a bryant park blouse...

You may or may not have caught my post a few weeks prior seeking out beautiful creations made using Bryant Park or Theory [and you still can, deets at the bottom of this post!].

Ask and you shall receive. Less than a week later, my inbox announced I had mail, from the lovely Jennifer who resides in our neighboring country, Canada, showing off a sleeveless blouse with what I consider the most modern and whimsy print from Bryant Park's Yacht colorway.

Well before graduating from Purdue University with a fashion retailing and tailoring degree from the school of Home Economics, Jennifer tried her hand at sewing by way of both her grandmothers and mother, whom were all needlewomen. Seems like it runs in the family, no?

In her initial email to me, Jennifer exclaimed, "I bought a few yards a couple of months ago from Hawthorne Threads without knowing exactly what I'd make. Yesterday I made a simple sleeveless summer top and I love the sophisticated look of the fabric that transforms it from a mere 'tank top' to a very nice sleeveless top made elegant by the fabric."

Couldn't have said it better, Jennifer.

Sleeveless shells are perfect for wearing year-round. Under a cozy cardigan, tucked into a skirt or pleated shorts, or worn loose with skinny jeans, the options are endless. And the silhouette, classic. Yes, yes, yes!

But sorry ladies, Jennifer mostly creates for herself, friends, and family, so if you'd like a custom something-something, you'd have to contact her directly and work that out for yourself. Don't kill the messenger!

For her latest sewing projects, tutorials, general life news and inspiration, you can visit Jennifer on her blog Thimbles, Bobbins, Paper and Ink.

All photos taken by Jennifer Woodward.

So hey! If you want to share a little something something, shoot over one or two low resolution [72 dpi] images to me, niki [at] khristianahowell.com, and be sure to include your name, a snippet about yourself and any relevant information, such as a website or Etsy shop link.


its a super day for a SUPER SALE!

Happy 4th everyone!  I am certain everyone in the States has a full day of grilling and fun ahead.  What a great day to celebrate with a SALE!  The dynamic duo over at Zero 2 Illo has brought back the Community SUPER SALE to celebrate both the 4th of July and the 2nd birthday of their brilliant little girl.  In case you missed the last time around this amazing sale includes a bundle of some really amazing resources for artists. A few of the great pieces of the bundle are fantastic titles like 10 Steps to Powerful Online Self Promotion for Artists by Alex Mathers, Inside Illustration Competitions by Thomas James, AND the update to my first book Confessions of MORE First Timers.  If you haven't heard Confessions of MORE First Timers includes Confessions from the likes of Jessica Swift, Daisy Janie, Abigail Borg, and more! All 8 PRODUCTS in the bundle are worth over $200!  How does getting these great resources all for 39.95 grab you?  Yes!  It's true, and its is happening now!  Hurry, the sale ends promptly at 9am EST on Wed. July 6th.

Have a great day celebrating all and make this the day to begin declaring your design independence!


getting excited for the 4th and a BIG SALE!...

[caption id="attachment_3880" align="aligncenter" width="309" caption="from the "Fresh and Free" collection ©khristian a. howell"][/caption]

I am getting super excited about celebrating the 4th next week!  Truth be told I am excited because I am actually going to take some time off!  What?  Wait.  What's happening??  Yes, you heard it.  It's true, and I am thrilled (and so are my family and friends)!  For all of you who are in the mist of starting a business, you understand why this is so thrilling.  I mean it is 24/7 over here and a break is long overdue.  In celebration of the holiday and my little time en vacances, how about a SALE!!!  If you are in the midst of evaluating your mid year goals and progress, this one is for you!  Come back to THIS SPACE on MONDAY the 4th for all the juicy details!  Until then, enjoy the sunshine!


still bright, still ethnic, still in love!

In store snaps from NYC last week.  It's a bright ethnic world, and it makes me sublimely happy.  Soon we will be talking fall, so let's revel in these fun prints for as long as we can!


a call for creations...

Recently Khristian tweeted about a super cute wristlet clutch made using Mon Sheri by Etsy seller paocollection... which got me itching to see more awesome creations made with our fabrics.

