The Business of Burlap, Bling and Everything

Posted by on Sep 19, 2016 in Voice-Over | 0 comments

Q: Welcome, Connie Waranius, to A News Cafe.com. How fun to interview you, since you and I go way back to our years at Shasta High School, where you were Connie Streeter.

I was – still am – Doni Chamberlain. Just for fun, I dug up our senior photos. Look how cute we were. Would you ever have imagined that we’d each be living the lives we are now?

Connie Streeter, 1974. Doni Chamberlain, 1974.

Connie Streeter, 1974. Doni Chamberlain, 1974.

I love our Shasta High connection – beyond imagination, that we both live abundant creative lives.

Connie and Doni, a few years beyond high school graduation.

Connie and Doni, a few years after Shasta High School graduation.

Q: The feeling is mutual. Connie. Before we get to the topic of your business, Burlap Bling, can you tell a bit about yourself?

I live in Old Shasta with my husband Ken of 37 years. I am a graduate of the Landmark Forum and Advanced Landmark. Landmark is executive training for personal development. I own Burlap and Bling and work with Reddingcomposttea.com along with doing voice over for commercials.

Q: You are one busy person, Connie, and clearly, you’re living your passions. For many years, though, you had other occupations, right?

For 15 years I enjoyed working for Jim and Penny Gironda at Gironda’s Restaurant. In 2009 I received a Gold Plate from the Restaurant Association for Server of The Year.  It was also my pleasure to work for Karline Niver and her amazing team.

Q: You and I are similar in that we spin multiple business plates. I’m a publisher and journalist, but also a boutique caterer, and an Airbnb Super Host, plus I share a booth with sister Shelly at Oregon Street Antique Mall, proving that we don’t have to just pick one passion, right?

Initially, my main reason for talking with you was about your burlap business, but I’m also super fascinated in your voice business, for lack of a better term.

My newest passion is Burlap and Bling. But the other passions are my husband’s business that I already mentioned — reddingcomposttea.com — and also voice-overs for commercials. My website is conniewaranius.voice123.com and connievoiceover.com.

I’m proud to say that last month I had the privilege of being involved in a town hall meeting with the top executives from Voice123, and six voice-over talents from around the world. Voice123 is the largest worldwide place for voice talent to audition. There are 140,000 of us who are members at Voice123. Executives said it was the best Town Hall Meeting ever. I was thrilled to have been involved. I am still smiling from this great experience.

Q: Wow. That’s so cool, Connie. Congratulations. No wonder you feel proud. You should! OK, finally, let’s talk about your burlap business. I found your adorable shop by accident on my way to Cash and Carry, and there you were. First, what’s the preoccupation with burlap?

connie-in-front-of-her-shop
My husband ordered 800 burlap coffee bags from all over the world for his business, Redding Compost Tea. He ended up not using the burlap bags and went with sandbags.

Q: But those bags really tapped into your creative side. What inspired you to create things from burlap, and can you tell us what you’ve made? burlap chair covers

 My inspiration came from my love of creating textile art. Now from burlap coffee bags I have created framed collages, lamps,purses, aprons, pillows, covered chairs, gift baskets and still more to come!
burlap-merchandise

The collages are my favorite.
burlap-collage

But I love them all. Re-purposed materials is an on-going theme.

Q: I was so impressed by the complexity of some of your items, like upholstered pieces, and purses. How did you learn how to do that, and does it require a special sewing machine?
burlap connie sewing

 In the past I have sewn my own clothes, costumes, quilts,woven baskets,batik, handmade cotton paper art. I have learned from numerous classes, friends, YouTube and tutorials. I use just regular Brothers and Singer sewing machines.

Q: So you started creating things from burlap. What led to the idea of a shop?

burlap-inventory-details Burlap and Bling, Boutique and Decor was created by me, my husband, our son Brook Waranius and Brook’s girlfriend Jessie Bader. The four of us make a strong team.

Q: I guess we’ve talked about everything except the particulars. I wish you the best with this business, and everything you do. Go ahead, Connie. What do we need to know?

You can find Burlap and Bling, Boutique and Decor at 1166 Hartnell Ave. in Redding across from Harbor Freight, and next to Cash and Carry. Our hours are Monday through Thursday,10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment by calling 530-917-0827. You can like us – Burlap and Bling – and follow us on Facebook– or check out our web site burlapandblingofredding.com.

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