After doing Unglued for over 10 years, it’s been really cool to see the growth of local makers’ businesses and how they evolve over the years! We met Cindy of Hello Lucy when she was creating super cute retro aprons and today she has made a fulltime business selling a huge variety of coasters, drinkware, and more! Learn more about the business and local maker below.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up on a farm outside Walhalla, ND and the beautiful Pembina Gorge. I spent many years on the West Coast but found my way back to rural North Dakota in the mid-1990s. In 2007, I made the move to Fargo. However, there was one home requirement, a room for sewing. I have always enjoyed sewing, a gift I got from my mother. It was a skill I used from childhood, making clothes for myself and eventually for my own children. My other favorite pastimes are theater, riding bike, and camping. Eventually, I was able to combine my love of sewing with the theater and began creating costumes for Frost Fire Theatre near Walhalla. It is such a thrill to see what you’ve created on stage.
As for Hello Lucy, what started as a side hustle creating aprons has evolved into my full-time career. It has allowed me the freedom to pursue other loves, like bike riding. I have done many tours throughout North Dakota and will be venturing to Tennessee this fall. More recently, I have started going on gravel rides. It’s fun, but it’s a challenge, just like my business, Hello Lucy
Describe what type of products you make under Hello Lucy.
Coasters are my most popular item. I also sell drinkware, magnets, throw pillows, metal and wood signs, coozies, and potholders. I create most of my own graphics using digital tools as well as drawing and painting, and I use my own photography. Occasionally I’ll enlist the help of my daughter who is a graphic designer.
Tell us how you got started with your business.
When I moved to Fargo, I began sewing more regularly. Aprons were popular at the time and I entered a few craft shows and sales were good, so I created a space on Etsy. What started as a hobby business changed when I went to my first trade show and learned about sublimation. I decided I would add to the business. The business started evolving with the addition of coasters, specifically of Fargo area landmarks and highlights at the Fargo Street Fair. I was selling out each day and making more each night. I was so excited! So, as the business grew and I found myself in the position of finding a new job, I decided to try the business full-time. If it didn’t work out, I would find another job. Well, it worked!
Where do you get your inspiration for what you create?
I love photography, whether it be with a camera or on my phone. When I see landscapes, whether it be buildings or windmills blowing on the prairie, my mind goes to how I could use that image. Many of my items touch on my Scandinavian background and it is so fun to showcase them at Norsk Host Fest in Minot, ND each year. My customers challenge my creativity, too. If they have an abstract idea and ask me to make something, it often inspires a windfall of designs. And sometimes, just seeing something I like or something that brings me joy makes me say, “that would look great on a coaster.”
What is your personal favorite item or piece you’ve created so far?
Fargo Theatre. It’s iconic.
What is something you’ve enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business?
I love the ability to be creative at work all the time and I enjoy the freedom of working whenever and wherever I like.
What is the most challenging thing?
Well, whenever and wherever don’t always translate to good time management, so I’d say that’s my biggest challenge and benefit.
What is one craft you haven’t really dabbled in yet that you want to try someday?
Ceramics. I love the craftsmanship involved.
What is a word that best describes you?
What advice would you have given yourself five years ago?
Take the time to go home and visit my mom. Regardless of when you lose a parent, it doesn’t make it easier. I miss her. The foundation of this business was from the knowledge passed to me.
Where can people find your work?
In the Fargo area, my work can be regularly found at Unglued Market in the new Brewhalla and Minn Dak Market in West Acres Mall. During summer months, I can be found at street fairs & craft shows and leading into the holidays at Pride of Dakota events around the state. I have an Etsy online store and more recently began selling on the site Faire.