Thursday, July 15, 2010

People in my Neighborhood: Jennifer Ladd

I recently discovered another awesome crafy lady in my neighborhood -- Jennifer Ladd. She's got a shop full of the most beautiful bags and purses you've ever seen, often made from original fabrics that you can't just pick up at the local JoAnn's (which, as an aside, I have decided to avoid at all costs).

Not to mention her own adorableness, look at how cute she is with her sweet little daughter! Well, it's almost too much to take, I know.

This week I asked her a few questions about herself and her life here in Wisconsin. I also read an article she wrote for Esty about Milwaukee Esty artists and felt glad all over again that I've moved here. My interview with her follows...

You're so crafty! Tell me a little about yourself.
I have been crafty all my life. It probably all started when I was a baby and spent my days watching my grandma sew in her basement (she has her own company making and tailoring clothes). I picked up a needle and thread very early, and I haven't put it down since! While sewing is probably my favorite craft, I love to try out any other craft I can. I love to work with glass (glass fusing and glass blowing whenever I can get access to the facilities, stained glass, glass beads). I paint. I make jewelry. I embroider. I make baskets. I work with metal. In college, I even spent quite a bit of time woodworking (although my pink tools received lots of snickers from the men in the shop). I'm always searching for some new outlet to help me create.

What inspires you? What other artists/crafters do you admire?
I am inspired by beautiful color combinations. My brain just feels happy when I see beautiful colors together. I admire artists who are either very good at what they do (locally: RosyBird, Papavier) or very good at what I CAN'T do (locally: UrbanTurn, Kilsook). And I admire anyone who can knit ... I have tried and tried, but can't seem to get the hang of it, so anyone who does is my idol!

So you're a mom of one, and soon to be two. What kinds of crafts do you do with your daughter, or look forward to doing as she gets older?
She is a crafty little girl, too, so we are always digging into our overflowing art closet and working on some kind of project together. She's only 3, so we are still a bit limited, but most afternoons you will find us either painting, stamping, drawing, cutting, folding origami, or stringing jewelry. AS she gets older, of course, I am looking forward to sewing with her (and luckily, she has already expressed an interest! Yay!).

What are some of your favorite local shops?
Since I do have my daughter and another baby on the way (hopefully soon!), I spend most of my time in kid stores / toy shops - I like Sprout, the Learning Shop, Winkie's in Whitefish Bay, and Downtown Toy Store in Kenosha. If I ever want to do some window shopping for myself, I will always head to the Third Ward ... Anthropologie and Broadway Paper always provide some great eye-candy!

What's a perfect Milwaukee/Wisconsin day to you?
I love Milwaukee in the summer - there's always something to do (and the weather is FINALLY perfect)! My perfect day would be a picnic at the zoo with my daughter (followed by a nice walk through the zoo, a train ride, and even feeding the goats (to make my daughter extra happy!). On the way home, of course, we'd stop at Kopp's for Turtle Sundae custard. Maybe some shopping in the Third Ward. Dinner at Coquette's Cafe. And then an evening at South Shore park. Perfection!


carley k said...

Thanks for doing a profile an a local artist. I am just starting out trying to sell my crafts and I am interested in meeting local crafters. keep up the good work.

Carley knight

Danielle, Justin and Ethan said...


I saw in the blog you mentioned that you want to avoid Joanns-I am opening a fabric store in Bayview(today actually!) You should stop by sometime and check it out!!!!

BTW I love that you are profiling local crafters-It's such a great way to learn more about them



Jen said...

I'm jealous of your new craft scene. Sounds like you are surrounded by a lot of crafty mamas. Woot!