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  • Sophia

Why is my business called "Barefoot Bouquet"?

Of "Barefoot Bouquet", barefoot is a reference to the term carbon-footprint, or water-footprint, or waste-footprint. It's essentially a descriptor of how much a person, object, process, or company impacts the Earth's resources. To appreciate nature in art without disrupting it, I tread lightly through each choice, finding sustainability opportunities. Bouquet refers to the floral theme of my tapestries. I truly love Australian plants, and all plants for that matter, and want to share my perspective of their shapes and textures. I'm brainstorming a desert tapestry, and an underwater coral tapestry, but plants are at the forefront of my imagination.

I spent a lot of time thinking about not only what to call my tapestry shop but also if I actually wanted to sell tapestries. Turning a hobby into a side hustle can easily turn it into a chore. But it's also a great excuse to keep doing what I love. Still, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't doing art "just because". I wanted to put something out into the world that was nice for more than just myself. The materials, the process, and the end result all had to mean something.

Right off the bat, I knew I wanted to keep using second hand fabrics and paints. It was so much fun collaborating with my local community to gather up table cloths, rugs, and clothes. Anything that was still nice or wearable was passed on to the local Vinnies. Being an intermediary meant that the op-shop employees would have less junk to sort through and dispose of, as I cut apart the fabric anyhow. A shirt with frayed seams won't deter me! Purchasing fabric rolls from a craft store might mean I have a more reliable source of fabric, but plain cotton has nothing on the crazy textures that end up in a sack at my doorstep! Leather, velvet, denim, sequins, beaded fabric, tulle, silk, cotton, flannel, linen and more - in every colour!

As I mentioned before, I wanted tapestries to remain a fun creative process. So I decided I would continue making one-of-a-kind pieces. This pushes me to come up with new ideas, and means I'm not sitting for days on end making 30 of the same tapestry just so I have stock for many people to buy the same thing. While I'm happy to create a custom order tapestry that's similar to one I've already made and sold, I wanted each creation to be it's own experience.

I also want each tapestry to be an experience for the person who buys it. I made this website to facilitate digital browsing of tapestries, but whether it's a custom order or not, the handmade flair and interaction with the artist will be a part of every purchase. I greatly appreciate those who support small sustainable businesses, and welcome feedback and reviews.

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