Designer of the Week - Lauren's Closet

Name: Amy Hempel

Where do you live: Klamath Falls, Oregon

How old are you? 33

Do you have any children, if so what ages? I have one daughter named Lauren Grace and she JUST turned three years old

Current auctions: laurens*closet

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1. When did you get started sewing and creating? Who taught you?

I wish I had a great romantic story about my grandmother teaching me how to sew but I have to admit I am self taught and started sewing about a year ago! I have always been a VERY creative person and my mother is a gifted artist but I never knew I could sew. I have a friend who showed me how to thread my machine and taught me a few tricks? and here I am! I LOVE sewing and creating new designs! It has been a wonderful outlet for my creativity and a GREAT boost for my self esteem as I have so many wonderful repeat customers and positive comments about my work.

2. When did you start selling your designs on eBay? Do you sell anywhere else besides eBay, if so where? (example, web site, local boutique) What did you do before eBay?

My "career" was in long term care- I worked in marketing and was an administrator of an assisted living. When Lauren was a year old, it was time to stay home and be a full-time mother. I LOVED staying at home with Lauren however I was really feeling unfulfilled and missed being involved with the business world. With my husband in medical school, money was tight so I would sell Lauren?s outgrown clothing to buy new things for her. As I became more and more familiar with Ebay and the boards, I realized people were selling ?custom boutique overalls and I thought I could do that! And I became HOOKED! I have offered my items in a couple of local boutiques but have had much more success on Ebay. Where else can you have 500+ customers who are specifically looking for the very thing you are selling?! So now I sell exclusively on Ebay. I do have a website but it is under construction. I can be reached through my website: www.laurenscloset.com .

2a. Do you remember the first outfit you sold on eBay. Do you have a picture? What was it and what did it sell for?

I DO remember the first pair of overalls I ever made and sold on Ebay! It was Halloween and I made a pair of overalls with a skull on the front and the back of the overalls had a tombstone that said "it ain't no sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones." (Grateful Dead) It took me ALL DAY to make them and it is SO funny to look back at them now? I was THRILLED when they sold for $45 and even happier when I received a wonderful feedback from my first boutique customer! I still think they were CUTE but I could get them done a LOT quicker, now!

3. How did you decide upon your name .

Since I started out selling Lauren's resell clothing on Ebay, Laurens*Closet seemed to fit! Now I feel like it is my identity and I'll keep it!

4. Do you belong to any boutique group and if so which one? How did you get started in that group? What do you like most about your particular group?

I have joined the Stitchinchicks and have really enjoyed being a part of this group. When I first started selling my overalls, the Stitchinchicks were one of the groups I aspired to be a part of and when I was invited to join, I felt honored and thrilled! They are a very supportive group of designers and as a "newbie" I look forward to getting to know them all better!

5. What is your favorite thing to create? (example: vintage style dresses, totes, overalls, etc) Why?

I really do love working with overalls! I have made some outfits and am FLOORED at some of the other designers out there and what people are making but I always come back to overalls. A new pair of overalls is like a clean slate for me that can be made into anything. I love sketching out the ideas I have- wearing out my erasers as I work! And when my project is completed and the threads are all snipped, I always go to Lauren to get the final approval! (she usually tells me my work is good but ALWAYS reminds me "I don't wear oalls.")

6. What are your favorite types of fabrics or fabric designers? Why?

99% of my fabrics come from a quilt store called the Tater Patch. It?' an old farm house FULL of fabrics- every room is filled with walls and walls of texture, color, and warmth. I think my favorite fabric designer is Moda- I tend to use their fabrics a lot. Lauren loves going to the Tater Patch because they have an endless supply of suckers that keep her pretty busy while I shop!

7. Where and when do you do most of your sewing? Are you neat about it or do you have fabric covering the floor!

Like most of the mommies selling on Ebay, I am a night owl and do most of my sewing in the evening. I have an addition on the back of my house that is a large family room where I have my sewing table, ironing board, and fabrics. I will NEVER be accused of being a "neat" person? I have fabrics, threads, papers, and overalls scattered all OVER the room when I am working however I am pretty good at picking it up when I am done. My husband recently walked in from work and said "It looks like a badger got a hold of your fabric in here" if that gives you any idea?

8. What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

I really do love spending time with my daughter and my husband. Eric is a resident and so what family time we do have is very important to us and we try to always find fun things to do together. I enjoy being outside, working in my yard and I also love visiting friends.

9. Anything else you would like to add?

Many people have seen my ME page and know that my daughter is adopted. We are currently working on our paperwork for our next adoption and will hopefully have another baby soon. I am SO thankful for the opportunity Ebay and my wonderful customers have given me to earn money from home that will pay for our next adoption. When you are trying to help your family grow and physically can?t, it feels good to be able to keep busy doing something to help reach your goal. Through my designs and sewing, I feel like I am working towards bringing our next baby home. So I would like to say a big THANK YOU to my customers and friends for their support and also to Journal Modiste for this wonderful opportunity to introduce myself and hopefully meet even more people! Thanks!

Some past Lauren's Closet Designs

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