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Fran Stekeetee // Seamstress

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Fran creates pillows, Kwirky Kritters, tooth fairy pouches, and greeting cards. She also sometimes helps with running the Yapoma table at events.

Where are you from?

I was born in Westminster MD, left for college after high school, and have lived in 5 big cities. Although I still have a lot of concrete in my blood, I love on our farm.

I’ve been an artist since I was two years old when my Aunt Jean, 11 years old and already talented, taught me how to draw women’s faces on our grocery bags. I graduated from MICA before it was “MICA” and raised a family while teaching elementary art for 15 years in many Miami-Dade County elementary schools. I never stopped making art.

What do you make/sell?

One day a friend asked if I wanted her out-of-date designer fabric books—of course I did!– and I ended up with five huge cartons of gorgeous samples. It took me about two weeks to have the light bulb experience, and I began to design and sew pillows. Very edgy and quite unusual pillows I decided that since we were near the ocean I would make stuffed fish, and then cats came along and finally owls.

The tooth fairy pillows came when my nephew asked if I could make two for his boys. Neither of us knew where to start so I just sat down with some white vinyl, cut out a big tooth and went on from there.

What’s your favorite thing to make?

There were tons of leftover scraps from all the projects, so I decided to sew greeting cards which on some days are my very favorite things to do. The faves can change hourly or daily.

Tell us a little bit about your craft: When did you first start to create? When did you begin to hone your craft? Why do you create?

I create because there is no way I can stop. Every day I make something, or begin something, or somethings—a day without a stitch or two is not a day.

What other stores on/offline do you sell your items in?

Cockey’s Shop, Westminster MD / 5 or six outdoor shows, both in Baltimore and Chambersburg PA. Several stores in Baltimore that closed.

Tell us a little bit about your business: Why do you run a small business? What do you hope for the future of your business?

I don’t have a real business although I do sell things, usually at shops, outdoor shows, online or person-to-person. I’m considering online—Etsy, Facebook, etc.

The future for me is to keep doing art, whatever it is and however it finds a home.