Crafter Profile – Rachel Beckman


1. Tell me a little bit about your crafting business.

My business is primarily based on hand weaving and making accessories and utilitarian textiles, though I do dabble in the illustration to design and digitally print fabrics for quilting and other sewing projects.

I am interested in the history of textiles and the way cloth so quietly integrates itself into our daily lives. There are so many pieces of cloth that we use every day, like dishtowels in the kitchen, that we see as somewhat disposable, and my goal, to sum it up, is to make a dishtowel so awesome that it will become a family heirloom. Basically, I believe that when you buy objects that are handmade, and well made, they will last longer than that same object purchased from a big chain that carries to emotional attachment because there is no hand attached to the work.

I absolutely love weaving; there is a lot of love that goes into my work. My hope is that love shows on the cloth, and as you live with the cloth it will start to carry your own history.

2. Where can we find you?

I currently don’t do a lot of craft shows, but this year you’ll be able to see me at MICA’s Art Market!

3. Who or what inspires you?

History and color. Honestly, I just love to buy yarn. I have a whole bookcase full of yarn and most of my work starts with me grabbing a color and finding which want to be together that day.

On another note:

Parts of my senior thesis work at MICA involved heavy research on the history of the American circus so that part of our cultural history has a huge place in my heart, thus A Fiber Circus and the prominence of Circus-themed fabrics in my shop. Circus for me speaks to images of elegance and beauty, but also a quirkiness that I strive to bring to my pieces.

4. What helps you stay organized?

I write a lot of lists, and I give myself deadlines. I don’t always meet my deadlines, but if I miss one I always feel guilty and then I get back on top of things. I have a smartphone, and there’s an app that I use called Weave where I can make projects and to-dos, and keep track of income and expenses. That last part is great because sometimes it can be difficult to work out pricing or see a profit.

5. What is one thing that you would like to do better?

I wish I could sew faster! Sewing all those tiny hems takes forever!

But really, I do wish I was better at keeping on top of the neatness of my workspace. I’m more productive when I have a clean space, and it’s really easy for all those loose threads to get out of control, especially if I’m in a work frenzy.

6. What does your workspace look like?

I’ve attached a picture! I work out of the living room in my one-bedroom apartment, so it’s small but I think I make space work.

7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t do it if you don’t love it, and never let stress get in your way. Work often makes itself, and if something isn’t happening the way you wanted to expected, that’s okay. Sometimes it’s better to just let your hands take control and make the work for you, and if you’re doing work you love that can happen more often than you might think!

8. What’s your favorite thing to do in Baltimore?

I’m a simple girl and I love to eat! I love the movies, so I have to say going to The Charles to see a movie and then grabbing some crepes or tapas after is a heavenly day for me.

Ukrainian Egg Dyeing


Instructor: Mallory Steele
Date: March 10, 2012 2-4 PM
Cost: $20 + $6 Material Fee

Want to jazz up your eggs for Easter? Want to impress others with your egg dyeing skills? This class shows you how easy and fun it is to create unique and colorful eggs. You will be amazed by your new skill and want to keep and display your creation all year round. This technique has been around for over 3,000 years and resembles the look of batik dyeing.

This two-hour class will introduce beginners and intermediate dyers to the fun technique of Ukrainian egg dyeing. You will be taught line quality and how to layer color. All materials will be provided.

Experience/Expertise: Teacher assistant, Woven Imagery at Maryland Institute College of Art, 2010.
Responsible for helping students when in need of instruction or advice, lead demos on weaving and dyeing techniques, and provided an extension of knowledge for weaving and the history of it.

To register, call us with a credit card at 410-685-4388, pay in-store with cash, credit or check, or pay online via PayPal. Please leave your full name, phone number, and email address when registering.

Basic Embroidery


Instructor: Mallory Steele
Date: March 31, 2012 2-4pm
Cost: $20 + Material Fee: $8

This introductory class teaches you the basics of embroidery. Teaching you a variety of stitches and how to combine the techniques to be used in decorating fabric.

This two-hour class will introduce beginners to a variety of stitching techniques, and how to incorporate other materials into the cloth.

All materials will be provided. If you wish to bring materials that you would like to use for your project you are more than welcome!

