Here's what Betz had to say:
My mom sewed a lot of my clothes growing up and taught me at a young age. I have a degree in fashion design and worked in the kids apparel industry for about 20 years as a designer. After I had kids I left the corporate world to be a mom and freelance design. I started a blog in 2006 and opened an Etsy shop to sell items I made out of felted wool sweaters. This lead to a book deal and an appearance on the Martha Stewart TV Show in 2007. In the 10 years since then I’ve written 2 more books, taught classes, designed fabric and sewing patterns for bags, and more!
What do you love most about your job?
I’m a designer at heart. I love coming up with new ideas and incorporating them in to a pattern for others to make and enjoy. It’s so gratifying to see the projects people make with my patterns in their own fabric combinations and twists. There’s a lot of creativity out there!
What is the hardest part of the design process for you?
The hardest part is satisfying all of the criteria in my head! A new pattern has to tick a lot of boxes: unique but not weird, versatile but not boring, easy to recreate yet have techniques to learn, etc!
What do you enjoy doing when you aren't working?
I love hanging out with my 2 teenage sons and husband watching movies or going on a hike. I enjoy shopping at thrift stores, knitting, napping and recently started taking a pottery class.
What is your favorite pizza topping?
Pepperoni is my standby but I love all kinds of crazy combinations!
What is your favorite thing about bag making?
The design process from sketch to prototype.
What is your least favorite part of bag making?
Writing pattern instructions and fusing interfacing.
Is there a pattern of yours that is your favorite?
At the moment I’m using my Seneca Creek Bag a lot. It’s cute and little and carries just what I need.
What is your favorite pattern by another designer?
I love patterns by Anna of Noodlehead and I’m planning to sew up herMaker’s Tote!
What is your favorite snack?
Chips and guacamole!
What is your favorite piece of bag hardware?
I’m a fan of the twist lock.
What machine do you sew on most often?
I have a Bernina Activa 220
What advice would you give to someone who is new to bag making?
Sometimes I see new bag makers feeling overwhelmed and doubting themselves. I suggest that they look to other makers for inspiration and aspiration but don’t compare your skill level to someone with a lot of experience. Start with a basic bag and work your way up or take a class to help you along. Sewing is supposed to be FUN, it’s not a competitive sport.
Who is your favorite fabric designer?
I design fabric, can I pick me? :) I license my artwork to Riley Blake.
What is the best compliment you've received as a designer?
Whenever someone is overjoyed with a bag they made themselves using one of my patterns, that’s the best compliment!
How organized is your sewing space? Are you a mess maker or everything in its place kind of person?
My space is in a constant flux of organized/messy. It’s an ebb and flow!
What is your favorite color?
Bright citron green
What is your favorite thing to listen to while working?
Podcasts like This American Life or Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
Is there anything you wish others knew about you or what you do?
In addition to designing bag patterns, I design felt ornament patterns, embroidery and appliqué patterns, etc. I also design, produce and sell knit home accessories which I retail online and wholesale to shops called Betz White Studio Knits.
How do you make sure that your patterns are accessible to bagineers? How do you promote your work?
I sell my patterns in my Etsy shop, betzwhite.etsy.com and promote them on Instagram, @betz_white. I blog at betzwhite.com. The best way to stay in the loop with all of my many projects is by subscribing to my email newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cHhKQv