Children’s Wear Designer and Artist Margaret DeBruin is an eco-inspiration! She’s bringing her one-of-a-kind designs all the way from Boston, MA, to Arts on the Square and we can’t wait!
Tell us a little about your business and what inspired you to start it.
I started making hats out of recycled t-shirts when I was 10 days overdue with my son. It gave me something creative to stay busy. I didn’t know if I was having a boy or girl, so I used lots of different colors and patterns (ok, I love crazy patterns and would have done that regardless!) After he was born he wore a different hat every day and a local store took notice and asked if they could buy some wholesale.
How long have you been designing children’s wear? Do you do custom work as well as your retail line?
I’ve been selling since about 2005. I started with the t-shirt hats then sweater hats for the winter and bucket hats for the summer. I added in the dresses about 5 years ago and leggings this year. All of my pieces are one-of-a-kind so I do very few custom pieces but most of the time my customers can find something amazing in the size that they want and they know that it is unique to them!
Where do you find your materials and why is it important that your designs are eco-friendly?
I am constantly searching thrift stores and love finding exciting colors and patterns to work with. It’s like building up a really great palette of paint – I need to have enough supplies to choose from to make exciting work.
I love trying to find new ways to be more eco-friendly in my work and in my life. There is always more that we can do. Whether it’s recycling or composting or just trying to save energy, it is our responsibility to do what we can to help preserve the environment.
What made you take the leap from ceramics and dive into designing children’s clothing?
I will always consider ceramics my first love in art. I have both my bachelors and masters degree in ceramics and still teach adult ed at night and kids classes during school vacations. But truly, I am an artist and I love to make things, and right now I love sewing. I made the switch to sewing when my kids were little. Hand sewing is easily portable and I can bring it with me to the playground, to my daughter’s ballet class or my son’s Taekwondo class.
How did you hear about AOTS? Have you ever been to Scranton before?
My friend Grace Napoleon from Folk Couture told me about the show. I’ve never been to Scranton but it sounded like it will be a fun adventure!
What do you like most about participating in these type of events?
I love talking directly with customers to help them find the perfect piece. It’s so exciting when one of my little customers insists on wearing her new purchase home!
Where else can our readers find you?
I do about 25-30 shows each year primarily in New England and the North East. Below is a list of a few of my upcoming shows. More shows are listed on my website where you can always see my work at margaretdebruin.com
June 28 Greenway Market in Boston, MA
July 12-13 Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA
July 20 South End Open Market in Boston, MA
July 26 Arts on the Square! Scranton, PA
August 17 South End Open Market in Boston, MA
August 23 Portland Picnic in Portland, ME
Location: Brookline, MA