BeckLee Cottage Designs

Upcycle Crafts and Art

Tueasday Feature: Woven Threads


 Wow, I am so excited this is our first time for featuring a weaver and a man! There are not that many guys on Etsy and I have only known one other male weaver from years ago.  You must read about Matt, he has overcome some unique challenges in life and turn lemon’s into lemonade. Thanks to the fantastic Faith Deal for sending Matt to my attention. If you check out his Esty shop you will see that he has a wide variety or items, styles and colors. There is something very comforting about his work and I am not sure why I say that but it is. I love the purple purse it is just too cute. 
so read on 
Where is your hometown? and current location?

I’m originally from Upstate New York, in the Finger Lakes region.  I’ve
lived in a grand total of seven states thus far, up and down the east
coast.  Currently, I live in Columbus, Ohio and have been here for 11
years — the longest I’ve lived in a single state.

Purple Handwoven Cotton Purse
 What do you like about where you live now?

I never thought I’d live in Ohio, but Columbus has really grown on me.
It’s funny — if you listen to the news or to the weather channel you’ll
hear Cincinnati and Cleveland mentioned all the time, but Columbus seems
to be a well-kept secret!  The cost of living is rather low and given the
core industries here are banking, insurance, and government, unemployment
is lower than the national average. We have a couple of weeks in the
winter when it’s really cold and, although this year is an exception,
usually a couple of weeks which are too hot in the summer.  The rest of
the year is pretty moderate. Although I think the thing I like best about
Columbus is its diversity and the exposure we have to people and cultures
from around the world. Given that The Ohio State University (TM) is
located here, we have a very large student population from around the
world.  Without that it’d be very staid and boring, I fear. However, I can
take my daughter to a playground or play area and there will often be
children there of many ethnicities, faiths, and other backgrounds — the
kids don’t care, they just want to play.  It’s really neat to see how
little external differences matter to them.

Do you work outside of the home?

Yes; I work in Information Technology — it’s something I enjoy and it
pays the bills.  However, I find myself being seduced more and more by
fiber and weaving; I presently plan to make it my “retirement job”.  I
have a number of people at work, too, who are supportive of me and like it
when I come in and “show and tell”.
Custom Made Hooded Scarf/Stole
What inspires you?

Wow. There’s a lot here. Sometimes it’s colour. Sometimes it’s patterns.
Sometimes textures.  Other times I want to work around and/or escape the
limitations of a medium — I may see something which is knit or crocheted
and wonder how to do it in weaving – often I can come up with a solution.
Sometimes I’ll start out with a theme, like a season. Books and websites
can provide inspiration, too — seeing what other artists have made on
Etsy can give me ideas, too!

How did you begin with your art?

When I was younger, I had the opportunity to play with a loom belonging to
one of my great-aunts during a summer visit.  That planted a seed. I’ve
been crafty for many years, although admittedly for a long time my medium
of choice was metalworking.  A few years ago, I developed a neurological
disorder which causes me to have an involuntary twitch/jerking of muscles
— at its worst, I’ve hit myself in the face.  Additionally, I lost
dexterity. Trying to use a torch while twitching scares me.  Knitting is
right out, too…  So, I picked up weaving and have been having a blast

Cowtown Number One (OSU) Scarf
Are you more creative in the morning or evening?

I’d have to say generally evening. Unless a creative fit strikes and I’m
up around the clock, that is.

What do you do for fun?

I read, play on the computer, programme, cook, play with my daughter, sew,
and weave. I try to stay busy.

How would you describe your experience with Etsy?

Mixed.  I’ve found that Etsy is a fickle mistress — as long as you pay
attention to her, you’ll get attention back.  However, ignore her and she
will ignore you as well.  I think that in order to be successful on Etsy,
you need to make a conscious choice and commitment to being successful on
Etsy.  It may be that once you’ve established a baseline you might be able
to maintain that baseline without a lot of work, but I have not reached
that point as yet.

Daybreak Scarf/Table runner
Do you participate in any Etsy teams?

Yes — several.  Some of them are more active than others.  I do find with
my time being limited that I’m not participating in the teams as much as I
might.  I’m torn between creating and marketing. Although some forms of
marketing are more lucrative in terms of ROI than others.

Do you sell your products on other sites?

Not as yet, no.

Embers Environmentally Friendly Handwoven Coffee/Tea Cozy
Do you sell in Etsy BNR’s? What do you like or dislike about the

Yes, I do. In terms of my likes, I’ve found that they can be a good (and
relatively low cost if your buy-in is something you need or want to give
as a gift) way to get exposure.  A number of my sales have been a result
of exposure I’ve gained in the BNR’s.  Also BNR’s are a good way to build
relationships and to get to know other artists on Etsy.  I’ve been added
to a number of circles and had quite a few items favorited as a result of
my participation in BNR’s.

Drawbacks, to my mind, would be that they are somewhat incestuous — you
see the same people involved in them all the time and they often purchase
from each other.  They can be almost a form of gambling — you make a
sale, then roll it into more rounds in the BNR, hoping to make more sales.

It might be helpful to participate in a variety of BNR’s — there seem to
be core members of each one, although there are some who participate in a
number of BNR’s.

One other potential thing with BNR’s is that they require time in order to
effectively participate — this is often time which could be spent
Peacock Strut Silky Wool Scarf with Sterling Silver Scarf Ring
Also, it’s been my experience that smaller items tend to do better in
BNR’s.  I have a mix of prices in my shop — anywhere from $5 to $150.
People seem to be looking for bargains in BNR’s — it is typical for
sellers to offer discounts.  So, unless you have good margins, you might
find that your BNR sales, other than being promotional in nature, may not
be a good long-term strategy.

 If you have other sites, blogs, facebook etc, please list your links here.

I blog about fiber related topics at
My facebook page for my weaving is at

If you would like to please recommend another shop that you would like to
see featured here.

I’ve pointed a couple of people your way — I’ll send some more.

Thank you for this opportunity, I really appreciate it!


Author: admin

Blogger,writer,longtime Anglophile,social media manager,crafter,art lover,mother,geek, nerd, organic gardener, political activist,history fan and any science fiction. I think for myself did not drink the kool-aid. And now publishing books on Amazon Kindle


  1. Wow! Looks like you’ve found an IT co-hort to ‘talk techie’ with, BeckLee! I had no idea!

    Loved this interview… makes me feel as if I actually know Matt now! I just knew you and your readers would find his creations appealing. I’m itching to get my fingers on one of his gorgeous woven & felted hair accessories! (But guess I ‘d have to comb the clay dust out of my mop, then, eh?)

    A delightful addition, and informative, as always!

    My best to you Matt,
    Faith Ann

  2. thanks for the comments Faith and thanks for send Matt my way.

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