Barrie Cohen introduces us to her brand, Beezie textiles, and explains where her inspiration comes from.
Laura Little Curated: What do you design/Create?
Barrie: I make naturally dyed textiles and home goods—primarily wall hangings, quilts and blankets. My background is in farming so the biggest thrill for me is using plants to make color. I try to source all of the plants I use for dye locally from markets and florists and am big on hiking so I forage as much as I can. I also try and repurpose fabric as much as possible. Each item is handmade and one of a kind.
Laura Little Curated: What is it that you love about textiles?
Barrie: I love the history behind it. I feel like quilting especially used to be so common and is a bit of a lost art and tradition. Living in New York, and generally being scatter brained and reliant on technology, quilting and using natural dyes forces me to slow down a bit.
Laura Little Curated: What is your favorite item from your collection and why?
Barrie: My favorite item is a twin sized patchwork quilt that I made. It was the first big item that I made that I was really happy with. It is made with shibori indigo dyed cotton and old denim shirts. It is super soft and beautiful. Before this quilt I was intimidated to make larger pieces. Once I finished it I felt pretty proud of myself and inspired to keep working. Sometimes I debate whether or not to sell it because I love it so much but ultimately I hope that it finds a good home.
Laura Little Curated: How would you describe your home style? What is your favorite home item?
Barrie: I am definitely a homebody so I like to keep my home warm and cozy. That’s one of the reasons I love making home goods so much. My favorite home item is my couch. It’s where I spend the most time in my apartment sewing, reading, watching tv and chatting with friends. It’s also the softest thing I’ve ever bought. I didn’t take into account how small my stairwell is so it had to be broken apart by someone called Dr. Sofa and reassembled in my living room. I actually loved watching the team reassemble the couch and I feel comforted knowing that it’s going to be in my apartment with me for quite some time.
Laura Little Curated: What’s on your music play list currently?
Barrie: When I find songs I like I tend to repeat them to death. The two songs I’m playing on repeat right now are “Location” by Khalid and “Lifted” by Palmistry. They both have dancey beats and I can’t get enough of them.
Laura Little Curated: What advice would you give a new designer?
Barrie: It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated when a design doesn’t come out the way you want it to. The best thing I’ve learned is to step away from doing anything creative when that happens and go for a walk around the block—or whatever you like to do to clear your head—so that you don’t get bogged down by the results and can just focus on the process. I find that the pieces I like the most are the ones I enjoyed making.