Some people are consumed by their craft. Then there’s Carol Lynn Lapotka of REcreate Designs, who sees her life in terms of skirts.
“If my husband and I want to stay in a hotel when we drive home for Christmas, that’s about two skirts,” she says. “And I have to sell four skirts to pay for the groceries this week.”
The Missoula clothing designer reads books like Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things to better understand the business and environmental ins-and-outs of her skirt-making venture. It’s a fairly serious approach to an operation that basically recycles old T-shirts and sweatshirts and makes them into hip couture.
But in a time when economic woes have unraveled other businesses, Lapotka is thriving—so much so that she quit her day job at a graphic design company this past August and now brings home the bacon for her and her husband, James, who is in law school.
Since 2005 when she first started REcreate, Lapotka, 31, has doubled her sales.
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