Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellen Bruxvoort.
Ellen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2012, I was in the middle of my second year of school for Advertising with a focus on graphic design- I thought it was my dream job. Truth be told, I wasn’t very good at it, but even worse, I found myself feeling less and less aligned with the ethics of the whole industry. I never registered for more classes after that semester. Instead, I continued to work part-time living in Austin and traveled to work on organic produce farms over the next year. In late 2014, I decided to try weaving. I searched the internet high and low for a tutorial that seemed like a good entry point at a time when there wasn’t much weaving content available. I eventually made about a dozen wall hangings and opened an Etsy store. I worked pop-ups and farmer’s markets. I was constantly trying to weave new things and decided to go to Peru in 2016 to live and learn with a family of weavers in the mountains of Ayacucho. The past (almost) 5 years has been a series of challenges, problem-solving, hard work, saying yes, saying no, and showing up. I’m happy to say this is now my full-time job.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think pricing is by far the biggest hurdle to figure out. I feel a huge appreciation for Etsy, who pushed a ton of helpful content into my inbox in the beginning, like how to calculate your cost of materials, labor, overhead, and miscellaneous costs. So many numbers were just wild guesses in the beginning, which was especially difficult when I started making things that I’d never seen before. I now have a giant spreadsheet that breaks down every single thing I make into line items, which helps me price my work consistently and honestly.
Please tell us about Fibrous.
My name is Ellen Bruxvoort and I am the founder of FIBROUS, an Austin-based brand for woven goods and fiber jewelry. Forever finding the balance between fun, classy, statement and comfortable, I mainly work with natural materials like wool, cotton, linen, hemp, copper, and rose gold to create wall art, functional goods and fiber jewelry for shops and individuals all around the world. Each piece is designed and produced by hand with a confident, intentional consumer in mind.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I think I have a lot of nostalgia for the years when my parents were together and we were all under one roof. Some of my fondest memories are of me and my brothers banging pots and pans like a drumline on the floor in the kitchen, eating watermelon on the back porch in the summertime, having “picnics” with plastic food in the living room with my dad, arranging my 800 stuffed animals in perfect order on the bed with my mom.
- Website: www.fibrousatx.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/ellenbruxvoort
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/fibrous
- Other: www.pinterest.com/ellenbruxvoort
Katie Jameson (photos 1, 7, 8), All other photos by Ellen Bruxvoort