I like knowing the people behind the products I buy, and maybe you do too. So, please let me tell you a little bit about myself.
My name is Natalia Uribe Wilson, I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. My parents were both born in Envigado, in the Antioquia Departamento of Colombia, in the beautiful Abura valley. Envigado is just outside Medellin. Although my brother and I were both born in Chicago, we grew up speaking Spanish at home, and have been lucky enough to visit our extended family in Colombia a few times over our lives. And now I have taken my own kids.
Artisanry runs on both sides of my family. Although I was always making things, I pursued a career in academics when I was younger (a pursuit I do not regret). I studied anthropology at The University of Chicago, and worked with the Native American community in Chicago for a number of years. But, teaching and grant writing were not my calling (but I love research), and as a way to deal with my stress, I started taking jewelry making lessons at Lillstreet. One thing led to another and after few years, I was offered a job on Jeweler's Row in Chicago, polishing and doing minor repairs for a jewelry manufacturer. After work I was allowed to hang out make my own stuff at the shop, and learn everything I could. And learn I did! At the end of 4 years I was designing jewelry and heading their new CAD/CAM division.
In the mean time, I was knitting at home, learning to spin, and wishing I could find more beautiful hand-made yarn. I was selling my own jewelry at small craft shows (DIY Trunk Show, you were amazing), and getting great feed-back from the other makers. Around that time Sara Ware and I started YarnCon (a small independent fiber festival in Chicago) in order to give yarn dyers and spinners a show in Chicago that really focused on them (and gave us a place to buy that yarn). It was in this setting that the gauge rings were born. Cinnamon Cooper, co-founder of the DIY Trunk show gave me the idea, for which I am forever grateful.
I love being a part of the maker/crafter community not just here in Chicago, but everywhere we cross paths. In the same way I have benefited from everything I have learned from other makers, and the ideas they have shared with me, I strive to do the same for them anytime I can.
Finally, a big shout-out to my husband, Scott, your support is everything. And to my mom for being the craftiest lady I know.
And, if you want to see my interview with the fabulous, Kristy Glass, here you go!