Artist Of The Month: Melissa from Gr8fuldreadgrrl

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My name is Melissa aka Gr8fuldreadgrrl.

 

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I am a Wisconsin native, now residing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, near Seattle. Recently Moved from Joshua Tree,CA. That is where my shop started 5 years ago. I now create mostly from t-shirts, and other recycled materials. My main things are the Patchy goodness t Skirts, and my T gauchos. And its no lie, I am obsessed with exposed seams. I sometimes even wear my tshirts inside out to expose the seams, HA. I love recycling and creating items from handfuls of items that are no longer loved or needed.

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My team is me. Although, Ethan my son, is awesome at helping.

 

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He plays the drum set while I sew, dances around with me, tells me how cool stuff is, makes me fake food in his kitchen, and keeps the pretend coffee coming! He is the best!

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My shop name came from my way early years in the Deadhead chat room in AOL, yeah, remember that? Ha. I have been Gr8fuldreadgrrl everywhere online since. Gnarly Garments came from Gnarly Head wine, ha! One of my favorites! So I just combined it all to work for me.

My creative process starts at the thrift stores I guess. So many amazing items to find thrifting!! I am in love with vintage and wild stuff from the 70’s, and even starting to appreciate awful 80’s prints. Ha. I then get all the shirts and such, washed and pile em in the sewing room and start laying out stuff that looks great, move, throw, cut up, and rearrange items until I like what I see. Lay em out, cut, pin, sew, finish, photo, list. Sounds easy enough right?

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My last day job was in CT. I was the pregnant chick working at the liquor(package) store, ha. I was supposed to replace the other pregnant girl, and found out I was too! Backfire! But we didn’t stay there long and headed to California. There and since, I stayed an at home mom, and stitching mama.

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My mom was and is very crafty and sold her crafts when I was a child too. I do remember a pink crocheted blankie she made me when I was around 5. She also made some clothes for me, and all the rocking Halloween costumes. But I always remember my grandma, and great grandma’s being crafty as well. My mom had a sewing maching out for the later part of my childhood, and then I started to tinker around with it, and making myself some patchiness. Until, she later bought me my own machine, which I still use today.

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Well let’s see, if you read any of my listings….pretty much everything I make is my favorite! Its so hard to part with items!! But I am boarder line clothing hoarder as is! I really stand behind the gauchos being the comfiest things ever. I do believe the skirts are too. I love easy to wear and comfy items. Everyday pieces, that can be worn whenever and wherever you want.

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Big surprise here, but yes the Grateful Dead, HUGE inspiration. I mean all these great shirts, all the phenominal artist that make the shirts, tie dye, colors, patchwork, other stitchin mamas, music, festivals, food, smells….there is just soooo much!

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This all started when I had shirts from festivals and shows I didn’t wear. I never had enough to come home with the amazing patchworks from the lot that i drooled over, but I could usually sewing a shirt. Downside is they were all over sized mens shirts. So instead of sitting in storage I started tinkering around with them to actually wear them, turned out others liked what I did!

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The shirt hunt make it interesting for me. I am obsessed with grateful dead shirts, and thrifting. I still have some shirts from my aunt and uncle, and ones they brought me back while I babysat my cousin, while they would hit a dead show or two. I still get sooooo excited over shirts I haven’t had yet. I always have about 5 that stay in my “to keep” pile. Did I mention the Shirts?!

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The lovely people I have met while doing this also make it so very rewarding. I swear I have some of the best supporters, sisters, friends, and customers. They also give the best feedback. Totally keeps me going!

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I think my first concert was Lorrie Morgan. My mom liked her, and I have seen her more times than I would like to admit. I have also rocked out at def leppard, tim mcgraw, journey, bad company, ted nugent, slipknot, tool, black Sabbath…you know, just trying to appreciate all music! First festival would be Ozz fest 1998, alpine valley.

But by 2000, I bought a 1973 VW bus (Herbie), started my first set of dreads, and was hitting only the good music, string cheese, further fests, Dead family reunion, phish, ekoostik hookah, big wu….all the Wisconsin festivals I could get too, 3 G’s will always have a place in my heart.

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I don’t mind slow time. My kid is the best, and I would never complain about more time with my favorite lil man. My shout outs to Stealie the gumpy old cat, Phillmore the puppers, Jon my main (and only) man. Ha. My mom is pretty great too! They are my heart! usfamily

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{{I have a twitter, I don’t twit much though. Ha}}
My etsy shop www.gr8fuldreadgrrl.etsy.com
Google+ as Gr8fuldreadgrrl

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4 responses »

  1. Congratulations on a beautiful Life, and Prosperity to your business and creations. Mamma crafters who support their families in kind ways are the super heros of the world today… like Melissa we raise conscious minded children in a family way and I’m proud to support her in every way. Up cycled clothing will help save our earth, and people who create from the heart will always be loved. Keep up the good energy, and the deadhead art alliance team is a better group just knowing you are one of us. To the future!

  2. Very fun article. I love comfy clothes. Great clothing Melissa. It’s so cool that your son loves to help you. He will know the business at a young age. Captain Crunch, that takes me back. I haven’t seen him in many moons. As always Lauren, Love your blog.

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