Today we’re pleased to introduce Jennifer from the Jennifer Ladd shop. Jennifer makes a really stunning selection of purses, bags, accessories, and baby items to sell, often sewing with her two year old at her feet. She utilizes a beautiful variety of many of our favorite fabrics and has a precise eye for fine sewing details. As a new board member Jennifer is also working on a fat quarter handbag tutorial for February so we can learn a bit more from her skills and creativity. Be sure to visit the Jennifer Ladd shop to swoon over her clutches, wristlets and more. Welcome, Jennifer!

SMS: How long have you been sewing?
Jennifer: I have been sewing … well … forever. My grandma is a seamstress, and I spent a lot of time at her house while I was growing up. I watched her every day for the first couple of years of my life, and then one day, I picked up my own scissors and some scraps from by my grandma’s feet and I started creating! I haven’t stopped since!

SMS: What do you enjoy about sewing? What are your favorite things to make?
Jennifer: I love the pride that comes with creating something beautiful through my own skills and imagination. I love making bags and purses, especially. They are usually sewn inside-out (to hide the seams), so it’s not until the end that I get to see exactly what my creation looks like as one piece. I so enjoy the moment when I turn the bag and get to see its beauty for the first time – I always feel proud of myself and proud of my work.

SMS: How do you find time to fit creativity (sewing and any other creative loves) into your life?
Jennifer: Being a mom is my full time job (the best I’ve ever had!). Then I work on my craft projects in the evening when my husband is home and is able to have some “daddy-daughter time” with Annie while I work. Some days it is tough to be sewing while I hear my husband and my daughter playing and giggling in the other room. I know that time will pass so quickly, and I want to enjoy every minute of life with her. Luckily, I do spend all of my day with her, and I do really enjoy my evening sewing time. It is a little mental break for me. Also, Annie usually spends the evening playing at my feet, anyway! She has started to have a lot of fun playing with my sewing scraps and supplies. This is a very cool thing for me to see since I, myself, used to do the same thing at my grandma’s feet!

SMS: Do you have a favorite sewing tip or skill that’s made things work better for you?
Jennifer: Keep a pair of pliers near-by when you hand sew. You can pull your needle through the tough spots easily, and it saves your fingertips from going numb.

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Jennifer’s Yellow Blossoms Clasp Clutch

SMS: What’s a favorite thing you’ve made lately?
Jennifer: I love my Yellow Blossoms Clasp Clutch purse. This winter has been so cold and so snowy, I just needed to make something bright and happy.

SMS: Can you tell us a little more about yourself?
Jennifer: I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with my husband and two-year-old daughter. I used to be a French teacher, but after we traveled to Vietnam to adopt her last year, I quit my job to stay home with her. I always said that my “dream job” was to run my own business to sell my handmade purses. My husband encouraged me to pursue that dream and I opened my Etsy shop in December, 2007. I make and sell my handmade bags, purses, and baby items, and I am loving my new job! I get to spend every day raising my wonderful daughter and creating cute things — life doesn’t get much better!