Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spotlight Interview with ............. Chix That Stitch

Chix That Stitch allows you to create your own individuality 


I met Judy Levine, owner of Chix That Stitch, at the Batavia Quilt Show where our booths were across from each other. I was thrilled when she agreed to do an interview for my blog about her fun and unique handmade items.  

I bought one of those great Peace-Sign tops and a fabulous infinity scarf! Love them =)

How did you come up with the fabulous name “Chix That Stitch”? How many and who are the other Chix? 
In December 2010, I spent the holidays with my aunt who resides in Providence, RI. As a photographer, she had a picture of a chicken she had photographed above her bed. The name fell into place when I was taught how to knit my first felted bag. Today, I am the only Chix doing the stitching. 



What inspired you to start Chix That Stitch? Was it a long process to get your shop from idea to reality or did it happen quickly?
Chix That Stitch happened quickly. After my first felted purse was completed, I began to create my own designs without patterns. I was not working, and I always had a desire to start my own boutique. It all fell into place, and 3 months later I was participating in my first show. 
First Felted Purse


I could be wrong but it seems to me your items appeal to all age groups, what would you say is your niche?
I do make my items to all age groups. I create my items so Chix ladies can create their own individuality. Just the other day, I had a 7 year old, with her own money, purchase a scarf. Two weeks prior, a middle aged woman had purchased a similar scarf. My items are based on the concept of Chix That Stitch items allow you to create your own individuality. No two handmade pieces are alike. There’s no right or wrong way to wear a Chix item; it’s how you want to wear it. 

 

Tell us about the items that you make and sell…and if you’re willing to share, how DO you get those peace signs on the shirts!?
I design and create felted purses, fingerless gloves, scarves, ponchos, t-shirts and camis, iPad holders, glasses holders and one of a kind pieces of jewelry. In addition, for summer 2013 I introduced a line of wire wrapped bubble wands and bubbles for kids of all ages.

The peace signs and flowers are created with a “special” Chix mixture to get an ombre effect on the design. No two shirts are exactly alike. “Special” is the secret, but I can tell you to create a t-shirt takes 2 days per shirt or cami due to the entire process. 

(I personally LOVE these--Karen)




What about your process is unique to others in your specialty?
My process is unique as I don’t use a pattern when I knit. I might see a pattern I like, but in the end I always will put my own spin on my design. The pattern is a guide, but a Chix piece is one of a kind. It can never be duplicated. This is why I love my tagline “Chix That Stitch allows you to create your own individuality”.

In addition, for my other products, I will see a design concept I really like, and I will build my items around it. I never duplicate someone else’s work as it allows me to set myself apart from the norm. I also have a crafting partner, Donna Manley of Literary Alterations, who is extraordinary in guiding me along the way when I see something I am interested in creating. Her extraordinary crafting skills have allowed me to use her as my crafting coach. She is the creative side while I am the operational side. If she thinks my idea is not a winner, she tells me upfront. We collaborate on a lot of ideas, and in the end she makes me a better, well rounded, creative artist. 



Do you have a particular piece of which you are most proud?
My first felted messenger bag is the piece I am most proud. It was such an accomplishment to see I was capable of knitting and designing something functional. The greatest reward came when I attended my first summer show in July 2010, and a 13 year old girl told her mom, “I have to have this bag!” I was extremely flattered by the fact this young lady found my bag to be something she wanted. I am so honored when someone purchases a Chix item as they love something I made. That in itself is a proud moment each and every time.

What has been your favorite part of running your shop so far?
The opportunities are endless, and I am reaffirmed I am a good designer when someone tells me, “I love your stuff! I can’t decide which item to get.” I’m a people person. I enjoy the interactions, and I have been very fortunate to meet a lot of extraordinary people. 
Fabulous Hats
Besides making the wonderful items you sell, what else do you do in life?          
I created and moderate a Facebook group Etsy Chicago. It’s a small intimate networking group of women who have their own Etsy shops and/or creative business. I love the group as it gives me an opportunity to meet new people who are experiencing similar situations. The group also provides information to shows, business propositions and best practices.

I also manage the social media for Living Kidney Donor Network. The nonprofit was started by Harvey Mysel a two time kidney recipient. His goal was to get the word out about becoming a living donor. In 3 years, we have gone from 300 friends to 5,100 friends. I engage the members with questions, share information, and recognize those who have donated a kidney or received a kidney.
In addition, I have the love of my life Foster. Foster is an 8 year old black lab mix. She loves having her mom work from home. 

Judy Levine--owner Chix That Stitch


What are your goals for Chix That Stitch?
I would love to get my products in to more boutiques. Currently, I have products in Pzazz Gifts in Woodstock.  

In addition, with the recent addition of themed jewelry, including a make your own necklace charm bar and pocket watches, my goal is to expand into the home party and fundraiser sectors.

A lot of women do not have the time to get to a craft show due to commitments. The idea of getting your group of friends together, creating your own individuality with your jewelry piece and enjoying “me” time is the concept.

The fundraiser sector is rewarding as I love giving back to the community. Bringing people together to make a difference to someone and/or a group of people while having fun doing it is an area I would like to develop and grow to help others. 

Would you please share your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy page, etc?
ChixThatStitch@gmail.com


A big thank you to Judy for taking the time to be interviewed. Your work is wonderful and you are enthusiastic and inspiring. It was a pleasure to get to know you and I wish you all the best.  Karen

14 comments:

  1. I am honored! Thank you so much for taking the time to interview Chix That Stitch!

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    1. It was entirely my pleasure, Judy! Best of luck with your dream =)

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  2. Very nice article Judy!!!!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview, Char. Judy was wonderful to interview...so talented!

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    2. Karen, Char is one of the two aunts who taught me how to knit. She gave me my first pattern to try. :)

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    3. She certainly was a great teacher and inspiration for you!

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  3. I'm very proud of Judy! It is wonderful to see a dream come true! You are a very talented lady!

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    1. Thanks for posting--Wishing Judy all the best!

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  4. Judy, Thank you for mentioning Pzazz Gifts! We have several customers ask us what the bubble wands are, they've never seen anything like that... and they're fun... no one says that you have to be a child to enjoy them!

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  5. Pzazz--send me your link and I'll slip it into the post =)

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    1. Hi Karen, www.pzazzgifts.com or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pzazz-Gifts-Home-Decor-Woodstock-IL/287990366124?ref=tn_tnmn

      Thank you, We appreciate it!

      Patti
      Pzazz Gifts

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  6. Hi Karen great interview with Judy. We had a fun time in her booth at the Batavia Quilt show. Did you see me and my sister on Judy's blog wearing our beautiful scarves Judy made! Really talented and artistic woman.

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  7. Yes--I saw that photo of the two of you--it was really cute!

    Judy is remarkable and I was honored to have her agree to do an interview with me. I'm planning on wearing my peace t-shirt to the opening tonight =)

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