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Two local sisters find a ‘labor of love’

November 19, 2007

A fun clothing line proves to be a local hit

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Sisters Michelle Mattson and Nicolle Erickson grew up going to craft shows with their mom, Ronelle Lundeen of Cokato, and they always dreamed of having their own craft line someday.

Even though Michelle had some experience crocheting and knitting, she didn’t know how to sew, much less own a sewing machine.

Then in September, Michelle saw a pattern she liked, bought a sewing machine, and had her mom teach her how to sew.

She began by making a purse for her daughter’s birthday, and it just continued from there. Now, the two sisters have an entire line of baby apparel and blankets.

Together, the stay-at-home moms have 10 children and they know how expensive kids clothing can get.

“We got sick of buying clothes. Then, we thought, ‘We could make them on our own,’” Nicolle said.

With Michelle’s tenacity and Nicolle’s creativity, they put together a line of children’s clothing, blankets, aprons, and burp rags.

For now, there are only aprons for young girls, but the two want to eventually make “Mommy and Me” aprons in the near future that would include women sizes as well.

They wanted something personal, unique, and one-of-a-kind – something that couldn’t be found at a typical department store, Nicole said.

With fun fabrics and eye-catching patterns, their style is defined as “Shabby Chic” and the entire line makes great baby gifts, according to Nicolle.

“It’s from vintage to modern and a little in between,” Nicole said.

Michelle especially loves blankets and the popular “Taggies” blankets; soft, small blankets with colorful ribbons on them.

The sisters are working on a name for their line, but for now, they like to call themselves “Bits and Pieces” since they work a little bit here and there on their line.

Their other sister, Brielle (Lundeen) Kasanesky, also contributes to the line with her gift bags and cards.

“She gives us her ideas also,” Michelle said.

Having only begun two months prior, the two quickly built up an inventory just in time for the November Dassel-Cokato Craft Fair.

There, the sisters’ line proved to be a hit, and they nearly sold out.

“We didn’t realize it would sell out like it did,” Nicolle said.

After that, they stocked up again for the art and craft fair in Howard Lake last weekend.

They try to price their pieces fairly and reasonably, and not at the high-end boutique prices, Michelle said.

Someday, the sisters would like to look into opening up an occasional boutique featuring the baby line they make, as well as unique home wares.

For now, it’s just a “labor of love” that the sisters enjoy doing together as a team.

If anyone is interested in getting a closer look at these one-of-a-kind children’s items, contact Michelle at (320) 275-2223.