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ARTeries by Stina is going mobile

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Model painting is innovative fundraiser

She eyes a 2003 commercial van on sale as her dream Mobile Fashion Boutique, to expand her fashion-sewing business. The entrepreneur said on Sunday that she has raised $4,062 of $15,965 needed to buy it. “I feel like the campaign has been extremely successful.” Her month-long “Kickstarter” ends this Saturday, March 28 just before midnight.

“I am trying to get a big backer to close the deal, and fully fund the kickstarter campaign,” Andersen said. “Otherwise, I will ask my backers to still commit their pledges, and will get a loan for the difference.” After which, further donations help pay off the loan.

Donations start at $10 for an art patch. Increased amounts net the donor such accessories as fingerless gloves, leather wrist “wokkit” wallet or “up-cycled” hip belt. Biggest carrots on a stick include sewing classes, a Mobile Boutique private party, and a fashion show.

Andersen raised $841 with “Paint a Dress for Success!,” held March 14 in the 310 Art Gallery section of Riverview Station at 191 Lyman St. in Asheville’s revitalized River Arts District (RAD). A fashion show concluded the event. She has had a studio in RAD for six years, worked out of her home traveling to clients, and now wants a mobile base of operations.

Andersen told the dozens attending that her purchasing the van is “going to happen, because of your support. I’m very grateful.”

The ARTeries by Stina Mobile Boutique will be a “traveling shop with a dressing room and roll-out runway for fashion parties,” Andersen noted. She will teach sewing one-on-one in the vehicle, which is already wired with electricity.

Much revenue on March 14 was from silent-auction sales of four blank garments, which ended up with swirls of color and imagery. Donation enabled one to paint designs onto a hand-crafted dress — as a model wore it.

Anderson thus brought “art to life” by “creating an experience for my customers” in unique “collaboration” with models. The human “blank canvases became beautifully painted creations. People added their impressionistic touches.”

There were 25 painters not including models, who applied some finishing touches to each other’s outfits. Amy Tepper, among other donors, painted symmetrical designs. Kevin Hammond, the event’s lone male model, smirked as layers of paint were applied to his shorts’ crotch area. “I love it,” he said of the zany fundraiser.

“Surf’s Up” and “Hang 10” were written onto the dress Nessa Lee wore. Ren Allen applied facial makeup to painted models Lee, Hammond, Whitney Diane, Melissa Kay Glaze, Tiffany Narron and Monique Stephens.

Narron said it “tickles” when the dress she wore was painted on. She liked the novelty of the event, of getting painted on all over. “How often does that happen?”

The crowded fashion show was squeezed into an Art Gallery hallway. Stina’s “Atelier” Spring 2015 collection showcased evening and day wear, worn by such Asheville-based models as Sarah Merrell and Jessica Nielsen, in addition to finished painted garments. Andersen’s daughter Cantona, 11, debuted in runway modeling.

“We’re spreading the cause of cool, artistic, quality-crafted clothing that can help people express who they truly are,” Andersen said of her creative design style. Her cotton and poly knit dayware has a “sense of adventure.” Dresses include vintage designs, formal, semi-formal, dance skirts and costumes. “If you can dream it; I can make it,” she said. She customizes color blends of designs, and fittings. Hats and jewelry are among accessories.

Andersen also works as a fashion consultant. The “Renegade Seamstress” encourages people to “scavenge their closets for outdated clothing to transform into new wearable fashions.” The evolution is from “old to bold.”

Indeed, longtime customer Miranda Wildman best likes how Andersen the “up-cycles” materials into unique blends. “She puts together pieces into functional clothing. Stina is awesome.”

As a child, Andersen marveled at fancy prom dresses of the Seventies her grandmother Lenore Dew showed her. She cut and remixed them. At first, she ripped, cut then tied rather than sew them together. Now, Andersen refashions a garment often from two or more articles. Self-taught, she had studied sculpture and fibers.

Wildman is among ARTeries by Stina regulars rallying for the mobile dream. Her winning bid for a painted dress was $100. She met Andersen when both worked for the area multi-faceted LEAF festival, for which Andersen has coordinated children’s group outdoor art projects.

Many admire how Andersen eloquently and vibrantly promotes her business and mobile fundraisers, in person and via videos by Marshall Hammer. Andersen sees a broader picture. “Your pledges will be supporting a woman-owned small business venture, that is part of the larger textile and fashion industry revitalization in North Carolina.”

She has developed a weekly fashion designer “meet-up to help other entrepreneurs.” Andersen thus is a “creative community participant,” Hammer said. “She’s looking to create more opportunities, support other local designers, and provide more jobs in the local fashion industry.”

ARTeries by Stina’s design assistant is Christine Miner. Jaime Webb played harp during the fashion show.

For more information on her business and mobile boutique fundraiser, check arteriesbystina.com and kickstarter.com/projects/arteriesbystina/arteries-by-stina-mobile-boutique.

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