An Inside Look at Gypstitch Embroidery & the Creative Mind of Erica Mansfield
One of the things we love the most about the Long Branch Bazaar is that we get to showcase local artists and vendors. There are so many amazing vendors in our area and we love watching you all shop local. We’re SUPER excited to have Erica Mansfield of Gypstitch Embroidery as one of our vendors the weekend of June 22nd-23rd. Erica adds incredible custom embroidery to denim jackets, apparel, and accessories. Check out our interview with Erica and make sure to head over to the Long Branch Bazaar from 12-5PM this weekend and bring something of your own to get embroidered!
Give a brief description of your business.
Gypstitch Embroidery is a full service embroidery studio specializing in custom denim jackets, apparel and accessories. I solely work on a 1930's chainstitch embroidery machine that I bought off of eBay three years ago. The machine is entirely hand cranked, so everything that I produce is hand made by me - no computerization is involved. Slow fashion and sustainability are both important to me, so I am always conscious of the materials I use.
What inspires you?
Three things: creating, my clients and other people creating. I spent years working in corporate fashion working behind a desk absolutely miserable and never really focused on creating or producing pieces of my own. One night I sat down and started hand embroidering shorts. I had never embroidered before, I watched a few youtube videos and bought a couple of skeins of thread from joann's and decided I wanted to make something. It was like I was having an out-of-body experience and I became addicted to the feeling of creating - I'm not sure I can even really explain it. I love seeing other people follow their passions, whether it be their hobby or business and I believe there's room for everyone. Chainstitch as a niche is very small in itself and I'm lucky to be apart of a community of people that have always been open to helping one another. I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of other more experienced chainstitchers answering my questions over Insta DM. Almost every jacket I create for someone - from the artwork, to the embroidery, to the final piece - is a reflection of their personality and specific to who they are as a person. There's no better feeling than knowing you created something for someone that is unique to them and only them. The excitement I see from customers when they receive their custom piece is something I don't think I'll ever get used to.
How would you describe your designs?
Colorful, magical, modern, and feminine. I've always been obsessed with creating new/cool color palettes and finding different ways to experiment with colors. I vibe really heavily with anything astrological, involving the stars, moon, constellations, tarot, crystals and I'm currently working on a bunch of new patch designs in this particular category. For custom jackets, a lot of my clientele are brides, so they're usually looking for something beyond the normal of a basic wedding jacket - they come to me for something a bit more edgy and one of a kind.
What is your favorite design or jacket that you have ever created?
I recently created this lion head jacket for my best friends wedding - definitely one of my favorite pieces I've done because it has sentimental value. My Til Death Do Us Part jacket is also a fan favorite - it was one of the first designs I created and has been going strong for the past 2 years.
If you had to design a jacket that describes your personality, what would you put on it?
This is such a funny question because believe it or not, I've never made anything for myself! I am so indecisive and have a hard time deciding on a theme. If I really had to choose, it would probably be some sort of skyscape with a million colors and constellations in it.
What can people expect to purchase from you at the Long Branch Bazaar?
I'll be doing on-site embroidery, so you can bring in your own item to have embroidered or I will have some vintage denim available to sell. You'll also be able to get a bandana or blank patch monogramed, or I'll have ready made designs available as well.
Who are some of your favorite local vendors that will be at the Long Branch Bazaar?
Claudia Chloe, Velvet and Slate, Witchy Washy Bath Co & Kigh CBD!