Bow Making for Gifts and Its Challenges

So you probably won’t believe me when I say that I was a horrible bow maker.

I know- for any of you who have looked at our web site or come into our store, this statement seems to a bit ridiculous.

I guess the turning point was watching someone else make a bow. She happened to teach a class that I eagerly signed up for. Her reputation as a creative and artistic visual display person, who did many of the windows for the retailers in our local area, made this almost a no-brainer.

And I finally learned how- her method made more sense to me than any book I had read or any other bow maker I had watched. (And I have several Bow-da-bra systems if any one wants a freebie!)

I will tell anyone that I am a visual learner- do and I can repeat. Tell me and well the outcome may not be so great.

So I practiced and modified and invented and threw away a lot of crappy bows before I became comfortable.

Did that make me good? It was a satisfactory solution that my early customers found quite marvelous. But I knew at some point I would need to step up my game.

That is when I was introduced to a very special woman, Mary, who became an employee of our business.

Mary is a very talented and gifted artist. She, too, can take abandoned materials and viola’ they are transformed. And she did that for us. She added a style and a charm all her own- and in the meantime was a warm, generous, sharing person who loved, loved, loved to help others find their own internal creativity.

She could be fierce (in a good way) when time was flying and things needed to get done. Annie or Meghan or Leslie or Autumn have stories to recount.

But they all came out stronger artists as a result.

And so did I.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dana. First of all, she introduced me to Mary. But secondly, Dana is a fiddler (not a violin player) who is enchanted by the process of learning and doing. And when slow times in the store happened, well, bow experiments were a lot more interesting than dusting, that’s for sure.

So bow making is not a one type solution. It can be with a pre-made bow and there are times and places for that.

A hand tied bow is best because it takes the materials at hand and evolves into the most beautiful of objects. It perches delicately on the top of the package or commands significant attention. It can add texture and color and interest to an otherwise insignificant and plain wrapping paper. Or it can be the mellow accent to an already interesting and gorgeous paper.

So as we often say- let the paper do the singing or the bow do the singing; in the end they both have to work together to make the presentation as important as the gift.


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