As I type this blog post, three new collections are being produced for Anthology Fabrics to be released for Fall 2011. Khristian already disclosed which collections in a blog post prior to our departure to NYC for SURTEX 2011. In case you missed the big announcement or want to relive the moment over and over again, you should get excited right here.

Now back to the point!
If you or someone you know is a maker of cute things and happens to have made something - tote, quilt, spacesuit, anything! - using Bryant Park or Theory, we want to see! For a visual reference, check out these super cute pillows [above] by Etsy seller bluecalla, made with Theory in the Seaside colorway.
Cute, right?
And what about this adorable reversible sling bag [below], made with not one but two Bryant Park prints, Rooftop Garden and Village Floral, by Etsy seller makemineblue.

If you fit the bill and want to share a little something something, shoot over one or two low resolution [72 dpi] images to me, niki [at] khristianahowell.com, and be sure to include your name, a snippet about yourself and any relevant information, such as a website or Etsy shop link.

I'm not making any promises, but we'd love to show off what you've made!
Really, really. Do it.




meeble mail is live!...

Last year at SURTEX I met a cute bubbly woman who was really excited about my work, but wanted to discuss the details of her project at a later date.  I thought ok, cool, and made sure to follow up with her after the show.  Soon after we started communicating and she told me all about her exciting new project called Meeble Mail.

[caption id="attachment_3828" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="From my High Society fabric line!"][/caption]

If you are like most people today, you send hundreds of emails in the course of on month.  Maybe more?  I love that the Meeble Mail creators have thought to make this experience personal and pretty!  Meeble Mail is personalized stationery for your email.  How brilliant is that?!  A whole range of my work is available now! I will also be adding more fresh designs very soon! Run over and check it out and brighten up you email!  :-)


surtex 2011...

All that planning - and it goes by soooo quickly!  Surtex 2011 is in the books, and now the real work (well...more of it begins) As you have heard many, many times now, doing the shows is ALL about the follow up.  So this is what I have been doing and will continue to do for the next few weeks.  However, after that Niki and I are cooking up some fun new adventures, so stay tuned!

So last year, there was Confessions, and now the Updated version.  This year I would like to share with you a few things that I chose to do a bit differently after my first time experience of 2010

1. Enlist Help!! I did.  I could not have reached all my goals this year without the fabulous Niki.  Let's face it preparing for a show is a ton of work.  Add to that one (or in some cases all) of the following: maintaining current clients, creating new (tons) work, working a full-time job, raising young children, etc etc., and one can very easily and quickly reach a boiling point.  Luckily for me I am doing this full-time, and have no young children.  Yet even still - the lists spawn lists in the early spring, and it is really difficult to keep up.  Don't be afraid to ask for help!  Husband, brother, kid next door, an intern.  If there is anyone available and willing to help, take them up one it!  You don't have to be Shiva or a martyr. The people around you love and support you, so take advantage!  You can always hire help as well.  Maybe this is not feasible yet for your business long term, but think about swinging it just for a couple of weeks before the show.  Just thoughts...

2.  Don't under estimate the power of physical collateral. I know it is an email, paperless world, but we are all still human right?  There is nothing, and I mean nothing that beats getting a hand written personal note.  Along the same lines, it really can make a big impact to get a physical piece of collateral into an art director's hands.  They then have something to show others, take to meetings, put on a bulletin board to remember. You want them to think - "we MUST be sure to make it to this one".  I did not have the time to execute this last year, and I am so happy I did this year.

3.  ABC is good, but ABL is better. Have you ever heard about the number one rule of selling dubbed ABC - Always Be Closing?  This is a great rule for sales, but we are in the relationship business, and ABL - Always Be Listening is a much better rule.  Although I am very proud of my first showing last year, there were definitely some holes in my catalog.  I listened well, and made sure to have these bases covered this year.  My collection was much more complete for the types of manufacturers who are interested my work.  I took the constructive suggestions, and made it work for me.  AND, it dosen't stop there.  This year I learned even more ways that I can stay true to myself, and continue to push things forward.  I already have tons of ideas for new work.  Listening to the client and really hearing their needs is one of the most important things you can do to take advantage of the face time you get at the show.

Well, that's that.  Whew!  Until next year...happy creating!

***All images courtesy the always fabulous Tara Reed!