Like most college seniors, Amy Mathews has a plan: After graduating from Drake University this spring with a double major in graphic design and advertising and a minor in printmaking, the Minnetonka native plans to return to the Twin Cities and land a job at a creative design or advertising agency.
Unlike most college seniors, however, Mathews has a great alternative to plan A: her successful online shop at Etsy.com, a virtual craft marketplace.
What initially began as a fundraising effort for her sorority quickly became a labor of love. Shoppe Azure, which officially opened in May, features hand-dyed scarves, baby blankets and other fabric art. “I love seeing them when they come out,” she says of the process.
Though she begins each item with a color scheme in mind, the process has some inherent randomness and surprise. Because of this, Mathews calls her scarves “beautiful, happy accidents.” While she does most of the work herself, sometimes her friends and family help with hemming blankets, and Mathews is working with friends to hone her sewing skills.
She plans to continue Shoppe Azure after graduation and thinks it might even lead to a sustainable career. She would love to see her designs for sale at farmers markets and boutiques that support local artists.
Mathews loves that her pieces bring warmth and happiness to customers. As she prepares her items for shipping, she even gives each package a little goodbye hug.