A Crafty Questionnaire: Karin Persan

Karin Persan is a fabric and clothing designer who recently fulfilled a long-held dream to open a co-op boutique that features her own work, as well as the work of many talented, local artisans. Flying under the banner "Better Than Jam," Karin's handprinted fabrics add a rich dimension to her collection of unique designs that comfortably flatter the body and inspire the wearer with their artistry.

Her Etsy shop of the same name is filled with colorfully structured wrap dresses and skirts, bags, scarves, and other accessories. If you can't make it to her boutique, but want to experience Karin's inventively printed fabrics in person (and you should, the pictures don't do them justice), then head on out to Governor's Island. Karin's designs are part of The {NewNew} Treasure Chest of handmade gifts, currently on display (and available for sale) through September 5.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I see myself retiring and moving to a hut on a beach somewhere, making coconut monkeys.

What is your greatest fear?
Sharks in swimming pools, and not being able to travel to every country in my life time.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Don Quixote

Which living person do you most admire?
Amy Sedaris

Do you have a theme song, and what is it?
Hmm, no, but in high school it was Pharcyde's "Officer" but I don't even have a car now, so I'm safe from traffic cops.

What is the trait you most like in yourself?
My strong work ethic. I'm not an idle person.

What is the trait you most like in others?
I really need the people in my life to be reliable. I am there for them, I like to think they will be there for me too.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I save every little bit of money so I can travel at least once a year. I haven't been able to in the last couple of years, and it's killing me!

When and where were you happiest?
Don't remember really, but I'm sure it will happen again.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I have lots of imperfections; would rather not hone in on one.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
So far, my store. I hope I have more achievements though....

If you were to be reincarnated as a person, animal, or thing, what do you think you would be?
Maybe a horse, but I would hope not to be a carriage horse.

What is your most treasured possession?
My bike. It's an old Italian racer, super fast, my dad gave it to me.

Which talent or skill would you most like to have?
All of them! I wish I could build a house or a car.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My closest friends.

What is it the one thing you dislike the most?

What is your motto?
It's not mine, but I like it..."Life is short, Art is Forever"

Who are your favorite artists?
Egon Schiele, Kiki Smith, Yinka Shonibare, Toulouse Lautrec, Gustav Klimt, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon. Just discovered Julie Mehretu. I like art.

Is there any invention you wish you had thought of?
No, but I want to create a punctuation mark for sarcasm.

What's the first thing you remember making?
Mud pies? Houses for frogs I caught. Wreaths out of beach grass. A diorama with clay birds living in a log, which my teacher didn't believe I made. Purses out of my pants in high school.

Learn more about who and what inspires Karin creations on her blog, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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