Little Birdie Design Studio is a small local business in Akron, Ohio. They specialize in creating knit products by hand. We recently interviewed owner, Tori, to learn more about her company. Meet Little Birdie Design Studio on June 3, 2018 at our Summer Maker Mart!
Tell us about your local business.
Little Birdie Design Studio, located in Akron Ohio. Founded in 2009, Little Birdie Design Studio has grown from a crafting hobby into an established company that specializes in hand-knit statement pieces. Each product has been hand-knit from a custom design pattern created by owner/designer, Tori Tedesco. LBDS values the art of knitting and the process it takes to create each individual piece. Every item is handcrafted with attention to detail, giving each finished product a personalized touch. Our mission is to combine the craft of knitting with the world of fashion accessories. LBDS offers seasonal accessory collections that are both stylish and functional.
What drew you to your craft?
As a graphic designer I was looking for a creative outlet that I could do in the evenings to get my mind off of work and my eyes off of a computer screen. When I was young my mother taught me to crochet, but I had always had an interest in knitting. So I started teaching myself how to knit. From there my love for working with yarn grew!
What is your favorite thing you have ever made?
I think my favorite piece I have ever made is my new Cross Body Tote Bag. This design was a real labor of love. I spent almost a year finding the right materials, creating the design pattern and fine tuning the finished product.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was young I was in love with both Ballet and Photography. I had dreams of being in either field and being truly happy. After graduation, I attended Kent State University where I majored in Visual Communication Design and followed my dreams by minoring in Photography and Dance Performance. After college I went on to join 2 different dance companies in Cleveland and continued to follow my love for photography by picking up freelance jobs. As time went on, my body could no longer take the demands of dance world and I had to give up on a passion I had had since I was 5 years old.
What is your creative process?
The way I design each piece starts with a vision of something I would want to wear or use. From there I select a yarn that fits the style I am going for and then I start knitting the piece by trial and error. All of my pieces come from my own design (never from another artist’s pattern) and I build my pattern as the piece develops. I will work on the design until I have it just perfect and fitting the function I was looking for in the beginning.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Get ready and hold on to your hat, because your life is about to head in a direction you could have never imagine! But everything is going to be ok, just trust your gut, stay true to yourself and believe in yourself.
Why is it important to support local artists & makers?
Supporting local artist and makers means you are keeping your money local and supporting your community and those in it. There is something truly special about being able to buy a product from a local business or maker, being able to meet the maker, and knowing you can trust the materials and craftsmanship that went into the product.
Why do you love doing what you do?
I love seeing people wearing and enjoying a product that I made with my own hands.
What advice do you have for other people who want to start their own businesses?
Love what you do! Believe in your product. If you do not love it, then others will not either.
What is your favorite thing about exploring Ohio?
I grew up in Dover Ohio, but enjoyed my youth playing in the fields of my grandparents’ dairy farm in Ragersville, Ohio. After moving to the Akron area I was afraid I would not have places to go to enjoy the outdoors and hiking. However, after meeting my husband, who grew up in the Akron area, he showed me just how much hiking and adventure we can have through the Summit Metro Parks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When time allows and when the weather is decent, you will find us out hiking with our pups your kayaking the Cuyahoga.