Monday, September 27, 2010

Salty Stitches Roll into LarkFest

Eileen Clynes of Salty Stitches
Eileen Clynes had the motivation and Erin Dolin knew how to sew. Once they combined their ideas and love for crafts, the ladies crashed the shore of Boston, Massachusetts with Salty Stitches Design’s.

In February 2010, the nautical loving duo decided to start their own business. The status of the economy did not worry them or spending the money that was needed to get Salty Stitches off the ground.

“All we wanted to do was have fun with it,” said Clynes. 

Once Clynes learned how to sew, the two got down to business in Dolin’s kitchen. Pulling from their retro style, Clynes, a 29 year-old Albany, New York native and Sage College graduate and Dolin, a 28 year-old Connecticut native, began making a variety of hair accessories.

Most Popular piece: Skullerflies
“We started out making hair accessories mostly for financial reasons,” said Clynes “Hair flowers are cheap to make and are easy sales.”

The process is simplistic: They walk into Michaels The Arts and Crafts store or Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts and look for flowers that are on sale or for colors that coincide with the seasons. After finding the perfect deep red or robust orange Autumn flower they go back to their apartments and add their signature touch.

“Throughout the week we spend about 15 hours making accessories,” said Clynes. “It takes 15 minutes to make a standard flower and 40 minutes to hand paint a sugar skull.”

The pieces range from big, bright flowers with anchors in the middle with a double prong back to hair bows with spider webs and polka dot ribbons. Some are also decorated with sparkles, hand painted sugar skulls, and mini beer cans.

Over the past weekend, Clynes packed up their pieces and set out to embellish the women of LarkFEST. While I scooped out their tent, Clynes sporting two of her flowers in her hair, greeted everyone with a warm hello as they gushed over the pieces. Throughout the morning women swarmed Salty Stitches table and bought flowers for themselves or their daughters. Girls dragged their boyfriends over, grabbed a flower, held it against their hair, and waited for a sign of approval.

“It’s pretty cool to look out and see your design on someone,” Clynes said while pointing across the street. “Two people have my flowers in now!”

As I walked around LarkFEST I saw Salty Stitches $10 to $15 flowers grace the heads of many women.

Eileen Clynes at LarkFEST

“My daughter loved looking at all the different designs and I was happy to support a local business,” said Kara Rhode of Albany, New York, who purchased two flowers.

Salty Stitches designs have made their way into the Orchard skate shop and Horror Business in Boston. They also have an Esty shop that carries 24 of their products and they boost a 100% positive feed back.

“Etsy has been a great help,” said Clynes “There are thousands of people who sell hair accessories on there but we are getting a lot of sales…a lot of people from Texas are buying our products and we sold to someone in Guam!”

Salty Stitches has no plans of relocating in the near future. Clynes will be attending the New England School of Photography in October. She will be studying advertising and commercial.

Salty Stitches magnets

The ladies hope to expand Salty Stitches into a fulltime job and in the future add more clothes to their collection. They currently sell handmade gingham tops in a variety of colors. Their goal is to make dresses, skirts, aprons, and cardigans. Salty Stitches Fall/Winter line will be out the end of October.

“We just want girls to feel sassy while wearing Salty Stitches pieces,” said Clynes.

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