Needle & Black

Happy New Year…………!

Dear friends, fans, visitors……
I have never been so excited or optimistic for a new year. My plans? In two words?
(If i knew how to work WordPress a little better, those words would have been appropriately bigger.)

This is gearing up to be a banner year for Needle & Black. We are working harder than ever and have not been so inspired in quite awhile. Leatherwork is our main priority in design, and that will be our focus for much of the year. I’ve been experimenting with different painting and surface techniques all winter and photographing these new samples myself. They will be available in our webstore on February 1!

Our 3rd annual Sample/Valentine Sale (teaming up with Carrier Pigeon Jewelry) is coming up on February 9th, where I’ll reveal an all-new leather heart clutch I’ve designed and produced (stay tuned for photos!). During the Sale, we’ll also be hosting an Old Arizona Youth Programs Fabric Sale, benefitting the Fashion Class I teach there…….so come ready to buy!

Those of you that know me personally, know that horses have always played a big part in my life. I rode in competitions all over the country from 1988-1997. From then on, I took the photography skills I accrued in high school and college and started working as a professional horse photographer. For the past 15 years, I’ve been privileged to assist in photographing some of largest and most prestigious horse shows in the country. I have traveled far and formed so many life-long relationships through this endeavor, and I look forward to continuing this “other” career path.

As soon as I began my photography career, I also began studying fashion. I had a great desire to simply find out how to make clothes. So many variables to consider and learn about: fabric, thread, needle size, etc. Thus, I became a Patternmaker. I found immediate employment upon graduation at a small dancewear company in Minneapolis called Satin Stitches. For three years I perfected my skills and learned about the design and production process. After I left, I continued to pursue an increasingly demanding photography career and my own entrepreneurial desires. I began operating under my label, Red Shoe Clothing, Co., and eventually re-branded into Needle & Black in 2009.

In recent months, I have gone back to my roots as a part-time CAD Patternmaker. It has been a refreshing change in my life, and I get to work with an awesome company of women. My position at this company, Clothier Design Source, has been kind of like going back to school for me. Getting out of the studio for awhile and stretching my brain in different directions has been amazing.

Well, when it rains, it pours, y’all. After 8 years away, Satin Stitches asked me to come back on as their CAD Patternmaker until they find a new one (If interested, please contact either me or Satin Stitches directly). This has been a great experience also, and again I’m learning/relearning/polishing a lot of skills. If you’re keeping a count, this is technically my 4th job (Needle & Black, Photographer, CDS, Satin Stitches). I just realized I have mistakenly been joking to people recently about having 4 jobs. Turns out I have 5. I teach a Fashion Class to teenage girls once a week at Old Arizona in Minneapolis.



Although I’m pretty obviously tired from it all, I am and will always be THANKFUL. My dad (a business owner and my lifelong hero) keeps telling me to “Make hay when the sun shines.” Let me tell you, I’m making a shit-ton of hay.

As a business owner and especially a clothing designer, it’s pretty easy to be consumed with projects, work and commitments. All that being said, it’s my goal this year to spend more time with friends and family. Quality time.

Love and shit,