Rusterior Design with featured maker, Carrie Rinehart

Did you ever want to try your hand at making a design on a tee shirt or tote? Well now is your chance at this years Buffalo Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 20th with Carrie Rinehart from Rusterior. She will be showing the art of screen printing and allowing you to channel your inner maker and try it for yourself. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us about how she became a maker, her product and provide advice for future makers.

  1.  Tell us about yourself and how you got started as an inventor/maker?

I started sewing some scarves and accessories as gifts and people saw them and went nuts so I put a few on Etsy and I ended up selling a lot of them. Then one day I sewed a silhouette of a buffalo on a tank top and I started selling a bunch of those. I would sell them at work or at the farmers markets and my business really took off from there. 

I really wanted to make something of my Etsy shop and wanted to build a brand, so I took a very down and dirty screen printing basics class in buffalo at the WNY book art center and I fell IN LOVE with screen printing. I have now been screen printing for about 3 years and I love it more and more every day. I love how simple yet complex it is and how you have the ability to create something so detailed and unique since every print will always have a slight variation. 

I have a very simplistic screen printing set up, with a press that I built out of an old door because when I first started I didn’t want to invest a whole lot of money and I still use that same press today!

  1.    What is the first thing a new inventor/maker should consider?

The importance of keeping good books. It is easy to take off without the proper foundations built. So my recommendation is to work from the ground up even though it is easy to jump right into the making, the business aspect is just as important 🙂 

  1.    Are you selling products? What sorts of licensing/patents do you have in place?

I am selling products and have been for 4 years. I have a couple of copyrights on designs and am in the process of trademarking my business name and becoming an LLC. 

  1.    What has been your greatest success in business? 

My greatest success has to be a tie between two. Buying and opening my mobile retail store was a big deal for me and is still a work in progress and also I will be showcasing my business in Feb 2018 at a NYC trade show called NYNOW.

  1. What advice would you offer fellow inventors/makers who are in the beginning stages of development?

Research, Research and Research. Stay open minded and flexible because where you think you are headed may change drastically and you may end up in a total different place than where you thought you would end up. 

Don’t forget to visit Rusterior at Buffalo Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 20th, where you are encouraged to bring your own tote, tee, or special paper and try your hand at screen printing. But, before you come, check out more of them on their WebsiteFacebook and Etsy page.

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