Among the lovely artists and teachers that will be joining us at this year's BUST Craftacular Holiday and the BUST School for Creative Living (Dec. 8-9 at Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn) are needlepoint experts Hello Bargello. Hello Bargello is a stitch and craft company with a special focus on the vintage craft of bargello, a type of needlepoint embroidery. Hello Bargello will be selling their signature craft kits, and founder Brett Bara will be teaching bargello workshops.
In this spotlight, we asked Bara a few questions about her history as a crafter and what we can expect to see at the BUST School for Creative Living.
Hi Brett, can you tell our readers a little bit about what you do?
Bargello is a forgotten vintage needlecraft from the '70s—and Hello Bargello is bringing it back! We carry complete kits to make amazing bargello projects, plus all the resources you need to learn bargello and keep stitchin'. Bargello is super fun to do, easy, relaxing—and it looks amazing!
What inspired you to start Hello Bargello?
I became obsessed with bargello a few years back when I discovered some vintage bargello pattern books. I decided to give it a try and I loved it. Then, I began teaching bargello workshops and sharing bargello on my social media—people loved it and kept asking where they could find bargello patterns and supplies so they could start their own projects. But believe it or not, there are NO modern resources for bargello patterns—only those vintage pattern books. I decided that someone needed to create some modern bargello patterns and projects, so that everybody could see what a fantastic craft this is—and also to save it from being completely forgotten in the past!
What is your creative process like?
I browse vintage pattern books for inspiration and I also look to current trends for inspiration, always looking for cool graphic patterns that could be translated into bargello. Then, I select colors of the wool tapestry yarn that I stitch with and start stitching swatches. Often I have to try out tons of color combinations and design tweaks before I hit on just the right thing. I throw out lots of ideas/swatches before I hit on one that feels just right. Once the pattern design is set, I stitch up the final project whether it is a wall hanging, earrings, or a pillow (just to name a few).
What advice do you have for people who are pursuing a career in your field?
Start small, and just start! If you have an idea, start putting it out there in whatever manageable way you can. Make online friends within your community and start establishing yourself as part of the landscape. Build slowly from there.
Tell us about what you’ll be doing at Craftacular.
What else should our readers know about you and your business?
I am also the co-owner of Brooklyn Craft Company, a modern craft store and workshop space located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We've been in business for six years, and before that I was a craft author, editor, blogger and designer. And, fun fact, I used to be the host of a PBS television show about knitting.
For more information about Hello Bargello, you can visit the company website at hellobargello.com.
Join us at the BUST Craftacular and the School For Creative Living 11a.m.-7p.m. on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9 at Brooklyn Expo center. Admission is free; learn more and purchase class tickets her.
Top photo: Courtesy of Hello Bargello (Dreams Wall Hanging Kit)
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Mia X. Perez is a creative writer and currently studies at NYC's The New School. You can find her published poetry in The Grief Diaries, an online literary journal. You can follow her Instagram @mia.xochitl or email her at email@example.com.