online magazine, T Magazine featured INDIGO & SNOW shortly after launching my first hand-dyed collection. It felt surreal. My favorite moment is when I remove the binding and see how designs and patterns unfold — it feels magical.

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How does the city you live in influence your work?

Minneapolis is a very supportive place to be a maker. It’s a very accessible city and there are a lot of resources here for artists. I am thankful to live in a city with a nationally renowned textile center that exhibits amazing textile artists and has a phenomenal textile library.

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What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?

When I was in college my dream was to open a restaurant that featured local, organic, seasonal cuisine. This was nearly twenty years ago when there were only a handful of places like this in the country. I moved to the verdant hills of the Kickapoo Valley in Wisconsin to start my cafe. I learned how to write a business plan and pitched my financing proposals to both banks and individual investors and I received a certificate in small business development, this experience began my path as a creative entrepreneur. Ultimately, I decided I didn’t want to live in a small rural community; I missed living in an urban setting and moved back to Minneapolis. More recently I worked as an Arts Administrator at a non-profit and that experience gave me the confidence to say hey! I have the skills to do this for myself.

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What are some inspirations for your work?

Landscape. Recently I have become really inspired by John O’Donohue, the Irish poet and philosopher. I am working on a series of landscape pieces that are a tribute to him. I highly recommend listening to the On Being podcast, “The Inner Landscape of Beauty.”

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What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

I could tell you all the obvious things, learn how to price your work effectively, be really organized, network etc. But honestly developing an effective tool to deal with self-doubt will serve you well and allow you to not waste your energy on thoughts that are not serving you, and quite frankly are not helpful. For a long time I was my own worst enemy. I was plagued with a lot of self-doubt around whether I could financially make this dream sustainable. I had the opportunity to travel to Japan before having kids and enjoyed visiting temples. One temple stands out for me, it was a gilded temple on an island that shown so brightly in the sunlight. I choose to see my brain as this temple and I visualize the temple doors. I am very guarded about what comes into my temple. I consciously choose to nurture my brain with thoughts that are healthy and supportive. When I see toxic thoughts coming I don’t allow them passage into the temple. It’s almost as if there’s a banner that drops down that reads: “NOT HELPFUL”. Everything is visual for me, and this has been an effective tool.

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We can’t wait to buy up Indigo and Snow products this weekend at our Chicago Fair! If you can’t wait till Saturday, you can find Indigo and Snow online here:

Website

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