Thursday, October 23

Becca Bags, soon to be "Odessa Gypsy"

Artist Interview

Tell us a little about yourself: name, where you grew up and where you live today, when you started your business and anything else interesting!

Hello, I'm Rebecca Gramajo and I need to create! I grew up in rural Coshocton, Ohio where I learned to sew and stitch. After going to college and spending a few years in Southern California, I landed in Buffalo, NY where my childhood hobbies exploded with new life. I wanted to make something that had a practical use. After sewing one bag, I was hooked! I made so many I had to start selling them. It also gave me an excuse to buy beautiful fabric! My cousin helped me choose the name beccabags for my label. I love the name, but unfortunately it is too close to the name of someone else. I am in the process of changing names to Odessa Gypsy. Why Odessa Gypsy? I want to be a world traveler to see textiles in far distant lands. I would like to travel to the countries where my bags have been shipped. And who knows, an Odessa Gypsy bag may make the trip to the grocery store a little more exciting!

Besides being an artist/designer or all of the above do you have a day job?
Yes, I do have a day job. I enjoy my job. I can't imagine just working or just creating. I need both to have balance.

Do you consider yourself an artist or designer and what drove you to the arts?
I have always wanted to make things ever since I can remember. I thought about studying art in college, but I didn't have the confidence in my abilities to think I could support myself with only art. As I get older the need to create is overwhelming because it is a huge part of who I am.

What's your creative process? How do you create your works of art,with what materials and where?I love the way color and textures come together in textiles and fabrics. After deciding what size and general color of a bag, I start putting different fabric combinations together until I find just the right combination. Fabric has invaded almost every room of my house, but I try to keep it to just one room!

What is your favorite product you have made to date?
That's a difficult question. My favorite thing is when I hear the person who has the bag now, "Loves it!"

What are your favorite artists, designers, writers, musicians and why?
There are so many! With the internet I find new artists everyday around the world who inspired me. I could spend an infinite amount of time listing them.

Where are your favorite local places to shop?I love thrift stores. It is like capturing decades of lives and styles in one place. (Check out Divine Finds that just opened up on at 1201 Hertel Avenue.)

What advice would you like to give other artists just starting out?Practice makes perfect. Your art will improve the more you do it. Enjoy other people's creative success because those positive feelings will inspire you in your work.

How do you advertise your work?I advertise by being a vender at shows and having a website,

What is your favorite part of being a part of Buffalo Indie Market and how would you like it to further your creative career?
My favorite part of the Buffalo Indie Market is that it is in downtown Buffalo, that it is every month with different venders, and live music from local musicians. It is also nice to see the collaboration of local artists working together.

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