Readers, we have one more vendor profile for you this afternoon! Miss Tess creates fantastic, bright, sparkly, exciting costumey couture that will brighten even the grayest wintry Boston day with an explosion of feathers and glitter. Oh, my!
Hi there! First things first: What’s your name, what’s your business name, where are you from, and where are you currently located/crafting?
My name is Miss Tess and my business is Miss Tess and I’m from Miss Tess….just kidding. I’m from Tessylvania. Just kidding again. I grew up in UT but have lived in California, North Carolina and now in Boston.
How did you get your start? Please tell us a little bit about how your business went from an idea to what is is today.
I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember. My first project was a leopard print tube dress for my Barbie when I was 4 years old. From there I developed an interest in fashion and eventually launched my own kitchy acessories line (Made by Tess) which I ran for many years. Several summers a go my good friend Mandy asked me to help her make tiger zombie costumes for a music video. We had a blast. Then we made a break dancing polar bear costume together for another music video, and it all went uphill from there. Most of my retail designs are on the fashion end of costume but my custom designs range anywhere from outfits to circus performers and other performance artists to individuals with what I like to call “unusual requests”.
What inspires you the most to create?
Everything! I have a pretty vivid imagination so when I look at something my mind usually wanders somewhere strange. I’m either imaging putting eyeballs on things, turning objects into clothing (hello miniature sail boat hat!) or what I would wear to do some sort of fantastical activity. I also like to think about my favorite things and then make them better by combining them. Dinosaurs and Unicorns? Dinocorns!!! The mind can ponder that one for a long time.
What are your favorite materials to work with? Do you have a favorite color palette?
Teddy bear eyeballs, faux fur, spandex, shiny things, fake flowers, and did I mention eyeballs? I tend to design using a lot of bright colors, though I do love sweet pastels and my eye is drawn to black/white stripes + red or pink or lime green.
Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?
My favorite indie crafter is definately my friend Mandy Jouan of sappymoosetree.mandyjouan.com I love what she does, and she’d the person who got me into this! And she makes felt bacon, it’s vegan and hilarious!
Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business? (Nothing TOP-SECRET, of course!)
More dance wear. I’ve gotten hooked on making unitards!
What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?
Remodeling my studio, shopping for vintage clothes, camping, playing with my animals and boyfriend, yoga, world domination. The usual.
What are the top 3 reasons someone shopping at the BBB 2010 should be sure to stop by your table?
1. Most of my items are one of a kind so I only put a few up at a time on my website. Maybe there is an alien there waiting for you to adopt it!
2. Gaze deep into the eyes of a sassy eyeball brooch, they are very enchanting.
3. I’m pretty friendly! And I can give you tips on vegan gluten free cooking, hair dying and which color of faux fur goes with your outfit.
What is your favorite background noise to listen to while working?
Pandora is very good to me. I have many different channels to listen to though I usually hop around between dance music, electro pop and 90′s rap.
Where do you do your (craft) work? (e.g. in a studio, in the living room, a spare bedroom, the floor, kitchen table – what’s your work area like?)
I work in my studio which is in an old warehouse. My boyfriend and I spent a year renovating slowly to turn into a dream studio. The walls are painted with pastel blue, green and yellow rainbows and swirls. The ceilings are covered in different pink and blue floral fabrics and the floor is pink with white fluffy clouds! I pretend it’s an upside down world. After years of working in tiny boring rooms or on floors it’s nice to have a place that is very creatively stimulating. It has it’s flaws, but doesn’t everything?
If you had to contribute something you made to a time capsule to be opened in 2110, what would it be and why?
I would probably contribute a sweet belt pouch because those things always come in handy. Unless they’ve eliminated the need to carry things in 2110 then it would make a very nice hat for a teddy bear.
Thanks, Miss Tess! We’ll see you at the BBB next week!
xo Miss/Ms/Mrs and Mr Bazaar Bizarre Organizers