Interview with Lisa TurnerRole: Upcycler

Last updated: July 28. 2014 6:06AM - 1036 Views
By Rosanne Bowman

Craig J. Orosz | The Lima NewsLisa Turner, of Vaughnsville, creates upcycled fashions, which is taking used clothing items and making something new out of it.
Craig J. Orosz | The Lima NewsLisa Turner, of Vaughnsville, creates upcycled fashions, which is taking used clothing items and making something new out of it.
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1. How did you get into upcycling?

Well, let’s see. It started when my daughter was a teenager. She has these jeans she really liked, but they got too small, so we turned them into a skirt. We did this before it was the style. Recently, it’s been harder to find modest skirts, so I find a pair of shorts I can make into a longer and fuller skirt.

2. Can you explain what upcycling is exactly?

It’s where you use an item for a new purpose. It’s giving an item a new life.

3. Where do you find your materials?

I usually try to go to the thrift stores and to Goodwill, places like that. That way, it is more inexpensive.

4. What kinds of things do you make?

Well, I make skirts. I have three types that I make. The one I’m wearing now was made from a pair of capris, and I just added some material to fill it in. I have ones I make from shorts, and I add a long skirt. Then there are items that are longer, so I just add a ruffle around the bottom. I also crochet. I make afghans, coasters, baby blankets, pot holders, hats, scarves, mug cozies and head bows. I also do thread crochet and make doilies and table scarves that way.

5. How many items would you say you make in a month?

Well, the only thing I really upcycle is clothing. I probably average about eight to 10 of those items in a month.

6. Is this a hobby or do you sell these things too?

Both really. The crocheting was a hobby that expanded. The skirts started more as a business. I did a few for friends and then I did more, but it started more with a business focus.

7. How do you come up with your ideas?

With the skirts I usually find — well, I buy a lot of my fabric from Joann Fabrics. I go to Joann’s (Fabrics) and find fabric on sale that I like the look of. Then, I look at all the jeans and shorts I have and match up what works together.

8. What is the most challenging part?

Well, I have done some special orders. One lady in Germany wanted me to find a pair of jeans that were 100 percent cotton. She was really tall and skinny, so it was challenging to find jeans that worked. When there is a special order, it can be challenging to find what the person wants. The challenge is in trying to meet the customer’s needs. It is challenging, but I enjoy doing that, too.

9. What is your favorite part?

I think seeing it all come together. I get all the fabric and have all these jeans and shorts and then seeing it all come together into something that is unique and modest — that is very rewarding.

10. Where can people find you to get an upcycled or crocheted item?

Currently, I have mug cozies at the Meeting Place on Market. We have our business cards attached to those. We have a business on etsy.com. You can find us at www.etsy.com/shop/delightfullycreated7.

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