Hi there! I’m Elaine Schmidt, a hands-on designer creating fun projects with fabric, ribbon, needle and thread. I develop new product lines for creative industry manufacturers and work with them to inspire their consumers and promote innovative uses for their products. I offer my clients a full range of creative services, working with them from product design and development, through sourcing and project management, to marketing and promotions.
I’m a fabric addict, ribbon hoarder, button and bead collector, yarn and thread junkie, and sewing geek who grew up “always making something.” Brought up learning proper traditional techniques by my Mom, I now enjoy bending the old-school rules a bit and “coloring outside the lines.” Never happy to do one thing at a time, I always have several projects going on. It’s a real thrill for me to see a finished project arise from a pile of materials to become something useful and unique or just plain fun to make.
I love developing new product concepts, experimenting with traditional techniques and new materials, and sharing ideas so others can experience the joy of working with their hands to create a project that’s truly their own. I am a constant shopper and people watcher, always looking for new trends that can be translated into DIY projects, and I have worked in all phases of product development for large and small manufacturers – from design inception to production to education of buyers and consumers.
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA and earned a degree in textiles and design at Carnegie-Mellon University. I’ve worked as an assistant buyer in a department store, in the education and design departments of Vogue and Butterick Patterns, and traveled the world as director of product development for an import craft and gift company. My love of ribbons led me to be the spokesperson and designer for The Ribbon Outlet Stores, and I recently authored The Complete Photo Guide to Ribbon Crafts.
I am a designer member of the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA), formerly serving on their Designer Council. My original product concepts led three of my manufacturer clients to win CHA Innovations Awards. I am a member of the Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA), The Alliance for American Quilts, as well as several local weaving, quilting and mixed media art guilds.
My husband and I are proud parents of three amazing daughters and a spoiled bichon named Daisy. I live in Long Valley, NJ surrounded by my growing stash of fabric, ribbon, thread, buttons and all the “fun stuff”. When not watching Project Runway, So You Think You Can Dance or Glee (while sewing, of course!), I enjoy baking cookies and going to water aerobics (to compensate for the cookies).
Please visit my website to see some of the projects and products I’ve designed and to learn more about the creative services I offer my clients – www.elaineschmidt.com