We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Schobert and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Honestly, there wasn’t much of one. When I began creating rugs, I didn’t originally plan on making it into a business. I started by making rugs for myself and some close friends, and I got an immediate response on Instagram from people asking if I took commissions. I was a bit shocked by this at first! I couldn’t believe people actually took interest in this little hobby of mine so quickly, so I thought I might as well jump on the opportunity.
Especially since I was one of the people who lost their employment because of the pandemic, I was super excited at the thought of becoming my own boss. Starting this business was a bit of investment in both time and money, and it was a risk I was happily getting myself into. I made my business official slowly but surely, and I am still figuring it out as I go along within this first year.
As a creative, it is a bit of a drag to learn how to manage the business side of things. I don’t want to bookkeep and file paperwork, but if that is what I have to do to keep making rugs then I will do it with a smile!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Rug tufting is an art medium that has gotten a lot of attention within the past year, and I am so happy to be a part of it. Like any other art form, rug tufting takes lots of practice and experimentation. One of the most difficult aspects of this job is finding what materials and techniques work for you. I could not have made it this far without the support of other amazing tufting artists who are always quick to help their peers.
Each of my pieces are handmade with care, and I have so much love and pride for each tufted piece I create. I have never been more dedicated and passionate for another practice. The twelve hour days of tufting, hand-sewing, and frustratingly untangling yarn has taught me what it truly means to be patient and devoted. I am most excited to show the world more of my original designs in the near future. I am in the midst of creating new pieces for my online shop, which is a brand new endeavor for me! My online presence is mostly on Instagram, so I am eager to expand to new platforms.
Even though I am just a person making silly rugs in her bedroom, the amount of support and love I have received makes me feel like the work I create is truly appreciated.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am based in the beach town of Carlsbad, CA (although I must admit I am not much of a beach person), so it of course attracts fun shops and restaurants. One of my favorite local restaurants must be The Plot, which has an unbelievable all plant-based menu. One of the cool things about this place is that it is also zero waste because they compost all leftover food, and reuse or recycle just about everything else. This restaurant is the blueprint for sustainable food service. I actually used to work here for almost a year (fun fact!), and I can say the staff are all amazing people.
Another place I cannot leave out is the local record store, Spin Records. I strongly believe that we must keep physical copies of music relevant and keep record stores alive! In this digital age, many people forget the beauty of browsing through music stores and stumbling across new bands you many have never heard of before. If you’re ever in the area, make sure to stop by and buy something!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I must thank my family for being so supportive of this new venture. My dad is always quick to jump in when I need help updating my setup, and my mom is always providing me with new ideas on how to grow my business. Also, I cannot forget the encouragement that my friends generously give me.
The tufting community as a whole is so welcoming, and they are always willing to give assistance to those who seek it. There are many online forums that are dedicated to teaching the rug-tufting process, or even to just uplift each other’s work! I would like to thank all of the other tufting artists who have helped me in this journey.
Other: Tiktok: @littletufty