RIGBY– When most people think of calligraphy or book binding, it is said to be a dying art. Not so for "Lady Rebecca." Rebecca Rowe graduated from college with an emphasis in graphic design and printmaking. Book making was an optional class, and she really enjoyed it.
"When I graduated I didn't think much about bookmaking until I became very depressed. My therapist told me to start journaling. I thought 'why buy one when I can make one.'" Rebecca says. She started making journals and about five years ago realized she needed to open an Etsy shop to fund her passion. She ran it for a few years before finding Renaissance Faires three years ago. "I signed up for the very first one in Idaho and was hooked! I signed up for two more…then applied to eight of them. This year I signed up for thirteen!" Rebecca's passion is evident in her one-of-a-kind designs.
She never stops improving her craft. By learning new techniques and designs, she makes the journals unique. She has also extended her crafts to include calligraphy tools and personalized souvenirs, handwritten calligraphy, and wood-burnings. Rebecca closed her Etsy shop after the fees became too much to handle. "I sell much better in person. There is something more magical about putting a tangible object in someone's hands and explaining to them how much work and careful design goes into make a product that is going to last for years longer than anything made in a factory. I love the experience. I give my customers by personalizing each book with their name in calligraphy and then handing them their new journal or sketchbook in one of my handmade bags," Rebecca exclaimed.
Rowe designs everything for the Renaissance Faires she has participated in. She designed her booth, setup, new pieces, and makes everything period appropriate. Her entire booth was made by hand and even though she says she is not a carpenter, her booth is impressive. "I work very hard, long hours, sometimes late at night making sure my inventory is ready for the next day, I work in heat and all types of weather without electricity or A/C and I am in charge of every aspect of my business. It is all very rewarding working for myself because I can share my experiences with the 'RenFaire' family. It’s like a traveling village!" Rebecca said. The whole creative experience is what draws Rowe to traveling for the fairs. When asked to give advice to budding designers Rowe says, "Find your weirdos and try something unexpected. Every interdisciplinary experience adds to your growth, so enjoy life in unique ways. You'll find your art benefits from the experiences you gain and the people you interact with."