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i can't get over this Bossa Nova, Baby

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.

My name is Cathy Pitters and I run Bossa Nova Baby out of my crafty wonderful pink basement in Portland, OR. I started my business way back in 1999 right after my son was born and I was looking to work at home. I started out doing more children’s items but as my son got older I was thrilled to move more into adult clothing and accessories. I like using recycled and vintage items in my work – I use vintage fabrics to make my skirts and embellish second hand sweaters with Gocco screen printing and topstitching.


I also run a monthly craft fair here in Portland called Crafty Wonderland with my friend Torie Nguyen from Her and I are also one half of the women’s collective Portland Super Crafty who all wrote a crafty how-to book entitled Super Crafty back in 2005.

How did you first get involved with crafting?

My Mom is very crafty and was always making wacky craft projects with my sister and I when we were kids – candles out of crayons, painted rock creatures and, my personal favorite – ashtrays out of shells! So being creative and making things has always been part of my life…but it wasn’t until I moved to Portland and had my son that I started feeling like it was a great option for me to make things and sell them to make a living.

What are your favorite materials to work with? Do you have a favorite color palette?

I LOVE my Gocco printer! Buying it changed my life and changed the types of things that I make. I am very much of a textile person – I love sewing and working with fabric – particularly vintage fabric. So mixing the screen printing with the fabric has brought so many creative possibilities!

As for colors, I’m drawn to vintage color shades of turquoise, pink & green. And black is always a standard.

What are your inspirations in your art and in life?

I’m very inspired by vintage things. I scour thrift shops and estate sales for significant junk that will inspire me – colors, graphics, fabric patterns or even clothing styles.

What is your favorite song or album to listen to while working?

I have a pretty regular rotation of several albums that I listen to on my record player when I’m in full production mode and getting ready for big shows – “License to Ill” by The Beastie Boys, “Under the Big Black Sun” by X, and “London Calling” by The Clash. Kind of a weird mix but just right for getting me moving.


Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?

Heidi Kenney of My Paper Crane ( – She was the first person I saw making that style of fun plush food. Her stuff is so amazing and creative and she’s got a great style. Plus, I’ve got a real thing for plush food with faces!


Rebecca Pearcy of Queenbee Creations ( – she is such a great example of a small crafter who started her business out of her living room and now runs a pretty large and successful business selling all over the world. She does all her work at her studio here in Portland, OR and works really hard to buy local and sustainable materials. Plus she is a super nice person!


Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business?

I’m going to the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn the weekend after Maker Faire (Yikes!) and have applied to do both the SF and LA Renegade fairs. I’m hoping for a fun and prosperous Summer!

I have some new designs in the works – screen printed fabric jewelry and some new themed 1″ button packs. Fun!

My Blog about Crafts, Junk and Cupcakes

Clothing, Art & Oddities for Young and Old


Portland’s Monthly Art + Craft Extravaganza!

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