Fran Stekeetee, Westminister Seamstress and Crafter

Yapoma Bazaar

Fran creates pillows, Kwirky Kritters, tooth fairy pouches, and greeting cards. She also sometimes helps with running the Yapoma table at events.

Where are you from?

I was born in Westminster MD, left for college after high school, and have lived in 5 big cities. Although I still have a lot of concrete in my blood, I love on our farm.

I’ve been an artist since I was two years old when my Aunt Jean, 11 years old and already talented, taught me how to draw women’s faces on our grocery bags. I graduated from MICA before it was “MICA” and raised a family while teaching elementary art for 15 years in many Miami-Dade County elementary schools. I never stopped making art.

What do you make/sell?

One day a friend asked if I wanted her out-of-date designer fabric books—of course I did!– and I ended up with five huge cartons of gorgeous samples. It took me about two weeks to have the light bulb experience, and I began to design and sew pillows. Very edgy and quite unusual pillows I decided that since we were near the ocean I would make stuffed fish, and then cats came along and finally owls.

The tooth fairy pillows came when my nephew asked if I could make two for his boys. Neither of us knew where to start so I just sat down with some white vinyl, cut out a big tooth and went on from there.

What’s your favorite thing to make?

There were tons of leftover scraps from all the projects, so I decided to sew greeting cards which on some days are my very favorite things to do. The faves can change hourly or daily.

Tell us a little bit about your craft: When did you first start to create? When did you begin to hone your craft? Why do you create?

I create because there is no way I can stop. Every day I make something, or begin something, or somethings—a day without a stitch or two is not a day.

What other stores on/offline do you sell your items in?

Cockey’s Shop, Westminster MD / 5 or six outdoor shows, both in Baltimore and Chambersburg PA. Several stores in Baltimore that closed.

Tell us a little bit about your business: Why do you run a small business? What do you hope for the future of your business?

I don’t have a real business although I do sell things, usually at shops, outdoor shows, online or person-to-person. I’m considering online—Etsy, Facebook, etc.

The future for me is to keep doing art, whatever it is and however it finds a home.

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