Mariella TerBeest-Schladweiler, Artist Bio
Sewing, crafting, and farming have been a huge part of our family’s life. Being creative has traveled back through our family generation to generation. “Helen’s Daughters” evolved from these family traditions. Helen was our Mother, she taught her six children about being creative, believing in ourselves, and having fun. My Sister, Char, and I started our handbag business in 1989. We named it “Helen’s Daughters” to honor our Mother. We both graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout; nine years apart. We collaborate and share techniques we have mastered. We live in two different states. Char’s studio is in Baraboo, Wisconsin and my studio is in Preston, Minnesota. Working with a forty –
five year-old Viking sewing machine, I design and create upholstery fabric handbags. My “design aim” is to adorn them with unexpected details. I start with a sketch and then draft a pattern. I work with color, pattern, and blend a combination of fabrics, which develops into a unique look to the handbag. At the beginning, we wove our fabrics into small whimsical handbags. Soon after, we experimented with upholstery fabrics, we started making our “Helen’s Daughters Handbags.” Over thirty years, our handbags have traveled all over the world. Collected…treasured…and LOVED by all who own them.