RaeBean is a combination of my daughter’s name and my nickname (which I HATED as a kid):
Rae – aka Rachel (Rae-Rae) – Artist
The Bean – aka Laurene or Mom
One day back in 2010, I decided I needed a small purse to carry just my phone and id/credit card to run errands, drop the kids at school, etc. I browsed Pinterest for ideas and found a cute little owl purse. I made it, and after looking at the finished product, Rachel went off to color and came back with several drawings that sparked the animal phone purse line. She created not only an updated owl but a penguin with a tuft of hair, a cat, dog, frog, and mouse. Each bag has evolved, and all include a little something on the back of the bag – cheese, birds, bones, fish, lily pond, or whatever strikes her fancy. That was the first purse I made and re-sparked my love of sewing. We’ve moved on from the animal purses, for now.
I learned to sew when I was a little girl, probably around 8 or 9. I spent my summers in Italy with my grandparents. Being the typical bored kid, I wanted to make a dress for my beloved doll, Picola Cathy. My grandmother, or Nonna Ausilia, taught me to sew on her treadle sewing machine. I thought it was so cool to pedal and sew at the same time. I still have that dress somewhere, along with the doll.
I started making patterns when my kids wanted to update their pencil cases for school, but there was nothing out there cool enough or big enough. I found an excellent pencil cup idea, but it was SO dull in color and SOOOO small. I set out making a bigger and better one. Since I had to have the pencil case perfect and meet both my kids’ needs, it took me almost a year to get it just right. Then, after all the work and at least a few dozen prototypes, I didn’t want to make anymore. So, the idea of pattern making was born. That was an experience! My kids grew, and my time to make patterns was eaten up by sports and clubs.
(2020) As a teenager, Rae has become an incredible artist. She no longer helps with sewing, but she will always be my inspiration!