Monday, December 1, 2008

Artist Spotlight on Ingrid McEntire of the Eco-friendly Shop Creations By Ingrid

As a bag designer on the side, I marvel at the creativity and innovation other artists display with their bag designs so when I came across Ingrid McEntire’s shop, Creations by Ingrid based out of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, my jaw about hit the desk. Her items are so funky and functional and completely make use of almost every bit of an old item giving it a new, fresh persona. In addition to reuse and upcycling of fabric she has displayed a penchant for turning even the most unlikely items into some amazing bags -- magazine pages, books, even former cat food bags! Her story is really cool so read on to learn about her and please visit her shop to see if there is a one of a kind, upcycled bag that suits you this might even be made from a suit!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?

I was born and raised in Germany. After World War II we did not have much money to buy clothes. Women all ages sewed clothes, especially for the children. In School we had a subject, it was called handarbeiten (handiwork). From early childhood on we learned how to sew, knit and crochet. Especially, I always remember the time on Christmas. Every year we made Christmas Decorations from Apples, Paper, Nuts, Pine Cones. Also we made Leaf prints in school, Doll Paper outfits, Halloween Witch Mask etc. There was no such thing as a ready made kit for craft items.

When I had my own children I have knitted them many winter sweaters rather than buy them. As long as I can remember I have been crafting and it is a kind a therapy for me to be creative and work with my hands.

I also have a BS in Special Education, Minor Art. While in College I took several classes in painting, pottery and design.

In 2005 I decided to launch my business CreationsbyIngrid with the emphasis using recycled materials.

What inspires you as an artist?

I am inspired mostly from my available resources, such as trash, discarded fabric samples, vintage ties, recycled aluminum and the many awesome people out there, especially

When did you first discover your ability to upcycle such interesting materials into functional pieces?

Three years ago I started to make my denim booty bags. The little ones for girls are very popular, and then it progressed into other areas. My brain never stops to come up with something new.

Where do you acquire the materials used in your designs?

Most of my material I find from discarded material around the house, friends give me their discarded material, businesses, such as furniture stores let me have their discarded fabric samples for free.

Do you carry one of your own designs, for example a men's suit coat purse?

Yes, I have made a few from suit coats and they are my design. The collar is sewn in the front diagonally and made pockets out from it. For the back I use suit coat pocket. I also made a few bags from suit coat sleeves.

If so what type of responses do you receive when out in public?

The reactions I get from the people (all ages) are great and supportive. Sometimes they can hardly believe what I have created. One of my reasons I am using recycled material is to show the younger generation that you can make some very unique and interesting items for functional use, especially from trash.

Do you feel that you could make a purse or wallet out of just about anything?

Yes, I think I could. Sometimes it will take a while to figure out how to execute different materials but then suddenly it will hit you and you have the idea to put it together into a functional piece.

Why are you committed to a green lifestyle?

It is important for me to keep as much trash out of the landfills as possible, even if it is just a small piece of trash that day. Also we must leave the place where we live in much better shape than it is now for the next generation. We owe it to them.

Is there any one green practice you do daily that has become second nature?

I recycle as much as I can. Always carry a shopping bag with me in case I need it to eliminate those nasty plastic bags and paper.

What is an easy way readers could become more green?

Buy several recycle bins, then recycle, cut down on napkins, use towels instead paper etc.

Do you have a favorite green expression?

Because I do use a lot of recycled material my functional items are usually ONE OF A KIND.

Do you have an online presence where readers can view your work?

I do sell my functional items on and both under username creationsbyingrid

Is your work featured in a brick and mortar location/boutique?

I do sell my wallets, jewelry and bags at a Nonprofit Organization Store which is called Endless Possibilities in Manteo, NC and in a Gallery called Indigo Moon, Manteo, NC and several Community based Galleries in my area.


High Desert Diva said...

Fun to look through her shop. The flip flop purse is hysterical. Perfect for a girl. (as is the fish purse on Etsy)

creationsbyingrid said...

Jenn, thank you for your kind support, Ingrid

Jess said...

How cool! and shes in my neck of the woods!!

zJayne said...

Really enjoyed this interview. Just love those coat purses with the pocket on the outside! Thanks for sharing.

Bridgete said...

I could always use a new bag...

Anyway, these are fun! =)

TheresaJ said...

Really great spotlight. What an interesting and talented woman. We can all learn from her! It was such a treat looking through her shop as she has so many varied, interesting, fun, and colorful items. Thanks for sharing! ♥

Anderburf said...

Really unique and a great interview. I am trying to buy only eco-friendly gifts this year and I think I'll add this to my list of places to check out. I have already gotten some really neat jewelry from All Wired Up. Their pieces are really lovely as well. You can find them online at

Victoria said...

Wow- amazing creativity!! Ingrid is too cool! Thanks for introducing her to us! :)

Anonymous said...

Hope that everybody, especially the Children, make now a better world through recycling....
In school their should be a class
"Creative Recyling".
Green Leaf should contact the new President to inspire this.
Great job Creations By Ingrid.
..keep up frying your brain and give us more of those graet ideas