Heart to Heart: Hillery Sproatt
You know what makes me really really happy? When I get a submission in my inbox that totally knocks my socks off. That’s how I felt when Hillery Sproatt from Specks & Keepings first contacted me. In a sea of e-mails, her note stood out from miles + miles away. Felt so good.
So of course I had to open up space for her to hop on over here + give us a heartfelt scoop inside her world of creativity + magic. Are you ready?
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Los Angeles, California in a pink and purple house with my mom and two younger sisters. Our home was filled with treasures, at least I thought they were treasures. To someone visiting, it may have looked a bit more like stuff. My mom was always thinking up wonderful projects for all of us to do together. I remember having so much fun making little felt dolls and marbled paper when I was a small girl. I have always felt so thankful for my mother. She is such a beautiful person and she imparted to me her love of objects, things made by hand, and intuitive making.
As I got older, my mom and I enjoyed day dreaming about all the things we hoped to do together, and we were both very impulsive. So one day we got a business license and started Rebe, a women’s handbag and apparel company. Our first few collections looked very different from the collections today, but we had such a wonderful time designing, playing with materials and sourcing fabrics. We always attempted to design with ourselves in mind, so we made beautiful things we wish existed but could never find. Although I am no longer a designer for Rebe, I am very proud of Rebe. I think Rebe provides women of all ages an opportunity to feel beautiful and comfortable in clothing that is as special as they are. I probably wear something Rebe almost everyday.
These days, I spend most of my time working on my embroidered dolls and mobiles in my studio. I am very pleased to announce that I just launched my new shop, Specks & Keepings. Specks & Keepings is a small shop filled with handmade and collected objects and design. It is a showcase of thoughtfully made goods that aim to inspire a simple lifestyle that is carefully shaped and chosen. The shop currently features my work along with handmade clothing, artwork, and items for the home by Anschtecka, Adam Wolpa, Eric Stiner, Karen Thurman, Kotoa & Rebe. To see what pieces are currently available for sale, visit specksandkeepings.com.
2. Where do you create?
I have a studio in the top floor of our little row home in Baltimore, Maryland. It is nothing fancy but I have everything I need. Most of the furniture in the room was made special by my boyfriend, so as to fit in the small space.
3. What makes you heart beat?
I am a collector of small things found and made. I like to believe little worlds exist in even the smallest of things and I love the way objects begin to shape our experience of a space or person. I try to surround myself with objects that I feel are special as I believe things are always more beautiful when they mean something to us. I love overhearing bits of strangers’ conversations, the good ones sound like beautiful ramblings or found poems. I am always overcome with delight upon finding a lost grocery list on the street and I enjoy chatting with strangers when walking my dog.
4. Tell me one thing that you think you’re best at.
This is a hard question for me. I think it can be very difficult to see yourself. I would probably have a much easier time compiling a list of things that I am no good at. I think I have an interesting sense of imagination. Perhaps because I have a terrible memory for facts, I am always having to re-imagine and invent. Too often I do think my imagination overshadows reality, which at times can make for quite an enchanting and magical existence.
5. What’s your kryptonite?
Hmmm…I am not sure. This is very difficult for me as well. I often think real life is supposed to be more like movies and I get disappointed.
6. What advice would you give to other creative entrepreneurs?
I am quite new to this so I have still lots more to learn myself. I do think it is very important to believe in what your are making and selling. If you love what you do, that is always contagious.
7. Tell us something we wouldn’t expect.
I am scared of almost everything…even silly things and I cry much too hard at very bad movies.
8. Any important links we should know about?
You can visit my new shop, Specks & Keepings at specksandkeepings.com, where you can sign up for the free newsletter to learn about new arrivals, sales and exciting events. I post about my daily makings and inspiring finds on my blog at hilleryrs.blogspot.com and you can visit my personal website at hilleryrs.com.
Such a treat to have Hillery on the site. Please do leave all your loving’ below. I’m sure it will mean a whole lot to Hillery.