We first met Briana Shepard several years ago when she approached us to setup a vintage living room scene at her handmade holiday market, the Alliday Show. We agreed. The next year, she approached us about hosting the Alliday Show in our shop. We agreed. As you can see, Briana is very persuasive and has big ideas. A dreamer after our own hearts.
Over the years we've known Briana we've learned a few things about her–she's ridiculously organized, driven, and business savvy, she is crazy talented and can sew anything you ask her to (pillows, quilts, backpacks, clothes!), and she truly has the biggest, most wonderful heart. Needless to say, we love and admire this woman and are so excited to learn and share more about her. Please enjoy our Q&A session with Briana below:
Where are you from? I am a proud lifelong Tulsan!
How long have you been working with fabrics? What is your history with them? I have been actively sewing for the past five years. I grew up watching my mom and Mimi sew their hearts out while I dabbled a bit and admired their works. During my teens and twenties, I obsessively made jewelry from broken pieces of jewelry. My creative fixation shifted when I was pregnant and started sewing odds and ends for our future child. Once our daughter entered our world, I was officially hooked on sewing. Nowadays, I would say I'm completely obsessed with sewing! I would sew every minute, if I had the chance.
I was also raised in the antiquing world and was taught to seek out various valuables in interesting antique shops. This very important part of my history is evident in my everyday approach to gathering materials for my projects. I rarely go out to purposely buy fabrics, instead I let the fabrics find me while I do my junking. I will hold onto a particular piece of fabric for years until I come across its perfect mate.
Why is this your medium? I'm an incredibly visual person. The imagery that vintage textiles provide are works of art themselves, in my opinion. I LOVE that anything can be made with fabric! Sewing is an art form in which I believe I'll always be learning. That's so exciting!
What inspires you? Being different has always inspired and motivated me. I love putting together fabrics and colors that some wouldn't particularly think of putting together and then using that to make something functional is incredibly satisfying to me!
What do you enjoy about collaborating with our shop? Oh, I'm a huge fan of collaborating with you all, as you know! Your value of handmade goods is shown through your desire to showcase them in your shop and at Alliday, another collaboration of ours! :) The fact that you inquire about our thoughts as makers shows that you value the importance of the handmade movement.
Why is art important in a home? A home should be somewhere that you want to be and I want to be surrounded with vibrant, meaningful goodness! I am a HUGE proponent of making your home a place that is functional for YOU, is beautiful to YOU, and is cherished by YOU. However you need to make that happen, do it!
Why do you love Tulsa right now? As a lifelong Tulsan, I feel like we're finally reaching a point as a city that we've been working for decades to reach. We're embracing our small businesses, we're revitalizing areas that have needed TLC, and we're showing the rest of the country the goodness that we've got to offer. We've still got work to do, but we've made big strides since I've been around!
What is your favorite Retro Den piece in your home currently? I have so many different things from Retro Den! Furniture, plants, lamps (lots of lamps!), and housewares have all left your shop to live within our home. Retro Den is so wonderfully curated that I know I'll find something new every time I visit the store–and I visit it often!
Thanks, Briana! Briana's pillows made out of beautiful vintage fabric can be found in our shop. Also check out Bifftastica, Briana's online handmade shop and learn more about the Alliday Show, Briana's handmade holiday market that takes place in our shop in just a couple weeks!