Name: Jennifer Ladd
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Facebook page: facebook.com/jenniferladd
Tell me a little bit about what you make, and why you like the process of making.
I make handmade bags and purses. I love the challenge and excitement of using raw materials to create something cute. Bags are especially great for this - they are generally constructed inside-out, and it is always thrilling to turn them back at the end of the process and see how it turned out!
How and when did you become interested in making bags?
I used to be a French teacher full-time, but we adopted our beautiful daughter from Vietnam in 2007 and I quit to stay home with her full-time. I absolutely loved my new role, but after a few months, I did find myself getting a bit stir crazy and I needed a creative outlet just for myself (a bit if a break from Sesame Street!). I started sewing a lot more and made myself a few new bags. It was so fun for me that I decided to try selling them, and I haven't stopped since!
How would you describe your style?
When I design my handbags, I lean toward simple shapes and modern lines. But I also try to add a surprise bit of levity to each purse with bold colors and eye-catching designs. I'm also a fan of the unexpected ... an elegant clutch with an octopus on it, for example!
Where do you do your work?
I have my own sewing room in my house—such a nice space, and such a treat to have my own place that I can do with what I please (without toys, crayons, and Cheerios)! I made sure it had bright colors so it is a fun, inspiring place to work. Here are some photos:
Where do you look for inspiration?
I am inspired by beautiful fabrics. I always get happy when I see a beautiful fabric combination. And
I think my work is most recognizable by its bright colors.
Is this your full-time work?
My daughter is my full-time job (the best one I ever had!). My days are dedicated to her. I sew at night as a bit of a mental break for me, a time to relax and express some creativity. As she gets older, I do find myself having a bit more time to dedicate to my shop, but that will probably be short-lived ... we are in the process of adopting another baby girl from Ethiopia!