Laura Browning grew up in an artsy household. Her mom collected pottery, painted, knit and taught classes. A grandmother embroidered. Another painted. Together, Browning and her sister took all kinds of classes from Japanese egg art to knitting and pottery.
But Browning's interested in one kind of craft - sewing - always lingered.
"I tried a little bit of everything," she tells me. "Sewing is the only thing that stuck."
When she was pregnant with her first child a few years ago, that passion went a bit into overdrive. She started sewing all sorts of things, including pillow covers for her workplace. When Browning was laid off from her job a month before her daughter Olive was born, she just kept sewing.
She made enough items for a craft fair at a school in her Raleigh neighborhood and sold absolutely nothing. It was the perfect way to start, she said.
"It could only go up from there," Browning said.
And it has. Browning is today's featured mom in our Made by Mom Gift Guide.
Browning, along with her sister Suzanne, launched Posy about 14 months ago. The business, with a store on Etsy, features Browning's work. She specializes in home goods such as cloth napkins, decorative wall pennants, pillow covers and, this time of year, Christmas stockings. The pieces are eclectic, modern and traditional, and most feature bright, cheerful colors. Posy also sells vintage items found at antique shows.
In addition to the Etsy site, you can find Browning's products at Kindred, a new boutique in downtown Raleigh which will have a special event this Saturday, and at the Elf Fair from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro.
Browning and her sister, who does the marketing and promotional work for the business, have plans for growth in the new year. Browning enjoys being able to mix business with motherhood, working from home with her own children. Olive, now 3, sorts fabrics and has told her mom to "go to work" when a friend comes over.
"I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and help out more financially at home," she said.
For the mom of two young children, including two-month-old Monroe, the business has been a creative outlet. She loves looking for bright, colorful fabrics and new designs. And, as someone who enjoys redecorating, she loves how useful the skill is.
"It just relaxes me," she said, "and it just gives me a chance to be Laura for just a second."
"... It's been nothing but good," she said, "which is really cool."
Go Ask Mom is featuring a dozen local moms as part of our Made by Mom Gift Guide. Check back on Friday for our next featured mom!