The Big Red Heart

July 31, 2015 51 Comments

If there is one thing I feel is lacking in the handmade community, it is empowerment and support from others. So, to help fill that gap, I’ve decided to begin a monthly series called, “Artist of the Month” where I feature handmade artists in multiple fields and host a fun giveaway with them to help spread the word about their gift and their mission within this community.

So, this month let’s meet Tiffany Kopper, who just a few years ago, decided to take her love of fine art (and hand stitching) and make a business out of it! The Big Red Heart was inspired by her daughter's heart (quite literally) and has become a testament on how hand stitching doesn't have to always be with thread. Tiffany wears many hats and has many talents and I got to pick her talented brain to learn a little bit more about her work and how she got to where she is today. 

1. How did The Big Red Heart get its start? 

It started with an idea to try creating something special for my daughter's room (while she was in the hospital for her third heart surgery two years ago) and blossomed from there! I was lovingly nudged by friends and family, so I jumped all in!  It's always a little (a lot) scary ("will anyone even like/want my stuff???"), but I'm so glad I did it!  It's helped our family make ends meet and attain some goals we've had.  PLUS,it's been a great creative outlet for me - I've always been into art, for as long as I can remember (there's "rumor" of a red crayon-meets-wall incident I've heard about from when I was two - toddler temper may have played a big role in inspiring that one.  Sorry, mom and dad).

2. What inspires your work the most?

It depends on the day, for sure.  Oftentimes, it's a verse that God's put on my heart, or a simple phrase, or life circumstances, that feed into my work.  I also love flowers (obviously), and I follow lots of florists on IG, purely for eye candy.  Deep down inside, I think I'm a flower farmer at heart (without the proper skills and training to back it up, of course....and I can't keep a succulent alive to save my life!).  I can also be inspired by something seemingly totally random...inspiration is everywhere we look.

3. What is your favorite piece you have made and how did you develop the idea for it? 

Do I have to choose one?  There are so many that have been special for different reasons, but one of my all-time favorite hoops was one I stitched all in gold sequins on white cotton ("dwell" - based on Psalm 16:8-9).  I really enjoyed the use of the negative space for the design (I minored in art and sometimes those principles are begging to be used differently).  It takes sooooo many hours to stitch, so the sparkle hoops don't happen often.  That one was a labor of love and was a little hard to part with!  And as far as print art, I'm really in love with how our new banners are turning out - I have so many ideas and plans in progress for those and I'm excited to offer more variety and options as I have the time to implement them!  It's also fun that I get my hubby's help on the wood frames for those (he is an amazingly talented woodworker)!

4. Most of your pieces contain some form of ribbon embroidery. Is there any advice to those wishing to try it?

Yes, just TRY it!  It looks way harder than it really is, but the beautiful dimension and volume it provides is irreplaceable. The silk ribbon can be pricey, but it's definitely worth it.  At worst, you'll be out a few dollars and have sore fingertips (which isn't quite as bad if you use linen or something with an open weave for the back fabric).  I learned a lot of the stitches I frequently use online. The Internet is an amazing resource! 

6. Has there ever been a part of your business that was a disaster? If so, what happened and how did you remedy it? 

Of course!  We all fail miserably at something from time to time, it keeps us humble.  Not every page in my notebook is filled with something I'm willing to share.  And as far as hoops go, sometimes I just hate it so much that I scrap the whole thing and start entirely over - because a clean slate is way better (in my opinion) than backtracking and trying too hard to make something work.

7. Is it tough being your own boss or is it the easiest job you’ve ever had? 

I'm mostly a "Type A" person (though motherhood has ruined, I mean, helped me become more laid-back), so I set goals and standards for myself to attain, sometimes I meet them and sometimes I fail miserably.  I can be pretty hard on myself and my work, but the nice thing is that I have amazing support from my hubby. It's the best job I've ever had (besides being a wife and mommy)!

8. Name one job within The Big Red Heart that you wish you could hire out to someone else. 

I would love for someone to finish out the backs of my hoops and package them for shipping (they're an awkward size and shape). That would leave me more time for painting, sketching, and stitching!  Once I've finished a hoop, I feel "done" because so much time and love has already gone into it.

9. Any advice to those out there wishing to start their own handmade business? 

Nail down your own very personal and distinct style...anyone can copy your work itself, but if you keep seeking your own originality and developing new ideas, you'll become known for that and people will seek you out!  I promise. 

