Textile-based products are often an underappreciated art form that does not receive the recognition it deserves and leaves many artists struggling to earn a living. What is needed is an organization that facilitates the demand for textile-based art forms and helps artists monetize their products. This is the perspective of today’s guest, Judi Jetson, who has been helping drive the recognition and economic development of textile-based local artists. Judi has a deep passion for textiles and regards herself as a fiber activist known for her love of building communities. Judi combines her experience as a business developer with her adoration for textiles to help grow the industry she cherishes so dearly. For the last 10 years, she has been leading Local Cloth, a nonprofit organization helping develop the fiber economy in North Carolina. Local Cloth achieves this through education, inclusive programming, and creating services by leveraging local farmers, artists, makers, and designers. In our conversation, we learn about the vital work that Local Cloth is doing, the challenges the industry faces, and the future vision for the organization. She also provides insight into the role of supply and demand within the textile industry, how the approach to textiles can help other art forms, and why some artists leave the industry. She also shares her approach to building relationships between artists and farmers, and reasons why this is the foundation of her vision. Tune in to learn about the textile industry and why it deserves to be recognized, with Judi Jetson!
Key Points From This Episode:
Background about Judi and how she enables artists.
The motivation behind Local Cloth and what it aims to achieve.
How Judi’s experience in economic development informed her vision.
Why she chose textiles as her art medium and focus of her work.
She explains the relationship between supply and demand concerning art.
Ways in which Judi is helping to increase the demand for textile-based art.
Outline of how her approach to textiles can be applied to other art forms.
What her long-term plans are for Local Cloth and her overall vision.
Hear about an exciting project she has recently started.
The benefits of developing local and handmade textile-based art.
Discover the role of farmers in helping drive textile-based products.
Why handmade and local products are appealing to people.
Judi explains her pricing strategy for products from local artists.
We discuss the challenges regarding pricing in the current market.
An explanation of why some artists decide to leave the industry.
She shares her plans to scale the production of her current vision.
Learn about the resources Judi leverages to help grow Local Cloth.
Whether she specifically mentions Asheville when marketing her products.
Judi shares her opinion on the textile business in North Carolina.
What she loves most about Asheville and why she chooses to live there.
Learn about the moment she fell in love with textiles.
The challenges of using platforms like Esty for textile-based products.
Details about an upcoming show that Judi has planned with Artsville.