Experience/Expertise: Student, Surface Resist Dyeing, Maryland Institute College of Art, 2009.
Learned how to dye an array of fibers using Pro MX and Acid dyes. Learned how to resist dye using multiple methods (Shibori, Batik, Thiox, and bleach).

Top 4 Skilled Trades for Women Pursuing Unconventional Careers

Since the beginning of the digital age, the roles and functions of women have significantly evolved. There have been growing talks of the need to create gender diversity and incorporate women in male-dominated fields. Gone are the days when women were confined to the home to perform housekeeping duties.

Following the turn of the century, women persistently ask to be given more responsibilities in the running of the global space. This trend is evident in the continued increase in the number of women holding various jobs and positions. Presently, about 58% of women in the United States are in the labor force. They’ve achieved this through several women empowerment platforms that were set up to give a voice for women.

However, the skilled trades sector still suffers a shortage of women. Only a little more than 10 percent of them in the general workforce is making a career out of skilled trades. There used to be an ideology that skilled jobs are better suited for men, as they’re physically intensive, and the use of tools and machines is required. This ideology has, however, been quashed by the rising number of women thriving in those jobs.

Discussed in this article are the top five skilled tradeswomen who are interested in making a career out of unconventional jobs can pursue.

1.  Welding

There is often a misconception concerning this trade; many think it’s a profession mainly for men. It explains the poor representation of the gender in the field, as only about 5.9 percent of women in the American workforce is making a career out of welding.  It’s not true; welding is a profession that any non-disabled man and woman can do.

As a woman, if you’re looking for a career that deviates from conventional jobs, welding is a good one to explore. The good thing is that it doesn’t cost much to dabble; you need training and some equipment of value. Delving into the profession has a lot to offer you as a woman, and they include among others;

·        High demand for the profession/Job Security

The modern welding industry consists of a large percentage of people who are either retiring from the job or focusing on other endeavors. Against this backdrop comes an increase in the country’s population and continued growth of the industrial sector. There’s a significant need for new welders to fill this gap. By going into the profession, you’d be sure of job security as your services will always be required.

·        High Pay

Making a career out of welding will earn you more financial rewards than many conventional female-dominated jobs like nursing, pre-school teachers, receptionists, and many others.

·        Flexibility

Welding, unlike a regular job like banking, offers flexibility. You can be a welder and still manage other endeavors. It’s a profession where you can be your boss and set your timeline.

2.  Electrical Engineer

Electricians across the United States earn an average annual salary of over $60,000. So, it’s a highly lucrative venture. And contrary to beliefs that it’s a trade for men only, women are making headway in it. Electricians enjoy massive patronage in the US, and there will always be a high demand for them.

Just like welding, making a career out of electrical engineering as a woman offers you flexibility. You could be an electrician earning lots of money and still work other jobs, unlike many conventional 9-5 jobs.

3.  Carpentry

While carpentry is a male-dominated field, it’s no news that women are needed in the profession to create a balance. “What a man can do, a woman can do better” is a line used by many women to show that they’re capable and ready to take on tasks that have, over the years, been considered ‘men’s jobs.’

A career in carpentry would be the right choice for a woman as there’s much money to be made from it, and it also offers the flexibility many routine jobs can’t afford. Besides that, it allows being creative and innovative.

4.  Plumbing

When the word ‘plumbing’ is mentioned, what usually comes to many people is a picture of a man in a jumpsuit, with a bag of tool slung over their shoulder, ready to do some pipe works. Only very few people see the picture of a woman in the same circumstance. That’s to confirm that it’s indeed a male-dominated field.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that there are women who’re making great strides in the profession. It’s a trade that offers lots of financial benefits; you get to dictate whom to work for and when to work. Also, it’s a profession in high demand, further giving you the job security you need.


Not everyone cherishes the idea of working in a conventional 9-5 office setting. Many people, male and female, desire to be their boss someday, and that’s a difficult thing to achieve with regular 9 am-5 pm jobs. There’s, therefore, the need to explore the informal job sector.

The skilled trades sector isn’t just a man’s world, and there’s no greater joy than being able to dictate your life’s growth and career development as a woman. Making a career out of a skilled trade will give you the kind of job satisfaction that most conventional jobs can’t. Many women are doing it already; you can also do it.

