meet cal patch! cal worked for free people many moons ago, and has since become a super-successful artist/crafter.
we asked her a few questions about what she’s up to, and what keeps her business – hodge podge – going…and about her little awesome chihuahua, gertie.
1) what exactly do you do?
well, i have been self-employed for the last ten years and that has meant a number of different kinds of work all relating to my love of making clothes. currently i design and hand-make every piece of my line, *hodge podge*, which i sell online, in person at artists’ markets and craft fairs, and in a few boutiques in new york and tokyo. i also teach sewing, crochet, patternmaking and other textile crafts at various locations around nyc and my new home in the catskills. i design projects for magazines like Sew Stylish and Crochet Today, and websites like Craft Stylish. I also just finished writing a book on making your own sewing patterns, which will be out in september. i am also working as a farm-hand and learning how to be a farmer!
2) what’s your favorite thing about what you do?
i love that i have the freedom to do anything i want to do, which translates into making all kinds of things, and that every piece is one of a kind so i never have to make the same thing twice. and i can make my own rules like never using the color black! my label is called *hodge podge* because it includes everything from crochet hats and linen tunics to dog sweaters and carriers, and it changes all the time…
3) what inspires you the most?
i am actually very inspired by function and practicality. i like to make pieces that are special but can be worn every day, not saved for a special occasion. i want them to be sturdy and last for hundreds of years, not disposable. i don’t work in seasons, i just make what i need in my own life and it seems to work for othe people’s lives too!
4) what’s the most beautiful place/thing you’ve seen in the past month?
i recently moved two hours north of the city to the catskills, and every day i am amazed by the surrounding beauty! i had been rather deprived of nature for the past 18 years living in nyc, so i am really attuned to the changes happening every week, like what is blooming or ready to harvest, or how high the river is. the other day i drove over the mountain on my way home, just after a flash rainstorm, and the sun was shining and little impromptu streams and waterfalls were pouring over the rocks alongside the road. it was so beautiful i got tears in my eyes!
5) tell us a funny story about gert.
about a month ago when i was selling my goods at renegade craft fair, lots of people were picnicking in the park behind my booth. every time i looked back there, i’d see gertie attending a different picnic, or sitting on someone’s belly while they sunbathed. nobody seemed to mind because she’s not really interested in food, she just likes to visit. it was cracking me up!
if you want to learn more, check out cal’s blog and etsy sites!