Bob Jones Graduate Turns Crafts Passion Into Business
Elizabeth Blanton sells handcrafted hair accessories.
Elizabeth Blanton, 25, had an affirming moment in January. Blanton, who works a part-time job at a law firm, also makes money by selling homemade hair accessories, which are gaining popularity.
"Last month I went out for brunch and saw a girl at another table in the restaurant wearing a Yellow Elm headband," Blanton said. "That is the first time I've spotted Yellow Elm on a stranger, and it was extremely exciting. That was definitely a 'your-hard-work-has-paid-off' moment for me."
Yellow Elm is Blanton's studio at 1279 Pendleton Street in Greenville, where the Bob Jones alum with a degree in graphic design does much of her work. Yellow Elm began in 2009 after Blanton fell in love with the felt medium.
Each piece of Blanton's art is made from raw wool, using a wet-felting process, which involves layering the wool in a criss-cross pattern, pouring soap and boiling water over it and scrubbing it until the fibers interlock to make felt. Blanton then dries them for a day and sews decorative elements like sequins, beads, feathers and ribbons to it.
"When I first learned how to felt, I made large wall hangings and absolutely loved the medium," Blanton said. "At one point I cut a piece of larger felt apart and made brooches to give as gifts to some of my friends, and I couldn't get that idea out of my head. I then started making headbands and bobby pins and Yellow Elm grew from there."
Today, Yellow Elm's studios are open roughly once a month for shows, but Blanton's work can be purchased at all times via the internet, at YellowElm.com and other California-based sites, such as Etsy and Ruche
Tonight, from 6 to 9 p.m., Blanton will showcase her work during a Valentine's Show at the Pendleton Street studio.