1. Introduce yourself! Where are you from, what are your hobbies? Who do you share your days with?
Hi!! I’m Heidi. I was born and raised on a farm in the Peace Country. I’ve always had a love of sewing and textiles. I love travelling and can spend hours wandering through markets looking at and feeling fabrics and textiles. I always prefer sunshine and beaches over cold and snow. Surfing and scuba diving are some of my favourite activities. I love deep and connected coffee or wine conversations. I share my days with my two amazing teenagers who keep me on my toes and are my favourite adventure buddies. I believe the world is beautiful and even during this difficult time, there is so much opportunity to spread love and support and to cultivate deep gratitude for the little things. 2. Introduce your business! What do you do/sell/offer? How long have you been in operation? I am the owner and founder of Free Bird Design Collective. I am a seamstress and designer. I sell upcycled denim jackets, Mexican blanket bags (The Wanderer Bag), baby nests, and other inspired items. I started this business in 2014. 3. What got you first thinking about starting this business? I had a big love of sewing and design since I was young and had always used it as a side hustle to make money through college. 4. When did you decide to make the plunge? What was the catalyst that motivated you to officially open? I was a new single mom and wanted a way to have a way to make a living and work from home so I could spend as much time with my kids as possible.
5. Has your business evolved since starting it and how? Who helped you get to where you are now? I started making baby products with my sister and moved on to making other items on my own. I now have a few key items I sell regularly but I love taking on new projects. And I love any sewing or design project that involve upcycling or recycling textiles and clothing. 6. What are your most popular services/products? Must have holiday item?
The Wanderer Bag is my most popular item! It’s a full size Mexican blanket that folds up into a handy, easy to carry bag. It’s the perfect gift for everyone. 7. What are you most proud of in your business? Everything I sell is handmade by me and is infused with my energy and love. I’m proud to send products like that out into the world! 8. What’s one of the best moments or days on the job since you’ve opened? I have best moments so often! Every time someone shares a story of a great adventure they had with a blanket or a mom shares how her baby finally slept peacefully in their new nest, I am so grateful for that connection and opportunity to make a difference to them!
9. Do you have any big goals you’re working towards or have accomplished? Staying sane and adapting to the current environment and huge changes in the past year has been a huge accomplishment for me! 10. What’s coming up next? I’m working to get more connected in with retreats hosts and provide support and gifts with meaning and soul! 11. How can the community support you during this time? Purchasing locally is always appreciated! I love knowing that my products and energy are being spread into my local community. 12. How can people connect with you? You can find me on Facebook and Instagram at Free Bird Design Collective, and my website www.freebirddesigncollective.com. Bonus: What’s one other local business that people *have to* check out in Grande Prairie? Astrea, Knotted Ginger, Mary Matilda, Share The Small Things are a few of my favourite, local, mama run businesses that make and sell some beautiful gift ideas!