Susan Nipper has been working at Libertyville’s Curtis Frame & Gallery for 15 years, but as the daughter of an artist and interior designer, she’s been creating artistic works for even longer.
“My whole life I’ve been surrounded by art and it was very important to us as a family growing up,” Nipper said. “So I’ve always been exposed to it. I’m one of those people who has to create something or do something tangible every day.”
In February 2011, after selling her watercolor paintings at Curtis Frame for years, Nipper decided to begin making scarves using an idea she had seen in local art stores in Arizona.
“I had seen something similar to them using ribbons. And then I just kind of remembered it and thought, ‘I’d like to do it with interesting yarns,’” Nipper said.
She explains that finding the yarns became the fun part. Her unique scarves consists of combinations of yarn strands in different colors, thicknesses, and textures.
“I’m not a knitter, so I’m not familiar with yarn shops,” she said. “But I started searching the Internet for interesting little yarn shops, and I was just enamored by all of the yarns that are out there.”
Customers became enamored with Nipper’s scarves. She says the scarves have sold well since bringing them into the store this fall.
Another gallery in Libertyville is also selling a unique take on scarves.
Mother and daughter team Jen Laufenberg and Carley Matyas of Singalila Gallery began making their fabric scarves after Matyas found a similar idea in a fashion magazine.
“We found some fabrics that worked, and we’ve kind of expanded because we’ve found so many beautiful fabrics,” Matyas said.
Matyas says their store is a culmination of her mother’s ideas. An artist from the time she was little, Laufenberg became the interior designer for the building company that she shares with her husband.
“Art is in her blood,” Matyas said. “She paints oils and acrylics. She can make anything with her hands. She can sew beautifully. It just comes naturally for her.”
Matyas says that both she and her mom make the scarves out of fabrics that they have found through their travels through the United States and abroad.
“We never thought they’d be as big as they’ve become,” Matyas said. “They were something that I loved. But I didn’t know other people would love them so much.”
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