Imagine Artwear

Imagine Artwear

Carol Supplee of Imagine Artwear

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Behind-the-Scenes

Get a behind-the-scenes look at Imagine Artwear with owner Carol Supplee.

How did you get the idea for opening a store like Imagine Artwear?  

Visiting crafts shows again after a 15 year career in bank marketing ended with the savings and loan crisis in 1990.  I was struck by how a generation of weavers, silk painters and other fiber artists had created new lines of clothing tailored for working women.  Working women who would appreciate having a little style they could call their own was a market I felt I understood.  I did some market research -- drove to every wearable art gallery I could find between here and Philadelphia.  I haunted craft shows from Boston to Baltimore, interviewing artists and asking questions.  Even experimented with home marketing.  In 1992, I took the plunge.  Imagine Artwear began operations as Fiber Designs; the name changed four year later. 

What attracted you to Old Town Alexandria?

My first job after graduate school was working for a poster gallery/frame shop on King Street.  The Torpedo Factory Art Center had just opened.  I loved the small community feel of the town with the big city accoutrements -- DC -- just down the road.  Also, Alexandrians are a sophisticated group of people who appreciate quality goods. 

What makes your shop Handcrafted? 

Imagine Artwear is a collection of 100% handcrafted, made in North America clothing, jewelry, accessories, gifts and home furnishings.  The eclectic nature of the gallery is the result of twenty years of searching the best craft markets in the country.  The artists represented at Imagine love what they do and it shows.

Name one artist that you think everyone should check out.

Just about everyone who shops at Imagine regularly owns one or more Kathleen Haggerty jackets.  Kathleen visited the shop just recently and we're planning to put together another visit this fall when she'll bring new styles and fabrics.  Collectors will recognize pieces by Judith Bird, Maralyce Ferree,  Sally Ryan, Lee Andersen, Kathleen Weir-West, Hopestone Studio and many more. 

Are there any new items to be on the lookout for?

A new line of fleece garments by Janska, sweaters from Margaret Winters and Amy Brill, and a great line of wool coats from Colortura.  -- it's going to be another cold winter!

Can people follow you on Facebook, Twitter, or any other media?

Yes, Imagine Artwear can be found on Facebook.

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I took the plunge.  Imagine Artwear began operations as Fiber Designs; the name changed four year later.  medical billing

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In 1992, I took the plunge.  Imagine Artwear began operations as Fiber Designs; the name changed four year later.

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Loss Assessors said on October 20, 2011

The name itself sounds interesting. I collected some handicraft items when i had gone to china years back. I still have them and i love to keep them.

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Daniel said on October 25, 2011

Carol is such a talented person. Her open store is really incredible.  100% handcrafted goods make this store more popular. Thanks for this fantastic interview published.

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