At Mented we're committed to supporting artists in our community, and we're proud to partner with Fabric Creations by Andrea. Andrea Tyrell Grant, a Black Floridian entrepreneur, creates bright and cheerful handmade products that are both useful and practical. Andrea takes pride in her workmanship and finds her side hustle relaxing and rewarding. Continue reading to learn more about her path to entrepreneurship and her motivation.
Tell us a little bit about what inspires your art and drives you to create?
I have always had a love of bright colors and fabric patterns. The pairing of fabrics for many of the products that I sew is probably the most exciting part of the process. I really enjoy going out to Quilt Shops and Quilts shows to find unique prints and designs. Some fabrics I get so attached to that I don’t sell them because they’re just so unique and pretty. I call them my “pet fabrics.” Maybe one day I’ll do a special collection using them, but for now, I just love to have them in my inventory! One of my favorites is a beautiful Butterfly print that I picked up on a trip to Paris several years ago.
How and when did you get into the business?
I think it was back in 2009, I remember it vividly. I attended a trunk show where I purchased a beautiful leather handbag. It was packaged in a brown paper bag and I thought that was just sacrilegious. If you know me, you also know how much I love bags and shoes and handle them with care so I thought, “maybe I should sew my own bag!" I went out and bought a sewing machine and fabric the next day and made my own Dust Bag for my new purchase. And that is how Bags for Bags, which grew into Fabric Creations by Andrea got started. I began making Dust Bags for my friend’s handbags, wallets, belts, and other small items, then ventured out from that to simply sewing beautiful fabric creations. I sell primarily on ETSY and at various local Craft Shows. I work full-time in banking, so Fabric Creations by Andrea has become my little side project, it is something I love doing and find very rewarding and relaxing.
What has been Fabric Creations' biggest win thus far?
Not to sound too cheesy, but this partnership with Mented has been such a fun experience. I never dreamed of doing this before. I would also say that being asked to make face masks for my local hospital was a big win, too. My Homeowners Association started a support drive and reached out to ask if i would use my skills to donate face masks for a group of nurses. I had never sewn masks before, but I knew I wanted to help during the COVID-19 pandemic in any way possible. I stayed up all night cutting and sewing fabrics. Seeing the nurses wearing my masks as they were fighting on the frontline to save lives was so rewarding. Since then, I’ve gone on to make hundreds of masks for people all over the country. It’s nice to think I’m helping to save lives.
Three fun facts about yourself:
1. I am a British History lover; anything print, film, or TV-related I eat it up. My son will not let me go to Scotland on my own for fear that I may visit the Standing Stones and travel back in time (like Claire in the TV series Outlander).
2. I can probably recite the words to the movie Pretty Woman.
3. In another life, I would have been an Opera singer.
Fabric Creations by Andrea has made limited edition masks available for sale through Mented. Check them out here!