10. Tell us one random fact about yourself.

How about two??  I can (kinda) hula (I'm part Hawaiian)...and I HATE the idea of being inside natural bodies of water...you won't find me getting in any higher than my calves.  (I love looking at them, it's just the being in or on part I don't like). They FREAK ME OUT.  I tried canoeing once, to appease my husband (mostly because I wanted to truly be able to say, from experience, that I HATED it). Boy, was I right - and he wouldn't argue with it, either.  If I'm on water, it'd better be in a decently-sized boat.

——-

The Big Red Heart is giving away a "Every day is a New Canvas" Banner to one winner and the a "Hello" hoop to another winner (two winners total)! Gulush Threads is also giving away two $10 shop credits to each winner as well.

To enter, leave a comment below letting us know what kind of florals you would get embroidered by The Big Red Heart. For an additional entry, head on over to Gulush Threads IG and like the giveaway photo. Don’t forget to follow both @gulushthreads and @thebigredheart to be entered!

Giveaway ends Sunday, August 2nd at midnight CT with winner announced on Monday, August 3rd. 

-----

Winner (Banner): @simplymamajen

Winner (Hoop): Kate Fredrickson

++Winner will be contacted soon via email and IG DM++

Thank you all for playing and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more giveaways coming your way!

Much love,
Kristen 
Founder, Creative Director



51 Responses

Oliver Naab
Oliver Naab

September 02, 2015

Listed below is the great lineup of artists we have for tonight. Amanda Henslee Kerri Wyrick – Elements Art Center Jimmy Butler – Security Finance Liz Walters – The Hollow Tree Hal Johnson – S H Shoes Kathy Sturch – Marie s Jim Pugh – JJ Mundi Gail White – Mackey s Home Furnishings Tiffany Newton, Alvina Rawls, Russell Poole – The Country Framer Tyson.

Bri Kiehle
Bri Kiehle

August 02, 2015

I would have to get one of my two favorites stiched, either hoya or sunflowers!

Jessica Rueter
Jessica Rueter

August 02, 2015

I am going to go a little off track but how about something fall! Colored leaves and yellow flowers – I would even go as far as saying I would love Christmas colors and flowers ♡

alicia
alicia

August 02, 2015

Happy daisies & daffodils!

Monique
Monique

August 01, 2015

I loved the sunflower Tiffany did s while back, something about the sequins just steals my heart! I think I’d love to see my wedding bouquet brought to hoop stitch life. White & pink peonies, roses, dahlias, and any other flower that can have sequins added to it. Ha. So obsessed! Gonna go check if there say banners left right this instant!

Christine
Christine

July 31, 2015

Love! Love blue bonnets : )

KIm Fromhagen
KIm Fromhagen

July 31, 2015

I would be so honored to have her art hanging on my wall! I love all flowers. Sunflowers are currently my fav. ?

Linda J
Linda J

July 31, 2015

The work Big Red Heart posts is ALL gorgeous! Love her stitching, use of ribbon and beads.

Agnes
Agnes

July 31, 2015

I just randomly found both IG accounts and I am in love! Big red heart has amazing talent! I would actually like to see more greens such as succulents and daintier flowers and possibly even little fillers!

Lacey
Lacey

July 31, 2015

I love all of The Big Red Heart’s florals! I love sunflowers, lavender, lilacs, and tulips!

Valerie Evans
Valerie Evans

July 31, 2015

Love love love The Big Red Heart!! I’ve always wanted to own a piece by her. I would love to see her stitch up some Texas bluebonnets!

Rachael
Rachael

July 31, 2015

I’ve never disliked anything Tiffany has made. Love her work! I would prefer a little bouquet of different, very colorful flowers. Thanks for posting this little article about her.. Loved reading it!

Carrie Swiderek
Carrie Swiderek

July 31, 2015

Succulents! We had them as decorations and favors at our wedding three years ago, and now our friends and family have them all over their homes! I would love to see Tiffany at the Big Red Heart capture all the vibrant shades of green and purple and the beautiful variation of textures! Her creations are awe inspiring!

Alexis
Alexis

July 31, 2015

I love all her floral work, how it’s looks coming off the fabric. She is so talented, I would love to win anything made by her!

KELLY
KELLY

July 31, 2015

I love The Big Red Heart!! Her work is so inspiring and her big heart is shown through her work (and name lol).
Man. Flowers. I love flowers too! My favorites are daisies, hydrangeas, peonies, and lavender.

