Tuesday, October 14, 2014

American Made Vendor: AENDEE

In the spirit of "celebrating the maker," we're bringing you features this week on our favorite American Made contest vendors. First up is AENDEE, a company that "upcycles" old items of clothing into accessories such as neckties, pocket squares, and infinity scarves.

What we particularly liked about AENDEE was its focus on crafting "heirloom" pieces for its customers: taking a special item of clothing--grandpa's favorite shirt, for example--and creating a bow tie for baby out of it, or wedding cufflinks. These mementos carry cherished memories and connect generations of family together.

AENDEE is the brainchild of Ashley Dedin, a student in philosophy and studio art, who always loved altering and repurposing thrift shop finds. After receiving a commission for custom neckties in 2012, she began to sell her wares at a consignment store and local craft fairs. Since that time, she's opened an Etsy store, as well as a brick-and-mortar shop in historic downtown Fargo, North Dakota. You can read more in-depth about Ashley and her store on her American made site.  We especially loved what she had to say about the mission of her business:

AENDEE is really about giving new life to old materials. I don't just make upcycled accessories, I tell stories. I've crafted a necktie for a young woman's wedding day that was made from one of her dad's shirts (who had passed away). I've made a collection of heirlooms for a family from old neckties and jewelry that a daughter had held onto for many years. . . To me, that's priceless.

We were also drawn to AENDEE because of Ashley's custom work with wedding parties. She primarily does this custom work through her Etsy store, where she will plan with you to coordinate wedding party colors or utilize a special item of clothing. 

We love the rustic charm of these bow ties, and we had fun envisioning them at a country wedding, perhaps paired with our Mason Jar fingerprint guestbook. :) 

To see some ideas for a rustic wedding check out our Country Charm Pinterest page: 

On the top left, color-coordinated wedding ties from AEDNEE

Thank you, Ashley, for providing us pictures of your work, and best of luck in the American Made contest!

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