Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shoutout to Beth & Jen of Parris House Wool Works!

Beth and Jen are bringing back the traditional North American rug hooking techniques and designs...and let me tell you, the rugs are absolutely stunning!  Works of fiber art that I'm not so sure I would be able to wipe my feet on!  

 Name:  Beth Miller

Business Name(s):  Parris House Wool Works

Date Business Was Opened/Created:  2011

Types of Items/Services Offered:  Jen and I offer everything you need for the art of traditional North American rug hooking, including original patterns on linen ( primitive, traditional, and contemporary), the best quality wools (hand dyed by us and also off the bolt), hooks, our own Maine made and personally designed rug hooking frames, hooks, binding tape, you name it. Additionally we consign items from other Maine artisans including frame covers, snip pockets, hand spun and dyed yarns, and knitting bags. We also will be introducing hand made, all natural soaps and vintage hand picked items to our shop in 2014, as well as our own line of custom turned hooks, again, made in Maine. Additionally, we teach our craft in both our Maine and Tennessee studios and offer hooking nights for hookers to share their craft, chat, and have tasty refreshments.

Why did you decide to open/start your own business?
Shortly after my mother passed away in early 2011, I decided I was going to do something healing for myself and learn the traditional New England/Canadian Maritime art of rug hooking. It was something I had wanted to learn for quite a few years, so I treated myself to a lesson from friend, neighbor, and then shop owner, Connie Fletcher of Seven Gables Rug Hooking. Under Connie's careful guidance, I quickly fell in love with the craft and knew this was something I wanted to be very involved with. Shortly thereafter, my dear friend Jen Rosenburg visited from Tennessee and she too learned the craft from Connie. Within a few months we were making small finished pieces and patterns and had opened our fledgling Etsy shop. Just this year I was able to quit my "day job" in real estate brokerage and devote myself full time to our business. Jen and I both love history and heritage, and this craft appealed to us on a heart level. We think we bring that love to our products and to how we promote and teach our craft to others.

What is your inspiration?
My inspiration is my beautiful natural environment here in Maine. There is just so much beauty around me every day here in the Western Mountains that it definitely ends up reflected in my art. I think the same is true for Jen in her southern home, but I also think that Jen brings a unique literary inspiration as well to her work. 

What is your favorite item/service you currently offer in your business?
This is a tough one! I can't speak for Jen, but for me my favorite items in the shop are our original patterns, designed by me, by Jen, and by her husband, Daniel Rosenburg. The reason these are my favorite things is because it is so much fun to watch other hookers take our patterns and interpret them in their own colors and styles. Often the results are much different than how we originally envisioned the outcomes, and that is quite a joy for us.

 What advice do you have for someone looking to start/open their own business?
Do what you love, love what you do. I know it sounds trite, but I believe it so fully that I wear the saying on a silver ring every single day, and teach that philosophy to my four sons. I never imagined how well our business would be received until we just threw ourselves in to it and found so many others who share our passion.

Secondly: relentless social media. Use every social media outlet you can to get the word out about what you do and what you love. Don't create an artificial persona on your social media - be YOU and interact genuinely and personally with your friends and followers on line. It's a wonderful way to meet and learn from others as well as build your customer base.

Where can people find your items/services?
Etsy & Lisa Marie's Made in Maine in the Front Street, Bath, Maine location. 

This questionnaire was answered by me, Beth, but for more information on Jen too, please follow us on our social media sites! Thank you!










Fun Randomness!!
Favorite Color(s)Purple, Green, Black

Favorite Food(s):  Sushi

Favorite Vacation Spot: Nova Scotia

Favorite BookWalden by Henry David Thoreau

Favorite MovieAirplane

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