Introducing: Twice Is Nice

Recently a friend of mine started a business creating jean products from recycled denim materials. Twice Is Nice Creat-IVES has high-quality products that I would like to have you take a look at. To introduce you to Ellen and her products, I asked her a few questions.
 
First, let me tell you how I know Ellen. I met the Ives family nearly thirty years ago. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I really got to know Ellen though when she and her husband came to our church with their children. They stayed for a month while Mr. Ives taught us piano and music theory and along with his wife gave us voice lessons. They did this two years in a row and we learned so much. We also learned how to play “Dutch Blitz” and how to cross stitch (two things I still love). The Ives have wonderful music CD’s. We own quite a few and play them frequently. They always lift my spirits. Well, enough of this, on to the interview…
 
1. Just to get to know you a little: how long have you been married and how many children/grandchildren do you have?  Healthy Simplicity - Twice as Nice
My husband and I have been married over 40 years; this September it will be 41. We have 5 children who are all married with families of their own. We have 18 beautiful grandchildren: 15 boys and 3 little girls.

2. When did you start sewing?  

My first experience in sewing was in 7th grade when the girls in my class were required to take a home-ec class. Part of the class focused on cooking and the other part on sewing. I love to cook and grew up in a home where I was the 9th out of 12 children. My mother taught us girls to cook at a young age, so the cooking portion of the class was okay. But what really interested me was the sewing. My very first project was a blue gingham apron with a gathered skirt and a tie belt.

3. What inspired you to start this business?  

Through the years, I have gained lots of experience in the sewing world. I have sewn model clothing for fabric stores, made custom clothing for my customers and made everything from simple skirts to men’s suits and wedding dresses. In these later years of my life, I have taken an interest in quilt-making using squares from old denim pants. In the fall of 2012 as I was constructing one of these quilts, it occurred to me that the legs of denim pants could surely be used for more things than just quilt squares.

4. Are these your own patterns/where do you get your ideas?  

Many of the things that I make are my own original patterns. My first product was a flared jean skirt which utilizes soft denim on the bottom piece, allowing the skirt to flow and not be too stiff. I designed the pattern using a combination of skirts in my closet and sewing patterns that I own. The diagonal cut on it is definitely an Ellen Ives original. I didn’t want the skirts to look like a striped skirt where I couldn’t match the pieces. The effect I was looking for was more patchwork and I think I achieved that!

The “Pick-A-Pocket Purse” is from a pattern, but of course, I had to add my own twists to it—like the pen & pencil pocket, the inside cell phone pocket, and of course, the spring clip to hold your keys.
Healthy Simplicity - Twice as Nice
 
My newest product, the “Hands-Free Beverage Tote” is totally my own design.
Healthy Simplicity - Twice as Nice
 

 5.What is your favourite product and why?

I like every one of my products very much and it’s hard for me to say what is my favorite. My very first flared skirt which I am wearing in one of the pics I sent, has served me so well that I sometimes think that is my favorite. But every time I come up with a new idea, I change my mind and think that it has to be the best thing since buttered bread. I designed the beverage tote 2 days ago, and already have found it so very handy. 

6.Do you do special orders?  
 
I can do special orders. On my Facebook business page, you can see photos of a custom skirt that I did for one of my customers using her husband’s, son’s and father-in-law’s shirts and pants. She was very happy with the finished product and has lots of happy memories attached to that one article of clothing. Yes, I can do special items like that. But it doesn’t have to be a skirt. I could use a customer’s items and add them into a purse or tote bag, making it useful and extra special all at the same time.
 
7.Just for fun – we talk quite a bit about reading on this blog – what is your favourite book and/or author? 
 
Although I enjoy reading, a book has to be REALLY good or I can set it down and never finish the story. My favorites are true-life adventures. I don’t have a favorite author, but I do have favorite stories which include Into Thin Air by John Krakauer and Ship of Gold by Gary Kinder (Thanks for the recommendation. I’m reading this book and enjoying it). The latter book is about a ship loaded with gold from the California goldrush which sank off the coast of the Carolina’s in the 1850’s. The ship was discovered and the gold recovered in the 1980’s. It is a fascinating tale which includes sections about Ansel Ives Easton and his new bride, Adeline Mills who were on the ship for their honeymoon voyage. Being a genealogist, my husband was able to trace the connection between us and Ansel, making the story a little more personal. (For those who like that kind of thing, Ansel is a 2nd cousin, 4X removed to my husband.) One of my favorite things about this book is reading how people in the mid-19th century lived by morals and principles. For example, a man with any character at all would not even consider getting on a lifeboat before all the women and children were first rescued; and certainly, the captain would be the last to leave the ship, even if it meant that he sank with it. There are swear words in the book when the author quotes other people, but to my best recollection, he never actually uses bad language in his writing. As far as I am concerned, I would overlook any of those words (or cross them out like we did) and label this one a “must read”!!!
Healthy Simplicity - Twice as Nice Healthy Simplicity - Twice as Nice
 
So there you have it. Ellen’s products are great. You can see more of her products and contact her through her website. She has beverage totes, aprons, plastic bag holders, hats for little boys and girls, bibs, purses, skirts. You really need to check them out. The price you see already includes the shipping so you know up front your entire cost. I really like that feature. She’s adding more products so bookmark her page and check it frequently.


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Jennifer Schonhaar

Jennifer Schonhaar

Jennifer is the happily married wife of a pastor and the somewhat-tired-but-oh-so happy mum to eight beautiful children. She loves to try new healthy recipes, sew, read to her children, garden and play the piano.
Jennifer Schonhaar

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