Cognitive Games for Every Woman

A woman is a peculiar human species. She is one individual who multitasks and gets everything right. Look at a woman who is a wife, mother, a manager, and a socialite.

 In a day, she must plan her family, take care of the kids, and manage a team at work. She must make herself beautiful for her husband and stay healthy to meet the “girlfriends’ standards.”

Despite the unique personality, it’s essential to take time off from the daily schedule to rejuvenate.

For sanity as a woman, there is the need to engage in activities that enhance your mental acuity.

Not every game is ideal for you. However, your passion and time availability determines the type of game to practice.

There is no harm in trying a new one. After all, it broadens your mind and enhances your social engagement. Which are the three games that top the list?

  • Ping pong
  • Big game hunting
  • Chess game

Ping pong

If you are looking for a game that enhances your physical performance and also sharpens your brain, then ping pong suits the definition.

Table tennis, as it’s popularly referred, is a game that involves two (single) or four people (doubles).

The game is not all about hitting and returning the ball. It would be best if you used some common sense and hit it so that you got a win.

Moreover, it would help if you positioned yourself in such a way that you are swift to receive the ball and hit back for a win.


  • Sharpens your brain
  • Improves mental and physical health through the burning of calories
  • Enhances your eye coordination in relation to brain thinking
  • Creates body balance
  • Develops one’s mental acuity

Once a woman gets addicted to ping pong, trust me, this is one person with a high intelligence quotient.

Despite all the tasks ahead, she has all the wisdom she needs to make the right decisions that govern her family and workplace.

Just in case time is a challenge, then a ping pong robot comes in handy. You will have a run for your money and time.

What you need

  • A ping pong table
  • Table tennis equipment (table, racket and ping pong balls)

Big game hunting

Are you in love with nature as a woman? Do you know you can enhance your passion for nurture and try hunting?

It is one game you find joy and peace away from home and work environment. With a little training, you are good to go as long as you have the best rifle.

Experts in the industry recommend the ar15 scope type of gun for this activity. The two main reasons for this are the high magnification and the ability to hit a target with a single trigger.

Remember, you are dealing with moving animals. They can’t wait to be shot; it’s your skillset and your weapon that is your savior in this game.

 You must hit the target; otherwise, you may be wasting your bullets. Why big game hunting?

  • Works on your sense of skilled shooting
  • Enhances your brain activity –it’s an adrenaline-pumping hobby
  • Relieves your eyes from distractions
  • Boosts your confidence in the jungle

Although having a rifle may play a significant role in enhancing your hunting game, you also need to practice your way up. Every day is a learning lesson.

It’s the sole reason we have different hunting levels, which even calls for sophisticated hunting rifles and tools to hit the target. 

If you are successful in-game hunting as a woman, then be sure nothing stands on your way to success either incorporate or home affairs.

 You are now one person with all the guts and skills to look at problems as challenges- meaning you strive to look for solutions.

Chess game

Those lazy days that you want to do something and rest at the same time; a board game suits you.

Whether you choose to play with a computer or a family member or a friend, the benefits are all the same. Research studies show that women who often play chess have a high mental acuity than the ones who don’t.

Its impact is high productivity at work. Other reasons every woman should try her hand in the chess game

  • Develops your level of preparedness
  • Improves your cognitive thinking
  • Sharpens your brain
  • Makes you mindful of others
  • Allows you to be keen on details
  • Improves your problem-solving skills

Chess is usually referred to as a brain game. It means without the brains, you may not enjoy the game.

 Never mind, if you are a novice. Equip yourself with the rules and learn about the game. The defeats are stepping stones towards becoming an expert.

Who said women should stick to their routine and compromise on activities that enhance their emotional, physical, and social health?

Despite the added advantage- the ability to multitask- women MUST equip themselves with the right skills and knowledge that make them better in fulfilling their duties.

4 Business Ideas for Stay at Home Mums to Gain Financial Independence

Are you looking for a home-based business idea?

If yes, you’re in the right place.

You can do all kinds of businesses from your home. A home-based business allows you to earn some money while taking care of your little ones.

