This husband and wife duo is proof that with a little collaboration and creativity, you can create beautiful things. A lover of arts and crafts, Debra started out making coasters for a local gift shop. Feeling inspired by her husband to take her work to the next level, they combined his love of music and design with her handmade coasters, creating unique coaster sets which they now call Made In Claremont. We sat down with Debra to get the inside scoop about her buzzing business, music, and family.
Introduce yourself to the Artists & Fleas community via your favorite musician or band:
I’d have to say Prince without a doubt. The first time I saw him in my twenties was during the Purple Rain tour. Just an amazing performer all around but I really appreciate his musicianship. He wrote everything from music to lyrics and played 14 instruments proficiently. He really was a musical genius.
What inspired you to start Made In Claremont?
My husband inspired me via his love and passion for collecting vinyl. It started as a fluke really because he is a graphic designer and was doing a lot of music re-interpretation prints. He would listen to a song that moved him over and over and then create a graphic interpretation of it. He asked me to make those into mini canvases via a coaster for a local hand made store and that's what started it all.
We also have a son with Cerebral Palsy and I needed a way to make a living and yet still have the flexibility to take him to his many doctors and therapy appointments.
What is one of your favorite coaster sets from your collection?
That is a hard question to answer. I might have to say the Derrick and The Domino’s cover. I also love the Cannonball Adderly in Chicago cover. Both are true works of art. Lastly, I am a fan of the Blue Note album covers and their use of typography.
What attracted you to sell at Artists & Fleas?
Our vendor neighbor from the Rose Bowl CA Crown was exhibiting and he suggested that A&F would be a good fit for our products, so here we are!
What advice might you have for anyone looking to get into a similar career?
I think its important to find a craft that you are good at and that you enjoy doing. Additionally doing your homework on pricing and nailing down your target market is crucial. My sales and marketing background has been indispensable for growing and developing this business and it doesn’t hurt to be detailed oriented when it comes to production. I find that customers can always see the quality and time devoted to “Handmades” and are willing to pay for unique well made items.
When you are not busy building your business, what are some things you love to do in your spare time?
I try to exercise 4-5 times per week but when you have your own growing business its pretty much 24/7. Even when just relaxing hanging out at the pool; I’ll hear a song from a playlist and think "Hmm what does that album cover look like?" Or I will harass my husband and ask him to design some new themes for me!
A mantra that you live by:
Life is a journey with a series of adjustments so just roll with it and be happy!