Creative Q&A: Amy Tremper, founder of Stitch & Hammer

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Name, Location, Occupation:
Amy Tremper
Boulder, CO
Designer and Maker for Stitch & Hammer

Please describe your workspace:
Petite and light filled.

What are you working on right now?
New product for our Spring launch. We are updating the items we already make and releasing new wallets, clutches and bags. We are also, working on a couple of collaborative projects that we will have ready in the next couple of months. One is a textile design and tank with Shara from Lotfi. We are also working with Hannah from Another Feather on a custom jewelry piece. We are interested in expanding Stitch & Hammer to include more collaborative projects this year. We enjoy the process and love connecting with other makers.

What has been your most rewarding project to date?
Stitch & Hammer recently reached its 1 year anniversary. We are in our infancy and everything is still exciting and a bit of a challenge. Being a self taught maker requires a certain kind of determination and persistence. But, it doesn't stop there.  I would have to say that Stitch & Hammer as a whole has been my most rewarding project.  

Which designers and artists inspire you?
As a leather worker, I would say Wood&Faulk and BillyKirk have been a major inspiration for me. As an artist, I'm inspired by an endless list of talent old and new, here are just a few: Louise Bourgeois, Clyfford Still, Agnes Martin, Mari Andrews, Tina Modotti, Anna Atkins, Blinky Palermo, Matisse, Andrea Zittel, Barbara Hepworth, Donald Judd……I could go on.

 
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Has there been a defining moment or turning point when you realized what you wanted to do for a living?
Yes. When I decided to pursue Stitch & Hammer. I've wanted to start a company like S&H for as long as I can remember. I come from a long line of seamstresses, crafters and makers on both sides of my family. I grew up sewing in my grandmother's interior design studio that has an upholstery shop in the back. Sewing and making things with my hands feels second nature. I pushed away the urge to start a business in craft for many years. I've worked as a photographer and a graphic artist, but the voice that said "you should make things" grew louder and louder until I decided to give it a go.

What do you think is the most difficult aspect of working in design?
The creative process alone is a difficult task. Both exhausting and rewarding. It can be really manic and I try to balance that by taking long walks, sketching, or something creative totally unrelated to my business. I think it is very important to have creative outlets that are not monetarily based when you make a living as a designer.

 
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What are you reading at the moment?
I have a tendency to read 2-3 books at a time. Right now I am reading "Folks This Ain't Normal" by Joel Salatin and "The Volcano Lover" by Susan Sontag. They don't relate to each other at all and I like that. I can bounce between two worlds depending on how I feel that day.

What websites do you visit for inspiration?
Honestly, I haven't been spending much time online. I was an avid blog reader in the past but now it seems I use instagram more. It's a great tool to stay connected with my maker friends, customers and to find inspiration. Some of my favorite feeds and the ones I seek out daily are: Ariele Alasko, Nicole Franzen, Lily Stockman and Another Feather.

 
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What are your simplest daily pleasures?
Walking in the foothills near my home after work with my dog, Baso. It's a great way for me to decompress from the day and a dividing line between work and life. I am definitely at my happiest when outside.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I've been trying to remain in the present as much as possible lately. When I do think about the future, I see a small patch of land, a farmhouse, some chickens running around, and a barn converted into a studio. Simple and sweet!