You don’t have to step out or visit an office to work from home. However, you need the right time management skills, attitude, and preparedness to run a successful home-based business.

Maternity, for many women, poses a threat to financial independence and stability.


That doesn’t have to be the case.

According to a BEIS study, 54,000 women in the UK lose their jobs due to maternity or pregnancy each year. Moreover, 28% of small and medium-sized businesses’ managers avoid hiring women who are either married or have young kids.

Many times, women have to choose between keeping their jobs and having babies. This explains the need for another income source to support stay-at-home mums.

Some benefits of home-based business include:

  • Self-development
  • You do work that you love
  • Helps you cope with household chores
  • You can support your kids’ education
  • Organizes your business to change lives
  • Gives women independence and freedom
  • Access to business tax deductions

Over 11.6 million women, according to a 2017 report, own businesses in the United States. The women-owned businesses contribute over $1.7 trillion in revenue and employ about 9 million people.

In comparison to the national rate of business growth at 44%, the number of businesses owned by women has increased over the last two decades by 114%.

Additionally, the businesses hire 8% of the workforce in the private sector, make up 39% of all US companies, and account for 4.2% of revenues generated from businesses.

This shows that there’s a huge potential for home-based businesses. Most of the women-owned businesses began as home-based startups.

Here’re five popular ideas to establish a home-based business as a stay-at-home mom:

Top 4 Work-from-Home Business Ideas for Housewives

  1. Establish an online store

Women, according to the e-Commerce User Index study, buy online more actively than men. They make online purchases for themselves and their family.

Therefore, you’re likely to succeed in selling beauty, fashion, and children’s items online. This information inspires when choosing an online niche of focus.

Unlike a traditional brick-and-mortar store, you can open your online store in minutes. In regard to physical stores, you’d have to find a physical space, design the room, buy goods to sell and hire sellers, and train your employees to begin operations.

What’s more, you don’t require huge expenses or loans to start an online business. You simply sit over a cup of tea anywhere in your home to establish your business online.

If you live in an area with hard water, you can sell water softeners to help homeowners make their well water soft. Consider a combination of the options to run a successful online business that retails water softeners.

Benefits of running an online store include:

  • Access to automatic client data analytics
  • Goods are available at reduced costs – no employees, utilities, renting spaces, etc.
  • Low initial investment cost
  • The store opens 24/7, including holidays and when there’s bad weather
  1. Host on Airbnb

List your place on Airbnb to earn extra income.

The platform gives you full control over who stays in your home. You can filter out persons you don’t want to host. You can rent out your entire home or individual rooms to earn additional income.

Check to see the potential earnings for your area. Some places have a monthly earning potential of about $2000. You can list your home or room by week, night, month, or as often as you want.

Airbnb gives a $1,000,000 guarantee for protection from property damage that guests may cause. With the guest rating system, you can check to see if you want to approve or disapprove a guest that wants to stay in your home.

  1. Drive with Uber or Lyft

Do you have a car and looking for work you can do during your free time?

You may want to drive for Lyft or Uber and earn money. You get 100% control of your schedule. After dropping your kids to school, you may drive for a few hours a day to make money.

Depending on your city, state, and country, you can earn up to $20 per hour.

So, how does Lyft work?

You sign up for your car for the business. When you’re available on the app and someone near your requests for a ride, you get a notification on your smartphone. You pick the client and drop them off at their destination. Payment is then made to you automatically.

  1. Start an affiliate program online

Create a social media account, a website, or use a third-party site to run an affiliate program. Many people are earning a living this way.

Whichever is the case, you must run affiliate marketing on your blog or website to increase your earnings. Some affiliate marketing programs to consider include:

  • Commission Junction
  • Panthera Network
  • ShareASale
  • Amazon
  • Escalate Media

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a housewife, you can easily work from home and earn a living. Is there a better way for a busy mom to earn a living from home?

Emma Hughes is a 25-year-old P.P.E. student who enjoys social card games, watching sport, and jigsaw puzzles. Intelligent and reliable, but can also be very lazy and a bit moody.

7 Reasons to Buy Handmade Things

Do you love everything handmade but can’t explain why? Or, do you want to buy a handmade item but not sure if it’s a good decision?


You aren’t alone.

The “handmade effect,” according to a study published on the International Review of Management and Business Research (IRMBR) journal, positively impacts customers’ buying intention.

Handmade has a positive effect on buyers’ perception of product appeal, and even willingness to pay more for such items.

Also known as handicraft, handcrafted or homemade, handmade items (both high and low involvement) convey love, uniqueness, show status symbol, quality, and creativity. They’re also green, customizable and support local artisans and communities.

These attributes of handmade items explain their popularity among consumers.

According to the same study above, handmade items are often in high demand. For instance, Etsy, an e-commerce platform for handmade things, experienced an increase in sales from US$314 million to US$1932 million between 2010 and 2014.

The figure is 71 times its first sales in 2005 when the business was founded.

Similarly, Hermes International Group, a brand for high fashion handmade items, realized a 288% increase in revenue between 2005 and 2014. Sales increased from US$1553 million to US$4483 million over the same period.

If you can’t explain your love for everything handmade or simply want a reason to get your hands on something handcrafted, read on to find out why.

Top 7 reasons handmade items are ever on high demand

Handcrafting provides detailed products, higher quality, and more… Other surprising benefits or reasons to buy handicrafts range from sustainability to uniqueness.

Handmade things are:

  1. Eco-friendly and sustainable

Handcrafted items, unlike mass-produced products, are sustainable. The latter involves bulk buying due to the low cost of raw materials. This translates to a reduction in significant amount of production costs for the manufacturers to make a profit.

The large-scale companies own large and noisy factories or production facilities with emissions that pollute the environment.

On the other hand, handmade items are usually made from homes or small craft studios with little to no effect on the environment. What’s more, they’re made local to eliminate the need for transportation or shipping over long distances.

High-quality materials are picked to craft handmade items. Local producers or green suppliers and recycled packaging are often involved in the process of creating handcrafted items. Together with ethical sourcing, handmade products are sustainable.

As a result, handmade items are eco-friendly and sustainable.

  1. Unique and stands the test of time

No two handmade items are made the same. Homemade things vary in shading, color, shape, texture, and grain. The distinct qualities render each handmade item unique.

It’s the uniqueness of each homemade product that makes it special. Every handmade item undergoes true craftsmanship to bring out its unique look, character, and value.

Uniqueness makes each item an authentic piece. According to an article on Forbes, handmade offers something more personal and different.

The items are also crafted to last a lifetime. They’re made from high- quality materials to ensure they last a long time. They’re always on trend to withstand the test of time.

Most handmade items are often designed for future trends, meaning they’re always on-trend. The items are made perfect and don’t require upgrades or changes in the future.

  1. Authentic, creative and thoughtful

A craftsman showcases a unique idea in every handmade item. They reflect the authenticity and creativity of the maker in ideas and features.

Although mass-produced items can mimic handmade products, they’re fake. The love and skill that goes into making each handcrafted item make it authentic.

The beautiful work of craftsmanship celebrates the artisan’s creativity and skills. The items exhibit the thoughtfulness (skill and effort) of their creators in their appearance. This is something you can’t help but appreciate as the buyer.

What’s more, handmade items, according to a study published on PHYS ORG, are made with love.

  1. Supports local artisans and economies

Buying handmade supports local artists and crafters, a local community and a local economy. Behind every handcrafted item is a real person.

When you purchase a handcrafted product, you impact the life of a real person with school fees to pay and a family to feed.

You also don’t pay for hidden fees in added commissions, maintenance costs, operational costs, etc. often included in the price of items sold in shopping malls.

Buying homemade items keep individuals or groups working and earning. The money earned pays tax and supports local economies. The money you spend on handmade things directly impact the lives of the persons behind them.

The maker and seller of the items also gain confidence with each sale. They’re motivated to improve their skills and re-invest their earnings in the business to continue crafting beautiful artwork.

According to a quote on, an actual person does a happy dance whenever you buy handmade.

  1. High quality, customizable and tells a story

Crafters understand the value of each handmade item. High-quality materials are used in craftsmanship to produce items that last. The feature excellence and careful workmanship that goes into each item translate to its durability.

You can order personalized homemade items because they’re customizable. Whether the item is sewn and knitted or molded, you can provide a custom message to be included on your custom product. This is handy when buying something beautiful to give out as a gift.

