Scrunchies and wine bags and face masks… oh my! Rachel is a maker whose creativity (and sewing machine) result in a varied line of products we absolutely love! We are inspired by Rachel’s innovative designs and always look forward to seeing what she’ll make next. Let’s dive through the eye of the needle to go behind the scenes with the Sun is Up Shop!
Hi Rachel! Thanks for taking us behind the scenes today with the Sun is Up Shop! Where do you find inspiration for your art?
Inspiration always starts with the materials, and in particular the colors. Fabric, leather, and textiles that can be used to sew with come in so many varieties of pattern and color. Usually, I stumble on something that catches my eye on IG -- for example a certain newly released fabric, and it’s like love at first sight. Next, I let it marinate and think about how I could incorporate it into my product in a creative way.
Social media is a great source of inspiration! Do you plan for months before creating a new product, or do you create spontaneously?
My creations are definitely spontaneous. Many times I have an idea and try it, sometimes the end product is amazing, and sometimes I just drop it completely because it didn't turn out how I had imagined. But I love this improvisation that comes with creating. I enjoy the process of making so much. It really grounds me and puts me in a relaxed mental space. I also love seeing the colors and textiles come together to ultimately become something functional.
We love the results of your process! Can you please walk us through a step-by-step process for creating your product?
I have made so many different products during my time at Mosaic -- face masks, neck cowls, mini zip pouches, throw pillows, accessory catchalls made with rope, wine bags, men's handkerchiefs, and scrunchies!! They are each different in the step-by-step and it would be hard to outline that. But I will tell you that I appreciate having multiple different kinds of makes because I never get bored with making just one thing. For example, I may spend some time putting rope bowls together, and then before I add the velvet or leather accent, I will set that project aside to start constructing another product. This is how I work until I'm able to pull all the items together for a restock. Taking a break and moving on to another product really keeps my creative process fresh and enjoyable.
It’s great that you have so many different things you can work on to keep your energy and creativity up! What does a typical day look like for you?
This year has been the craziest year because I have 2 kids that have been home since the initial covid shutdown. I have been homeschooling them myself all year (after we withdrew from virtual school in September). In addition, I'm the director at Make, where I organize teacher schedules, interact with potential students, and have most recently created a makers workshop space. My days feel very fragmented with the many responsibilities that I carry out. Part mom, part maker, part music/creative studio director -- and the priority is always my kids, who also spend a lot of their days waiting for me to finish my work.
One of the best parts of my days as a work-from-home mom is when my making blends together with my kids' activities. I keep a second machine set up in my studio and we have ample scrap baskets. So when I'm working, they will spontaneously come in and make their own creations alongside me. I love that!! But, the focused making tends to happen in the evening and on weekends when I'm able to be more attentive to it without interruption. In a nutshell, the making happens when it happens, and I am accustomed to going with the flow. I'd like making to be more scheduled into my day, which will likely be more feasible this fall.
It sounds like your creativity and drive are inspiring so many people! Who’s the first person you show when you create a new piece?
A lot of times, my kids are the first to see my makes. They see the process and their feedback is very honest. 😂 I am used to this though because I have been making my own garments and garments for them since they were babies. I have had to be very humble in receiving their reactions -- even when I know what I just made for them (or for myself) is super cute. Lol. Now when I make things for them, they are pretty involved with the process of choosing fabric, and sometimes sewing on their own for certain steps of the process.
Kids say the darndest things! It’s great that you include them in the process! We love sneak peeks! Can you let us in on any future products we can look forward to seeing on the shelves?
Right now I'm working on developing a cowhide clutch that I'd like to line with natural dyed, hand pressed design -- made by a maker in CA that I have previously done collabs with. This is probably the only product that I will have taken some time to plan before full production. I'm hoping to have it available by the end of September/Fall.
We can’t wait to see the cowhide clutch! Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse behind the scenes of the Sun is Up Shop!
Want to learn more about our makers or shop Mosaic Makers? Check out these additional resources: