Thursday, June 9, 2011

Featured Artist - Shawna Jones

Today's featured artist is a seamstress, Shawna Jones, from Denton, Maryland and owner of "My Faire Seamstress" on Etsy. Her shop features high quality historical costumes with a Renaissance flair. Her work is immaculate and no detail is overlooked. She is a 27 year old wife and mother. She creates top quality, handmade historical apparel for children. Here is our interview:

A: What led you to open shop on Etsy?

SJ:Being involved in the Renaissance Festival in Maryland every year, after I had my daughter in '09, I noticed there wasn't a strong market for infant and toddler medieval clothing. I couldn't find anything for her that didn't look cheap or made out of polyester in the Halloween section one month out of the year. I have always been into designing and sewing clothing, curtains for my house, gifts for other people, etc. So I designed a dress to fit my daughter her first year at the Renaissance Festival when she was 1. She walked around the Festival for 7 hours with me and had more pictures taken of her in those 7 hours than I did in the 7 years I had been attending in costume. So many people asked me where I bought her outfit that I was seriously regretting not carrying my business cards along with me. It was at the end of the day that I decided to open a costume shop on Etsy to give customers quality clothing that looks rich, historically accurate, and not made out of polyester :)

A: How did you settle on your niche of historic period clothing?

SJ: I have always loved the theater and dressing up as a child. Period movies are timeless and never seem to go out of style. Whether its Anne of Avonlea or Pirates of the Caribbean, the costumes always take people to another time and place. If I could choose an era to live, it would probably be the 1500s; the Tudor era. I am in love with the music, the art and the clothing. I spent a few years making fully boned corsets and large ball gowns before I began making children's clothing. It was only a matter of time after I had my daughter.

A: What are some of the sources of your inspiration?

SJ: Going to the Renaissance Festival is one of the biggest sources of inspiration I glean from. Many people make their own costumes at the Faire and everyone has different ideas of what works for them. I mentally jot down styles or colors I fall in love with and then put them on paper later on (my sketch pad doesn't really go with the gown, ya know). I like to add my own flair to styles I see; make it my own. For everyday brainstorming, I never leave home without my sketch pad. Its always in my purse ready to catch an idea that flits across my eyes.

A: What are the challenges and rewards of having your own business?

SJ: A challenge is trying to meet deadlines with a 20 month old daughter. I do the majority of my sewing with her on my lap. She pushes the automatic needle threader and the thread cutter button when I ask. She is such a blessing to me that its not so much a challenge! Needless to say, I get an equal amount of my sewing done between her naptime and her awake time. The biggest reward I ever got was from an Etsy buyer who sent me an Appreciation Photo of her small, smiling son wearing one of my 4 piece Doublet costumes to the Renaissance Festival. He was having the time of his life being dressed up! The smile says it all. I can't get it out of my mind The happiness of my little customers is why I do what I do.

Visit Shawna's Shop at

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