Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzy Weber.
Hi Suzy, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’ve always been a crafty girl. I grew up doing arts and crafts with my mom and both of my grandmothers – sewing, painting, ceramics and such. But as I became entrenched in my adult life, I kind of grew away from them. Then the pandemic hit. I turned to TikTok (as so many others did) for some entertainment and inspiration. I was watching videos about tie-dyeing and thought, “Hey, I can do that!” So a friend came over and we tried it out on a few of our old T-shirts. Well, I guess it stuck with me more than her because I took it beyond that afternoon. I was soon dyeing everything in my closet, as well as dyeing the clothes and undershirts of the family I nanny for during the week. Soon, it completely took over my little one-bedroom apartment, and I knew I had to find a way to get it out of there. My first “pop-up” was with a folding table on the sidewalk outside of my apartment where my neighbors bought T-shirts and beaded bracelets I had made and was taking custom orders for. It wasn’t much, but it was a start!
Now, I still use my apartment as my workspace, my car holds much of my inventory, and I travel around the city and metro area to markets on the weekends to sell my shit. I’m definitely more focused on the upcycling aspect now that I’ve delved deeper into the world of fast fashion and its evils, and I try to network with other vintage, thrifting, and upcycling artists to get ideas and promote greener choices.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I am not a business person. I have three degrees in education, was a teacher for 15 years, and have a lot of skills and talents, but sales isn’t one of them. I love making my tie dye shit and experimenting with colors and techniques, but when it comes to selling them, that’s been more of a learning process. Thankfully I’ve had so many good experiences with the Atlanta pop-up market community – so many market organizers and fellow vendors who have given me advice and a little grace and encouragement along the way to help me learn the ropes of running a small business.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Tie dye is undeniably big right now, but my items are upcycled. That means that you’ll see brands that you’re familiar with or logos on shirts like athletic teams or brand logos. I take those items that are still in excellent condition and have a lot of life left to give and use dye and bleach to give them a second chance at life in someone else’s closet. I love that I’m doing something that’s a little more sustainable then buying a tie dye shirt at a big box retailer, but it’s all still very cute and on-trend.
What does success mean to you?
That’s a tricky one. Sometimes I think I’m successful because I made it through one year of business and didn’t quit. But I’m also not really making a profit yet – everything I make goes back into my business – more inventory, dye and bleach, laundry detergent and other supplies, business cards, a tent for markets, etc. So sometimes I feel like I’m not successful because I haven’t made money like I thought I would when I started. Then I also think I’m not successful because I can’t quit my day job and do this full time and still pay the bills. But that’s only on days when I’m super hard on myself or feeling burnt out. But all of the new friendships I’ve made through this have definitely counted as success in my book.
- Ranges from $15-45
- Email: Suzymakesshit@gmail.com
- Website: www.suzymakesshit.com
- Instagram: @suzymakesshit
- Facebook: Suzy Makes Sht