Designer of the Week - Lucinda Schafer

Name: Lucinda Schafer

Where do you live: Leo, Indiana

How old are you? 41

Do you have any children, if so what ages? 4- Matthew (16), Spenser (11), Benjamin (10), and Emma (23 months)

Current auctions: Lucinda Schafer

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

I really can't remember NOT doing something creative. My mother taught me sewing when I was in elementary school, probably at my request. She used to make all of my clothes, and I can remember sitting on the floor (okay, she recently told me I stood behind her on the chair-LOL) near her watching with interest. I remember making a pieced quilt for my doll-Emma has that now. I was making clothes for myself by junior high.

In junior high, I expressed an interest in hand embroidery. We found a transfer pattern of kittens (I love cats!) in a Workbasket magazine. She ripped up an old sheet for the transfers. I had enough for three baby blankets, in the end. By the time I was out of high school, I had finished them all. The year I married my husband, my mother made a set of them into a quilt for my nephew. Then she made another set into a girl's quilt for my daughter (even though a baby wasn't on the way, yet!) Well, she didn't realize it would take 20 years before I'd have a girl. Emma now has that quilt; and after all those years, it still looks brand new! The third set was made into a blanket for my oldest son Matthew, when he was born. He still has it hidden (shh!) in his room somewhere!

I also tried hand quilting and knitting. They didn't appeal to me, although now I would love to learn. I found crocheting interesting, but it really didn't develop into that all consuming habit until I taught myself, in 1992. I never get tired of crocheting, mentally; however, sometimes my wrist starts to hurt and I have to stop. It is very relaxing. People ask me how I can make everything I make-well, you get pretty good and fast, with practice!

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?

In the summer of 2003, I started selling crochet patterns on eBay. In September, I listed my first poncho. I had made it for my niece, but wasn't sure she would like it, so I decided to sell it. Let's just say I was "hooked" into eBay by that first poncho sale!

I also made a lilac poncho like it and sold it soon after that.

I worked as a software engineer for 17 years, and I had little time to develop a business related to my favorite hobbies. Doing something like this was always in the back of my mind. After my early retirement, when Emma was born, I was able to do it. eBay makes it so easy to sell from a home-based business.

I mostly sell on eBay. I am working with a few other website based boutiques, and I also have my own website, I haven't done much with it because I am already too busy with orders. I do almost all custom orders (am I crazy or what?). I actually like doing custom orders and working with the customer to design exactly what they want.

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?

Jan 1, 2004, I decided to start selling outfits in addition to ponchos, as outfits seemed to sell better than ponchos alone. My first outfit was a Valentine's outfit. It is still one of my favorites. I sold 3 of them, in the $24-$30 range. Not bad, considering my ponchos were selling for less than $20 and a sewn outfit is much quicker to make.

3. How did you decide upon your name?

My eBay id is my name, lucindaschafer. I like to be straight forward with people. My boutique name and all my tags have "Emma's Favorites" on them, after Emma. It just kind of came to me, and I liked 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 just joined Lil Peas in December (prior to that, I was in PDPC). It is fun to discuss and plan our themes and coordinate outfits, bows, and bracelets. Everyone in the group is super talented. Most of us have little girls around the age of 2, thus the name "Lil Peas."

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

If you take a look at my eBay store, you will see ponchos, ponchos, and more ponchos. This isn't just because they are popular right now-I just love making them! Having grown up in the 70's, I am really excited that some of the styles have come back now. I also love to sew peasant tops and ruffled pants. I now offering embellished overalls and soon will be offering machine-embroidered items. I like to make practical clothing that can be worn everyday-outfits that Emma can wear-I mean really wear--while playing.

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

I love Michael Miller fabrics, but others, as well. I am drawn to whimsical designs and great quality fabric, rather than to a particular designer. I also like easy-care fabrics-again, the practical side! I am always searching for quality yarns, that aren't too expensive. I am using mostly Lion Brand yarns and some Bernat, depending on the project. I have also used some fine yarns which are rather expensive, for special custom orders. I have found that in fabrics and yarns, you do get what you pay for it.

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

I am blessed to have a room in my basement, totally devoted to sewing and eBay! I have my sewing machines and serger set up in there. I have an old deacon's bench that used to be my grandmother's filled to the top with fabrics. I have my postage scale and cutting table. Of course, I have an ironing board. I also have a closet overflowing with yarn! Pretty much everything I need is at hand, except the computer, which is in the next room.

When I am in the middle of a new project, the room gets very messy, as I am searching for supplies. I am rather like a mad scientist when I am creating! Otherwise, I try to keep it neat so I can find most of my supplies rather quickly.

8. What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

I enjoy playing board games with my family. I also play and teach flute (sometimes piano, too). I have several flute students, at the moment.

Anything else you would like to add?

I have found many new friends in the past year. I want to thank all of them for their support in 2004. I had a really great year and look forward to another one with them in 2005!

Some past Lucinda Schafer Designs

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