Nelson artists Eryn Prospero and Branda Christofferson prepare for a busy market and festival season in the Kootenays.

Nelson artist selling handwoven accessories at summer festivals

Local artist and weaver Branda Christofferson prepares for festival season.

Branda Christofferson knows how to spot a buyer at her market stand.

The designer of Cut Threads handwoven accessories says some people just gravitate over to her display.

“If something catches their eye walking past and they come right to it, you know they want to buy it,” she says. “People, especially in this area, love that I weave my own material and everything is totally Canadian made. Nothing comes from China.”

The Cut Threads product line includes mesh-back hats, fedoras, scarves, fleece-lined neckwarmers and Christofferson’s signature “brandannas,” reversible square scarfs with snaps to keep them in place.

After four years of experimenting with different products and styles, Christofferson is now focused on increasing production of her successful styles and finding new places to sell them.

This summer, for the first time, Christofferson has quit her day job to dedicate herself full-time to making and selling her wears. In July, she’ll take her stand to Starbelly Jam, marking her first time vending at a music festival.

“It will be like the market but on a larger scale,” she says. “I’ve already been putting some of my best pieces aside to sell there. I really want to amp up the display to make sure people notice me.”

As she does at markets, Christofferson will share her Starbelly stand with friend and studio-mate Eryn Prospero of Prospero Pottery.

“I think it’s a nice contrast to have the fibers and ceramics in the same display,” says Prospero, who makes handmade bowls, tea sets and flower pots. “If people come over and they don’t want a hat, maybe they’ll buy a mug.”

Plus, the duo says, it’s nice to be out there with a friend for support.

“It’s not always going to be busy,” Prospero says. “We have fun together and keep each other entertained when it might get boring.”

Both Christofferson and Prospero are waiting to hear back from other festivals they’ve applied to have displays in. This year they hope to get to two or three festivals, and more next year.

“The challenge is just having enough stock,” Christofferson says, noting she needs to bring 150 hats to Starbelly and Prospero needs 300 mugs, for example. “To do a lot of festivals, you really have to be working at it all year round — build up stock in the winter and sell it in the summer. It’s a lot of work, but that’s what I’m moving towards for next year.”

For a preview of what you’ll see at Cut Threads-Prospero Pottery stand this summer, visit them online: cutthreads.com and prosperopottery.wordpress.com.

 

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