Tuesday 19 July 2011

Vendor Spotlight: Dear Edna

Next in our lineup of wonderful vendors is a local Hamiltonian: Erin of Dear Edna. She makes gorgeous aprons (for girls and guys!), cute screen printed totes, and has a fun blog that does a great job of letting me know what's going on in Hamilton each month.

dear edna 1

Kate Hunter: Tell us about yourself.

Erin: My name is Erin McIntosh and I’m the one-woman show behind Dear Edna, a small handmade accessories company based in Hamilton, Ontario. I was born and raised in “the Hammer”, but it wasn’t until I had spent four years at the University of Western, two years in Japan and Australia, and three years in Toronto that I decided to move back to my hometown, reignite my relationship with my sewing machine, and finally turn my life-long hobby into a creative business. When I’m not sewing, I am a full-time editor, tea fanatic, bookworm and baker.

dear edna 3

K.H.: Where/when did you become acquainted with your craft?

Erin: I come from a long line of crafters. My grandmother was very well known for her quilting skills. I think she made a quilt for every new grandchild and every wedding in our family, and I have fond memories playing beneath her quilting frames. Many of my baby and doll clothes were handmade thanks to my aunts, and my mother’s crocheted afghans and doilies are warm reminders of home for me. I began teaching myself to sew at a very young age, when my mother inherited a sewing machine from a friend. I was immediately fascinated with it, and after practicing sewing line after line into tea towels, I progressed to creating pencil cases, skirts and dresses, and finally, home accessories. It’s only in the last year that I’ve picked up screen printing and I’m really excited about where that will take me.

dear edna 2

K.H.: Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

Erin: Hopefully it is evident in my work, but I am heavily influenced by the past – florals, houndstooth and plaid; doilies and lace; brooches and pearls; high tea and happy hour. Browsing antique stores is one of my favourite things to do and I could do it for hours on end.

I am also really inspired by the handmade tradition. Skills such as sewing, needlepoint and weaving that have been passed down for generations are now disappearing art forms. I am really eager to try my hand at many of them and find ways to incorporate them into my work.

erin bags

K.H.: Do you have a favourite place/spot/time of day/etc. to work?

Erin: I live in a two-story condo with my boyfriend in downtown Hamilton. We recently created a sewing room and office that takes up almost the entire top floor and opens out onto two rooftop patios, which I just love. Words can’t describe how nice it is to have my fabric collection on display, all my tools within arm’s reach, natural sunlight and a dedicated space to just create. My favourite time of day is currently unavailable, so let’s just say it’s evenings and weekends.

erin aprons

K.H.: How do you get your work out in the world? Where else can one find it?

Erin: I primarily sell my work online through my Etsy store: www.dearedna.etsy.com. I also have a few pieces for sale in White Elephant.

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