First, and foremost we had to ask to her about her aesthetic, and how she came to create patterns that so successfully balanced form and function.
I always have someone in mind when I design. My changing pad bag was for a friend's baby shower a few years after my own kids were out of diapers. I had never been satisfied with what was available for changes on the go, so I made something I would have loved to use myself. Currently I am making backpacks for my own kids. Having them be washable and well made is something you can't get in a store. When it comes to birthdays and holidays, it’s no different: my friends and family have come to expect something handmade from me. Many of these gifts become patterns. I always have more scraps than I like, and that affects my project list. I often stray from my own release list to make something small to use up scraps. My next little pattern will be something fun for gifts to help you use up your fabric scraps, too.
We were curious what her most popular design is, and why she thinks that connects with so many people.
The duffel is far and away my most popular product and pattern. The size and shape is so practical for traveling. It just works. I think we, all of us, have a need to express ourselves and be unique. There are endless combinations of fabric to make your duffle really different. I love all of the designer fabrics so much. It is exciting to see all of the big, splashy bags made with my pattern.
Lastly, we wanted to get her advice for fledgling indie designers.
I have just three little pieces of advice for new designers: 1) Make what you love and use yourself. 2) Make it the best you can before you sell it. Lastly, 3) be in the habit of being helpful and gracious with your customers. I think getting good at illustrating and photography is key too.
Here are some of our favorite patterns by Cherie: