Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Interview with Artist, Designer, and Mom, Susan Medart

I've often remarked that The White Rabbit wouldn't be The White Rabbit without our favorite local designer, Susan Medart of Knollwood Lane.  My mom and I have gotten to know this creative St. Louis native as a friend as well as business connection, and want our blog readers to get to know her too.  We treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner at Cardwells the other night while we interviewed her.  I'm not going to lie; it was a great excuse to have a glass of wine and giggle for several hours, but we stuck to the task at hand and got some great answers to our questions

Susan's handmade notecards

LM-How did you get started creating handmade goods?

SM-I would literally wake up in the middle of the night with ideas of things I wanted to make.  I started out making for friends and gradually began doing trunk shows with decoupaged goods.  At the time, my kids were younger and it was taking too much time away from them, so I stopped doing the trunk shows and started looking for a store to carry my creations.

                                                              Handmade baby onesies
LM- Why did you pick The White Rabbit to carry Knollwood Lane?

SM- The second I walked in, I liked it.  It had the vintage inspired look that would work perfectly with my vintage images.  There was a bucket with an image in the baby section, and I looked at the price and thought, "I could make that cheaper for them."  And that was the beginning.

                                                           Knollwood Lane hand towels

LM-How old are your kids now?

SM- My oldest, Griffin is 17, Mason is 15 and my daughter Hayden is 12.  They're very supportive now that they're older.

                                                             New handmade jewelry by Susan

LM-Is your husband supportive of your business?

SM-He is a very patient person.  We've been married 20 years and  he still buys my ink, replaces my paper supply, and changes the light bulbs in my studio.

                                                               Adorable hair clips for little ones

LM-So how did you come up with the name Knollwood Lane?
SM- Knollwood Lodge is a peaceful, private, secluded lodge on a lake in Wisconsin that's been in my family for many years and it's on Knollwood Lane.  It's a magical place full of antiques that inspires me.

                                                            Knollwood Lodge in Wisconsin
LM- What else inspires you?

SM- I love Country Living.  Sometimes it's just an image that inspires me.  I'll see something and think, what can I do with that?  Sometimes a place can inspire me.  Like, when I go to Florida, I want to make all kinds of beach inspired things. 

LM- Do you have a favorite creation?

SM- I think my suitcases are my favorite.  They are all of my favorite things: Simple, cute and old fashioned.
My favorite images are the brown puppy because I love dogs, the leaping lamb because it's sweet, and the Boston Terrier because it makes me laugh. 

                                                              One of Susan's little suitcases
LM-My mom and I are a little obsessed with your workshop. Can you describe it for our readers?

SM-We put an addition on the house specifically for my workshop.  It has a large table in the middle for messy creating and around the outside is the "stuff."  I basically filled antique vases and found objects (from her travels in Wisconsin and The White Rabbit of course) with things like ribbon, paper, glitter and fabric scraps.  There is also a computer filled with vintage images that I use on almost all of my art.

Here are some pictures of the workshop so you can see for yourself how fun it looks!

LM- What is your dream for the future of Knollwood Lane?

SM- I want to do it until it's a job.
We hope you stop in to see Susan's newest projects in the store soon!  She brings her new creations to The White Rabbit almost weekly.  She also loves custom orders and welcomes a challenge.  We also plan to do a trunk show for Christmas, so stay tuned for the date! -Angie and Lindsay


1 comment:

  1. That's a very fun looking studio! I enjoyed the interview - thanks for sharing!