Crafters bespoke handmade things to create a feeling of pride in each crafted item. The goal is to make you happy with the finished product.

Moreover, each handmade product has a story to tell. It reflects the hours or days of work that goes into its making. It showcases the artisan’s skills and creativity, and the hours invested in learning and perfecting the skill.

There’s a story behind the design, color, texture, material and size selection.

  1. Promotes continuity of traditions and craft skills

Buying handmade enables craftsmen to continue practicing their trade. It’s a great way to showcase traditions and promote their continuity. Handcrafting is as old as mankind. It began way before the industrial revolution.

Your purchase supports learning of crafts, creating handmade things and the history of crafting things. It promotes the continuity of art and creativity to future generations. Art and craft are kept alive and skills passed on to the next generation.

Apart from keeping the TRADITION of making handmade things alive, buying handmade fosters a demand for creative skills in the education system.

In the fast-paced world that’s computer-driven, it’s in everyone’s best interest that skill-based courses are still offered in institutions of higher learning. This would ensure that craft skills aren’t lost because handmade is fast being replaced with less labor-intensive solutions.

It’s a sure way to maintain handcrafts and people’s cultural identity. What’s more, skilled industries are the key to the future of using renewables for environmental sustainability.

Buying handmade indirectly supports the continuity and increase of skilled artisanship.

  1. Celebrates a people

When you buy handcrafted items, you celebrate people. Real people, traditions and rich culture are behind every handmade item.

Unlike in mass production where one-size-fits-all, craftsmanship celebrates unique living cultures and traditional lives. The real ideals behind every distinct artwork.

You celebrate the unique creativity, skill, effort, time, and technical ingenuity that goes into your handmade product of choice.


Whether you’ve bought a handmade item before or not, there’s a good reason to get your hands on a beautiful work of art. What’s more, the authentic items are often premium and durable enough to pass down your generation.

Emma Hughes is a 25-year-old P.P.E. student who enjoys social card games, watching sport and jigsaw puzzles. Intelligent and reliable, but can also be very lazy and a bit moody.

Empowering Women: Tips for Using TIG and MIG Welders

For a long time, some skills like welding, metalwork, and woodwork have been left for men. Women have shied away from such activities but in the digital era, there is a paradigm shift. Women have been empowered and have ventured into such activities without fear. Customers who have got the opportunity to be served by women in the metalwork have all praises to the touch of class and professionalism they have displayed in their line of duty. These are people who are keen to details especially when it comes to a wider operating range of TIG welder. Here are a few tips that the beginners need to consider when using the MIG and TIG welders

1.      Use minimum power

This is an electric machine. The fact that you are learning how to use the power supply and at the same time you are learning how to handle the machine, you need to go slow in this. Just have a minimum power supply to avoid the metal from burning and further causing serious accidents. To achieve this you need to take advantage of the power settings that are available on this type of welders.

2.      Get the right angle of the torch

Visibility is crucial when it comes to welding. The best and average angle of torch should be between 15 and 20 degrees that are from the eyes and the welded surface. This is what we call the path of travel. This distance gives you proper access to make sure that the filler is of the right quantity with minimal interference.

3.      Make sure the material is ever clean

The outcome of the welding work lies in the smoothness of the material. As a beginner, you need to have a brush to clean the surfaces to have a difference in the outcome.

4.      Use protective gear at all times

Safety and protection is something you cannot afford to compromise. You need to have a helmet and hand gloves as well as the right goggles to protect your eyes. Each protective gear has a purpose and this means that you need to have them at all times. You may only understand this when there is an accident and you find that the protective gear is your savior.

5.      Take care when dealing with stainless steel

Stainless steel is a delicate metal that needs care especially when it comes to heat and temperature control. Excess heat affects its stability while low heat also affects its overall finish. You need to understand the right temperature which you get from the manual to avoid dirty and shoddy metalwork.

Women are a rare species when it comes to details. They may never go wrong with MIG and TIG welders, thanks to women empowerment programs that have opened their eyes to this male-dominated field. Although they face challenges in the workplace depending on the culture and way of life of people within the location, still they have managed to pull through and become renowned in the metalwork field.