Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Teepen.
Sandra, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began to sew as a kid and in high school, I did costumes for theatre productions. In art classes, I was encouraged to apply to art school and I did go to Layton School of Art in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My idea of a career as an artist, as a newly married woman with a child, was not in focus. I wasn’t a trailing spouse. I found employment as a costume assistant in 3 major theatres — the Guthrie in Minneapolis, Long Wharf in New Haven and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
I found clients for dressmaking and special projects. I was also a sales rep for a fabric company. In Atlanta, I took a class at SCAD, the continuing ed segment offered a college class. I had my collection of fabrics and paper and paint and eventually created art quilts and quilted collages, mostly as wall pieces. I began to enter exhibitions and got into shows – including my first solo show in 2018! I found groups of creative people and volunteered for cultural and civic events.
Has it been a smooth road?
Considering yourself an artist, it’s just finding the time and being able to focus have been the major obstacles.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I produce one-of-a-kind pieces. I do not use patterns, but I am definitely influenced by traditional quilting elements. Current artists and pop culture, museums and global influences are part of my experience as an artist. I specialize in quilted collages, but I also have created wearable pieces (vests, jackets & belts), table enhancements and pillows. I even had a commission to create a chuppah from fabrics a couple had collected.
About a year later, the couple returned to have their chuppah turned into a bedspread! I am working on developing a full-fledged business, but it depends on sales and marketing. In the meantime, I keep entering exhibitions, giving talks, taking workshops, meeting other artists, adding customers and taking commissions. I go where I’m invited and spread the word about fiber art.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Metro Atlanta is such a diverse area, there is plenty of room for more working fiber artists. As with all artists — and small businesses — just getting known is the major hurdle. But social media, art guilds, workshops and exhibitions all help make connections.
Fulton County does a good job promoting the arts, including funding a public arts acquisition program, which I’m proud to say acquired one of my pieces for a public building.
- Biggest under $1,000
- Most in collection are under $500
- Website: www.sandieslabel.com
- Phone: 404-874-1421
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