Ivey Handcrafted was in our local paper today - here is the article :)
Business: Ivey Handcrafted creates whimsical accessories
By Holly Cowart Community News Assistant Editor
Around age 10 Tobi filled her family's home with pillows by utilizing her first skills with a needle and thread. As an adult she's taken her passion for craft and created Ivey Handcrafted, hand sewn felt and fabric accessories in not-to-be missed colors.
"I don't think things clash," Tobi said. "I like to find ways to make them work."
Her bold designs for brooches, hair clips and cuffs might pair yellow, red, orange and pink in one piece. Some use familiar designs such as a flower and others are abstract designs built around fabric or buttons.
"I feel like it fits people who are a little more artsy, that don't mind wearing color," she said. Each one is designed differently and hand-sewn. Their uniqueness suits the type of people who wear them. It also gives each one value. "I feel like it makes it more of an important art,"
The distinction is important for Ivey Handcrafted because even though it's a business, mass-production isn't her goal. "I really just want to keep it where it makes you feel special because you have a one-of-a-kind piece," she said.
The accessories are available online at http://www.iveyhandcrafted.com/.%20TobiTobi launched Ivey Handcrafted last fall after she and her husband moved back to Tennessee from North Carolina. "I'm getting really good feedback," she said. "The hairclips are doing really well."
Tobi credited growing up with parents who are artists as giving her the confidence to begin her business. Their experience in metal work also taught her practical lessons. "From my parents I've learned the thing about wholesale is you only get half," she said. "I think it's important to build a customer base." Putting her business on the Internet is one way to do that. "It's like an online catalog," she said. "It's a good way to show your work."
In addition to barrettes, brooches and cuffs, Tobi said she is starting to make wall artwork. "People keep saying to me that my little pins look like pieces of art," she said. "My stepfather always said 'Money is on the walls,' " meaning people are more prone to buy things they can display.
Tobi is learning how to make her own felt, but hasn't started creating pieces to sell with it. Using it in her accessories would increase their legitimacy as art, but it would also increase the price. "There are things I could probably price higher," she acknowledged. "I like that people can afford it."
Like most small businesses, Ivey Handcrafted began out of passion, not just hard work. "It makes me feel like a kid again," Tobi said. "It's just very rewarding to create something with my hands and see people love it."
More information, Ivey Handcrafted's Web site is http://www.iveyhandcrafted.com/.