Mes Filles: Interview with Amy Lanza of Words & Blurbs
I was really excited to announce the release of two new Madalynne Intimates styles last week – The Macie + The Barrett. You can read the post here. I’m even more excited to announce today a special collaboration with the local artist, Amy Lanza of Words & Blurbs. Out of here apartment on the perimeter of Rittenhouse Square, she hand stitches fun quotes and graphics. Like most folks who have become important people in my life, we met online – Etsy. During the development of the Barrett, I reached out to another embroiderer to make a mock of embroidered starts onto a bra. Done by machine, it was not what I envisioned. I wanted something more artisanal. Hand crafted. When I told that embroiderer the sample wasn’t what I was looking for, he told me to look on Etsy. I sent out a few messages and Amy was the first to respond. Small world – at that time, she had just started working at URBN (where I worked for 7 years). Over the holidays, she created a custom design for the pieces that went to Anthropologie and for the most romantic month of February, she worked her magic again by doing an exclusive heart series for Madalynne. For the white, yellow and peach Barrett bralettes and undies, she embroidered 3 hearts. Love, love love!
Today, I’m asking her a few questions and giving a glimpse into her apartment, her work process and the difficulties she experiences when embroidering lingerie elastics. After reading the feature, hop on over to the web shop to take a peek and shop!
Enjoy 15% off your order with code BRALOVE15 and 30% off undies with code UNDIELOVE30
How did you get into embroidery?
Ever since I can remember I’ve used art as a way to destress and pass the time. I’ve dabbled in drawing, painting, and other mediums, bu
found that I enjoy the tactile nature of textiles the most. I also love weaving & quilting, but was drawn to embroidery on hoops because of
the juxtaposition between the old and new. I love putting modern designs like emoji’s on such a traditional medium!
I made a hoop for my friend’s birthday on a whim by watching videos on the internet, and after I started getting orders from friends I decid
to open up shop.
Why’d you land on embroidery as your creative outlet? The technique seems pretty precise, do you think your analytical background ties in?
Definitely! I’m pretty precise in most areas of my life, so even though embroidery requires that I follow a predetermined pattern, art/embroidery in itself allows for freedom and expression.
What’s your favorite embroidery design that you’ve created so far?
Definitely my “Herpes is Forever” hoop that I designed for one of my friends going through her PhD in Microbiology. My favorite part having my shop is receiving custom requests from friends and strangers, and making their ideas or concepts come to life.
Do you ever sell your needlepoints in physical stores or only online?
Most of my sales are online but I’ve sold in stores, and would love to sell in more! My hoops were exhibited in a shop in Old City called
Philadelphia Independents for a few months earlier this year, and I’ve been to a few craft fairs with my work.
Do you have any dream projects?
Yes! I’ve already taken part in a few projects that I’m really excited about – one is a collaborative “craftivism” project with 130+ other
embroidery artists around the globe, trying to raise awareness of human rights.
I also raised $400 for Planned Parenthood in the spring of this year through the sales of this hoop – I find it really special that makers can inspire and do good through their work. While I’m not the most vocal in my beliefs, I’m passionate about fighting for equality and social justice through art.
What inspires most of your designs? Where do you go to search for that inspiration?
I try to keep most of my designs fun and lighthearted, so usually turn to pop culture for inspiration. My customers also inspire me! I am always intrigued by the customer’s story and want to make sure they are a big part of the making process.
What were the challenges of embroidering on elastic?
Doing my embroidery on the bras + undies was definitely challenging at first because I wasn’t used to working on elastic or fabric with stretch. The fabric is very delicate so I worked much more slowly at first. I typically also embroider with the help of embroidery hoops – which helps pull my fabric taut – but here I wasn’t able to use the hoops because of the delicate fabric. Over time, I learned how to better manipulate the fabric and it now feels second nature!
There are an insane number of embroidery artists doing cool things. I’m obsessed with Sarah K Benning and Danielle Clough even thou
I tend to create mostly text than pictures. Other notable girl crushes are a model who embroiders, the maker of these 3D embroideries
and the woman behind this mixed media artwork.