Creativity and having a creative outlet are essential for all makers. The ability to make something beautiful with your hands from start to finish can be both satisfying and life-affirming. Kokka Fabrics doesn’t only create beautiful fabrics with consistent quality that will even excite veteran crafters. We strive to feed and inspire people’s passion for life and community.
We sat down with Rose Beck of rosyposy designs to hear what drives her passion for creating such stunning bags. To her, working with fine materials is “worth it!”
About rosyposy designs Owner, Rose Beck
It seems that Rose Beck’s passion for crafting and making beautiful things has always existed. She started in fiber arts, knitting, and crocheting and attends one or two festivals a year. She loves the community these festivals bring — coming together, drawing inspiration from fellow creators, sharing ideas, and seeing individual personalities expressed through fiber arts.
By day, Rose Beck is a pathologist working in oncology and immunotherapy drug development, drawn by a desire to further cancer research and find alternative treatments to chemotherapy. “Chemo,” she says, “is a toxin that destroys everything in its path and is very hard on the human body. I want to find ways to fight cancer that are more focused and targeted on the unhealthy cells so that there is minimal overall damage to the patient’s body.”
An Unexpected Turn of Events
When she was diagnosed with cancer, her job took on a whole new perspective, being able to relate directly to the patients she was helping. The debilitating side effects of the chemo treatment meant that knitting became too hard to handle, and she needed a new craft that was easier on her arms.
That’s when she turned to sewing. She began creating yarn bags for fellow knitters to store their supplies in. As new designs kept popping up in her head, this new activity gave her the creative outlet and satisfaction she needed.
“I think a lot of makers feel this way, where you get a lot of ideas in your head, and having an outlet for that is important. Also, like for many makers, the satisfaction of finishing something new and wholly your own got me through that difficult time.”
Turning a Creative Outlet into Business
She says sewing is a creative outlet for her and a way to relax. “I have a busy, fast-paced job, and crafting keeps me sane. The joy I experience after finishing a brand-new creation is very fulfilling. I sew most weekends, and I almost always pack a sewing machine if we take a driving vacation!” Her first sewing machine was a gift from her mother-in-law — a vintage piece from the 1970s, and she started making simple totes. She’s been hooked ever since.
“I love colors and patterns, putting them together, and playing with shapes. Crafting lets me get into that. There’s also a niche market for knitting bags. Most of my bags are designed for knitters. I started making bags for myself first, and decided, ‘Hey, these are pretty good!’ and started selling them on Etsy in 2019.”
Ergo, rosyposy designs.
The Best Thing About Sewing
When asked what she enjoyed most about sewing, she said she loved the “creative possibilities. I love considering how fabrics, trims, and hardware might come together to make a unique and stunning piece. I’m continually inspired by all the different fabrics — the wealth of fibers, prints, and textures. I’ve spent many hours online paging through cotton, canvas, linens, jacquard, dobby, and even industrial felted wool!”
She makes one bag at a time, loving the unexpectedness of this kind of rhythm and how it keeps things exciting.
A Special Touch for Each Rosyposy Bag
I’m always searching for interesting fabric textures, bag shapes, and hardware to give each bag personality. In addition to a large stash of bag body fabrics, I have sizeable collections of lining fabrics and bag accents (hardware, leather and wooden handles, zipper tape, etc.) to match. The wow factor is on the outside, but (I find that) a nice linen blend… adds an extra special touch to the bags.
Rose states that there are two types of people in the sewing world—people who buy the materials first and make things later (she calls these people “stashers”) and people who buy fabric specifically to fit designs for their current project. She laughingly said that she was the first!
When she sees a beautiful fabric, she has to have it and use it for something — that’s the arrest factor!
What Drives and Inspires Rose’s Work
She describes herself as a highly visual person. In her work, she looks at cells through a microscope and how the tissues work together. The tissues are stained pink and purple, and healthy cells' organic and visual interest captivates her. That eye for beauty is something she carries over to her crafting.
More than anything, she says the materials inspire her the most — the beauty of the fabrics and how to showcase them, making the individual patterns work together in one unique and cohesive piece.
Bags, Bags, Bags! What She Loves About Kokka Fabrics
Rose’s eyes lit up when she started talking about materials and fabrics, “I love the versatility of the KOKKA ranges for all kinds of totes and pouches. Kokka fabrics have an arresting factor — these fabrics lines, she says, grab you and make you look. How (can I) take the pattern and do it justice in the right shape and design?”
“The aesthetic is amazing, and I love the uniqueness of the printed lines, which are often fresh and unexpected.”
She especially loves the whimsical and retro look of the echino range. “I use echino canvas a lot in my bags. I’m also smitten with nani IRO double gauze—that delicate fabric, with its slight sheen, is a perfect substrate for Naomi Ito’s ethereal prints. The artistry of that range never disappoints.”
She says the KOKKA line has an air of unique creativity that stands out from other fabrics.
What She Takes Into Consideration With Each Fabric
I always consider the weight of the fabric and scale of the print. For example, floaty nani IRO double gauze is better for soft pouches; echino canvas works well for sturdier totes. Large-scale prints can be fussy cut to make a statement bag.
People usually love quilting fabric because it’s a little more sturdy. But the quality of the nani IRO prints is stunning, and she finds herself staring at each new one that comes out. When you see it in person, there’s a whole new line of depth versus seeing it in a photo. That’s part of its wow factor. It has a very organic composition.
Who She Recommends Should Try Kokka Fabrics
When asked what kind of people she would recommend Kokka fabrics to, there was no hesitation whatsoever. “Anyone with a passion for sewing with unique and stunning fabric!”
For people just starting out, she recommends specific fabrics that are easier to work with, like canvas fabrics and cotton linen blends. She notes that they are a little pricier, but the satisfaction of crafting correlates to the fabrics you use. “The joy of working with these fine materials is worth it!”
Definitely Worth It
Rose has two sides to her work. On the one hand, she’s a Pathologist developing better treatments for cancer patients because she was one — she’s been in their shoes and knows what they need. On the other hand, she’s a creator making gorgeous bags for knitters because she is one — she knows what they like and what they can use. Her visual personality helps her bring out the beauty in the fabrics.
Here at KOKKA, we’re pleased to be able to create fabrics that feed the creativity and passion of people like Rose. We can agree with her earlier sentiment — it’s definitely worth it!
You can find all of Rose's designs on her Instagram, @rosyposy_designs.