>> A couple of days ago I talked to quilter and textile artist Emily Bellinger. Emily is a Rochester native who grew up in Spencerport and learned to sew from her mom at the age of seven, making outfits and what not for her Barbies and American Girl Dolls. “Then in high school, I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer so I got really into trying to make clothes then I realized I really hate measuring, quickly learned I hated it a lot. So I’ve pretty much been sewing for 20 years now.” Over these years Emily has managed to complete two degrees, she received her BFA from Alfred University in 2007 and just recently completed her MFA at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016.
Emily currently teaches a couple of classes at RIT as an adjunct professor. “ [I’ve been] Teaching mostly drawing classes and in the fall I taught a Craft Business class, so all about business cards and logos and resumes and CVs and adult things, so that you can make money with your art.” Emily also owns a small handmade crafts business, Mmmily Handmade, where she makes all kinds of cute crafts from zipper pouches to pot holders. When I asked her if she had any business goals she gave me a list of what she wants to improve on. Adding more new products to her brand, get her online shop back up and running, and explore new ways other than Etsy to sell her products. “I’ve been mostly doing some smaller scale stuff but I want to get into bigger scale stuff. I’ve been making a couple of backpacks recently, mostly made to order, but I’m thinking I’ll maybe try to make a couple to bring to craft shows because they are pretty well received when I do promote it on Instagram.”
I asked Emily if she could tell her past self any advice what would it be and she gave me a wise response,
“I feel like I was a misguided youth. I think the thing I would do is to go back to freshman college Emily and be like,’ get out of your comfort zone you’re not the hot shit! ’ I feel like art was very underrated in my high school so I feel like I