Reduce, Reuse, Repaint

Reduce, Reuse, Repaint

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Owner of Paper and Twine Crafty Design Jennifer Bilodeau and her daughter, displaying the company’s fun and unique designs.

It all started about three years ago, when Jennifer Bilodeau’s daughter stated asking her to paint on her jeans and clothing. The girl might have been young, but she had a strong desire for custom pieces, says Bilodeau. “She wanted to look different than everybody else."


This artist and art teacher says she took a few pairs of her daughter’s jeans and began experimenting with paint and design on the clothing. Bilodeau says she pulled from her background as a graphic designer and artist to find the perfect combination of fashion and functionality for kids.


Pretty soon, her daughter was sporting pieces at school, and parents were asking Bilodeau where they could get pieces of their own. “I started getting a lot of requests for one of a kind jeans through word of mouth and referrals,” says Bilodeau.


It all eventually led to the start of her own business: Paper and Twine Crafty Design. She founded the company in 2010. “It really started out as children’s girls’ clothing line, and now I am expanding to little boys,” says Bilodeau. “And fashion is art, really. I’ve always painted and I am a teacher and a graphic designer.”


In her case, it’s also eco-friendly. Bilodeau recycles everything that she makes, finding jeans at second hand stores and getting creative with the skirts she picks up from resale shops. Oftentimes, stylish children’s jeans can be found in great shape because of the speed in which kids outgrow them. “Everything I use has a second purpose, a second life,” she says.


Bilodeau then paints individualized designs on the jeans and skirts, using glitter, ribbons, buttons and more to make a piece that a pint size customer will love. She designs pieces that are for children from toddlers to teens. “It’s very time consuming. Nothing is mass produced,” says Bilodeau. “It’s all my own stuff. And my big disclaimer is just for people not to put anything in the dryer.”


Bilodeau has also gone eco-commerce, conducting most of her business over the internet she told Cincy Chic. She sells on sites like eBay and Etsy, as well as maintaining her own Web site. Prices hover around $50.


Photographer: Neysa Ruhl