Meet Debby Weiss of Rebe

Red Check Dress by Rebe

Welcome to our 2nd installment of Art Star Craft Bazaar vendor profiles!  Meet Debby Weiss, the talented artist behind the clothing/accessories/housewares brand, Rebe. Debby travels all the way from California to do our show & we are happy to have her back again this year!

Art Star: Did you go to art school?  If so, where did you study?
Debby Weiss:
I did not go to art school. I went to the University of California @ Davis in the mid 1970’s and went back and forth between science and art. I did graduate with a B.S. degree in textile design.

AS: What types of items will you be selling at the bazaar?
I design and make woman’s apparel. I do not like to think of it as fashion since fashion seems to represent trends. I create things that I feel will work for all ages and functionality and will be able to incorporate into a persons wardrobe for decades to come. As a woman I once met described it as art for “around the body.”

AS: What materials do you work with?
DW: I work with primarily woven and knitted fabrics, sustainable when I can find what I want. I have recently taken up knitting, making sweaters and will be making blankets so I get to work with yarns. I also incorporate all my scraps into stitched pieces that have first been collaged and they are meant for the wall. And I have brought macramé back into my life for both functional pieces and design inspiration.

AS: How are your items made? Describe your process.
RW: I first sketch my ideas, and then find fabric, although I often find the fabric and that leads to the design. I make a pattern, cut and sew. I am always letting pieces help dictate what is next by seeing how they function together.

I also try to take in how pieces are fitting my customers so I know how to alter for sizing for the majority of our varying shapes.

AS: Are you able to make your work full-time?  If not, what do you do for your day job?
DW: My business, Rebe is my full time work for the past 6 years. For the first 7 years I worked as an ultrasound technician.

The Paola Sweater in Brown by Rebe

AS: Who are some of your favorite artists?
DW: I am inspired by many Japanese designers, not one in particular. I had also grown up with Marimekko designs in my life and still love it. I love Moroccan textiles. It is more the pieces by the masses than an actually artist that inspire me. I loved seeing Nick Cave’s Sound Suit Exhibition. I guess I would say just about anything with textiles inspires. Ghee’s Bend quilts too have been a great inspiration.

If it was not for my daughter (artist & bazaar participant) Hillery Sproatt I might not have ever been brave enough to have started Rebe. I always made and sold things but seeing her amazing talent gave me the courage as a mother to help guide her by taking a risk in starting a business and following my passion as I have tried to encourage all my daughters to do.

Rachelle Dress by Rebe

AS: What are you reading/listening to right now?
DW: I love listening to stories while I work such as This American Life and Radio Lab.

AS: Where would you like to see yourself and your art/craft business in the next 10 years?
DW: I hope to have a studio with a brick and mortar shop that perhaps I can include a bed and breakfast in. I always thought it would be in the Bay Area but not sure yet. At 57 I am still trying to figure out where I want to be when I grow up, but I am having an amazing time traveling the country with my art and doing what I love.

AS: Are there any bazaar participants that you are excited to check out this year?
I have been blessed to meet some amazing artist and absolutely wonderful people on my journey. I am looking forward to walking the show and seeing all the work each person has put their heart and soul into.

Check out Rebe’s entire collection online at Specks & Keepings and at our upcoming bazaar.  Check out our entire line up of vendors here.

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