Returning maker, Nicole Majewski, from The Errant Stitch is back again this year to showcase cassette-cycle, a comprehensive exhibit devoted to recycling cassette tapes. Nicole’s display shows cassettes being made into various items and will discuss different methods used to make them. She was kind enough to answer some questions about how she got started as a maker, her products, and provided advice for future makers.
- Tell us about yourself and how you got started as an inventor/maker?
I make purses and home decorations made from cassette tapes and other recycled materials. Most of my work uses a variety of techniques to turn cassette tapes into all sorts of unique and unexpected items. I got my start in making as a child. My father was a lifelong woodworker and model train craftsman. He was always at his workbench making something and I would watch him turn a drawing into a highly detailed model. I watched his processes and I was hooked. I did various craft projects of my own and got into sewing after college because the kind of purses I wanted just weren’t made. That ended up extending to home decorations and finally a business making them for others.
- What is the first thing a new inventor/maker should consider?
The first thing a new inventor/maker should consider is that they have the drive to learn their craft, practice it and follow it all the way through to completion. Anyone can start a project, but it takes an open mind and drive and dedication to put in the work to make that project a reality. Don’t be afraid to make it happen. Also, be sure your materials are budget-friendly so you can keep making more!
- Are you selling products? What sorts of licensing/patents do you have in place?
Yes I do sell my products. I sell them on errantstitch.com. I sell fabric printed cassette tape purses and wallets, cassette tape pen holders and a line of jewelry made from various recycled objects. I’m always adding new purses and coming up with new ideas…soon I will be selling cassette tape lamps and jewelry as well.
- What has been your greatest success in business?
My greatest success in business has been selling over 1,000 purses all over the world and domestically. My other greatest success is getting a personal compliment on my cassette purses from Jon Bon Jovi! A customer of mine was a magazine reporter and had ordered a purse of Bon Jovi’s “New Jersey” album. She brought it with her to an interview she did with him and much of the interview turned out to be a discussion on how cool and interesting he thought my bag was! He even signed the bag too.
- What advice would you offer fellow inventors/makers who are in the beginning stages of development?
Be very patient in developing your projects and be prepared for setbacks. They happen and it takes a lot of time to really master your craft. Know that every project won’t work out, and when that does happen try to figure out why so you can know what to avoid when you try again. There is never such a thing as failure because every setback has its teaching moments.
Don’t forget to check out more of The Errant Stitch on their Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy page. And try your hand at your own cassette project with step-by-step instructions from Nicole Majewski at Buffalo Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 20th.