Today I want you to meet Gail from The Widow’s Walk . A wonderful Crafter with a warm personality and a great talent.
Brief bio where you are from and how you started
I’m from coastal Virginia and have spent my entire life around the ocean. My husband was in the Navy, so even when I left Virginia I was still always near the ocean. When he passed away we were in Norfolk, Virginia, which is where my family is from and where I’ve lived ever since.
In 2004 my job in the corporate world was “out sourced”, and I was devastated. That was also when my Mother’s health began to fail. Losing my job turned into a blessing in disguise, as it allowed me the time I would not have otherwise have had to be able to care for her in her last four years of life. Never one to sit idly by, however, made care-taking a bit nerve wracking … so I began taking knitting projects with me to work on while caring for her. That is how my online shop came to be.
How did your Studio get its name?
I love all crafts and dabble in a LOT of them, so I didn’t want to pigeon hole the name of my shop to just knitting (even though that is all I carry at this point), as I may want to broaden my inventory to my other crafts as well.. The area where I am located is called Willoughby Spit, and I almost called it “Knit on the Spit”. Obviously, that would only make sense to locals. I still wanted a coastal type of name however. My next door neighbor, Susan, actually came up with the name. A lot of the homes in our area have “widow’s walks”, which is an architectural feature. It is, basically, a railed platform on rooftops, often enclosed by a cupola, from which the wives of sailors at sea would go to watch for the return of their husbands ships. It seemed the ideal solution, encompassing the coastal theme as well as the Navy wife and widow too.
What material do you work with?
I love luxurious yarns and fibers: silk, Angora, alpaca, wool, blends … and use them as often as I can, but the cost can be somewhat prohibitive with the higher end fibers. I started the shop two years ago and began with, mainly, acrylic and acrylic blends, to keep costs down and to be able to price them at an affordable price. Now that my sales have started picking up somewhat, I’m now able to add some items with the higher end fibers inter-mixed, therefore having a wide range of items for every price range.
When did you discover your creative side?
As a child of about five or six years old we had a neighbor who taught me how to cross stitch, and I became obsessed. Then I went on to the potholders we all made on a loom as a kid. In sixth grade, I fell in love with painting and drawing and had some of my work showcased in school galleries, so I thought I was hot stuff! In my late teens I was taught to crochet and every one I knew received crocheted items, whether they wanted them or not. In my early twenties the mother of a friend taught me to knit, and I dabbled with it off and on as time and life allowed. Just a few years ago I also tried my hand at sculpting. I guess I’ve pretty much always wanted and needed to be creative, but knitting is my true love.
What inspires you and what get’s you motivated?
There are so many things that inspire me that this is a difficult question. The always changing colors and moods of the sea invoke thoughts for different colors and textures. Challenges put before me by my customers when they approach me with a specific image they’ve envisioned. A pattern I see that looks especially challenging or difficult. All of these, and more, inspire me.
As for motivation, I just can’t sit and do nothing. My hands must be busy at all times. I’ve never understood those who get bored. There is SO much to do if you just do it!
Compassionate; Driven; Loving; Organized; Friendly
you can find Gail’s shop here : http://www.etsy.com/shop/thewidowswalk?ref=seller_info
and follow her on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Widows-Walk/340519500003