• Tête-à-Tête with Elisa Epstein of @Finishingby_Elisa

    Tête-à-Tête with Elisa Epstein of @Finishingby_Elisa
     Our Tête-à-Tête this month is with the talented Elisa Epstein of @Finishingby_Elisa. Elisa and I both live in the same area and when I found out she had moved back home and was into needlepoint, we got together and she has since become one of my most trusted friends.  There isn't a day that goes by where we don't DM each other. I am constantly picking her brain on design ideas and she does the same with finishing.  I am extremely proud that she has become one the top finishers in the needlepoint community.  I hope you will enjoy our Tête-à-Tête and get to know Elisa a little bit better.
    1. For some of our readers who don’t follow you, could you please tell us a bit about your finishing background?
      Elisa: I have been needlepointing and knitting since high school, now 20 years ago! I went to boarding school in CT and took up needlepoint then. I have always been into arts and crafts and have enjoyed doing and creating things with my hands. Over the years I started dabbling in finishing my own canvases myself, along with finishing for friends.  A couple of years ago, Joyce @silverstitchneedlepoint gave me the push I needed to turn it into a business and I haven’t looked back.
        2. Can you describe the finishing process for us, once you receive a canvas, what happens from start to finish and is there much communication between you and the stitcher?
          Elisa: Once a potential client reaches out to me, I send them the finishing form where they can select all the bells and whistles of what they want to add to their project. For example, you can choose charms, embroidery, bows, type of fabric and cording along with how you would like your piece finished. Finishing options include, hanging ornament, flat piece to be inserted into an acrylic coaster/tray, pouch or purse, a 3D stand-up, the list is endless.  I love giving my client as many options as possible as I want them to be 100% satisfied. I also send backing options such as Cottons, Liberty of London fabrics, Silks, and Velvets. If requested, I also send cording options.  Cording is available from 2 to 4 different colors. The client approves the embroidery font, colors and text before stitching as well. I try to take the approach “measure twice, cut once!”  Once the canvas is finished, I then send the final photos to the client, ship and then post to social media. I treat each canvas as if it were one of my own.
          3. Your finishing of the Lilly shopping bag is one of the cutest finishes I’ve seen. Is the use of 3D finishing, such as bags, stand-ups, something we will see more of?
            Elisa: I hope so, I absolutely love doing them! I have been finishing the Trader Joe’s bags as well and would love to see more of these stitched up. I also have an incredibly talented acrylic finisher who makes my customers dreams become a reality. We are able to customize acrylic trays, boxes, etc.  We stock 4-inch acrylic coasters as these have become very popular as you are able to interchange the canvases quite easily. I recently started doing snow globes and those have turned out so precious. In addition to these, we also carry acrylic easel stand ups which are great when someone wants to display ornaments year round.
              4. What are some of the more popular trends in finishing at the moment, what do most stitchers want? Also, what have been some of your more challenging requests?
                Elisa: Hmmmmm…. Always classic ornaments, but instead of the classic rounds, it seems I have been receiving the most wild shapes, which I truly love being challenged by. In regard to the most challenging requests I’ve received, it probably was when I first started accepting the 3D purses and had to figure out how to make them look perfectly miniaturized. But each new custom project allows my creative side to really flow.  If you can think and visualize it, I can definitely finish it for you.
                  5. Finally, what insider tips can you give to those who wish to self-finish on their own?
                    Elisa: Be forgiving of yourself. If you want to self-finish, give yourself grace and lots of time.  It helps to put all your materials together before you start, think about the steps involved and then very slowly, take your time doing each step.  Finishing defintely seems a lot easier than it really is. It is a labor intensive craft but the end result is extremely satisfying.
                    Thank you Elisa for sharing your love and passion about finishing with us.