KELLY
KELLY

July 31, 2015

I love The Big Red Heart!! Her work is so inspiring and her big heart is shown through her work (and name lol).
Man. Flowers. I love flowers too! My favorites are daisies, hydrangeas, peonies, and lavender. ?

Jillian
Jillian

July 31, 2015

I’d probably go for roses since my middle name is Rose after my grandmother Bonita Rose.

Amie
Amie

July 31, 2015

I love any yellow flower. They always make me happy.

Melissa
Melissa

July 31, 2015

Hydrangeas all the way! Love their intricacy and detail.

Sadie Johnson
Sadie Johnson

July 31, 2015

I adore carnations ? (or maybe even big sunflowers… They remind me of my hometown)

Lindsey D
Lindsey D

July 31, 2015

I’m a sucker for succulents!

Erin Randall
Erin Randall

July 31, 2015

Ohhhh roses or poppies! Rally anything you make is beautiful though :) I love the hello hoop ?

JEssica
JEssica

July 31, 2015

I love lilies and tulips…but can you embroider those?? I have no idea. If not, I love what she has done with wildflowers. Or I would love to see her try plumeria. Beautiful!

Leslie
Leslie

July 31, 2015

Lavender! Or wildflowers :)

Vendelina R
Vendelina R

July 31, 2015

My favorite flower is the ranunculus or as my husband says ridonculus! So that is most likely the flower I would have her embroider! I follower her on ig and would love that hello hoop for my kitchen nook!

Kat F.
Kat F.

July 31, 2015

Begonias, amethysts, hydrangeas impatiens, lavender, catmint, coneflower , to name a few!

Erica
Erica

July 31, 2015

I already SWOON over her gorgeous wildflowers, but I would love to see her take on a peony/hydrangea arrangement, for no other reason but the fact that they’re my favorites and I think she would do them beautifully.

Amanda Carpenter
Amanda Carpenter

July 31, 2015

Huh. Depends on the day. Today, wildflowers. Great article and a splendid choice as an artist of the month!

Melissa S.
Melissa S.

July 31, 2015

Roses are my favorite, but I love her wildflowers too! Her work is amazing! ?

Katie Rittenbery
Katie Rittenbery

July 31, 2015

I would do lots of greens and creams with some sequence of course! Love both of your works!

Amanda Fry
Amanda Fry

July 31, 2015

I would love peonies because they are my favorite flower! Especially in a shade of dark purple.

Marijah
Marijah

July 31, 2015

I would get wild flowers (like the ones she did in her Ball jar hoop – with sequins!!! LOVED it.)

Tiffany has inspired me so much with her amazing art and fresh take on embroidery. I have NEVER seen anything like her hoops. I look forward to trying my hand with the embroidery once we are settled into our new house soon.

Good luck!! Xo

Megan Shaffer
Megan Shaffer

July 31, 2015

I loooove me some hydrangeas. Hoping to have them for my wedding in November :)

Emily
Emily

July 31, 2015

Daisies and sunflowers!

Jessica R
Jessica R

July 31, 2015

Daffodils! So beautiful and in thread work even better.

Jessica
Jessica

July 31, 2015

I was hoping to get a welcome sign – the hello is a great alternative. I love bright colors so any bright flower. You ladies are crazy talented so any piece of work would be a pleasure.

Beth Smith
Beth Smith

July 31, 2015

Wild flowers, like my daughter. ;-)

Lauren B
Lauren B

July 31, 2015

Wild flowers or basically any type of flowers! Her work, and yours, is GORGEOUS!

Carolyn
Carolyn

July 31, 2015

I would ask for bluebonnets for my sweet Texan mother!

Cookie
Cookie

July 31, 2015

I would want sunflowers. Lost and lots of sunflowers!

Kate Fredrickson
Kate Fredrickson

July 31, 2015

I appreciated your article so much, thanks for sharing.

I love all the flowers you do! My favorite flowers are ranunculus, is there a way to do those?

Vanna
Vanna

July 31, 2015

Wildflowers! They were my great grandmothers favorite and always make me think of her!

Baylee
Baylee

July 31, 2015

I’m just starting out on this embroidery adventure and both of you are such an inspiration. I love following your shops! Lilacs are my favorite flower and dahlias were my wedding bouquet so probably a combo of both :)

CHelsea
CHelsea

July 31, 2015

Lilies, peonies, roses, sunflowers galore!

Beth Smith
Beth Smith

July 31, 2015

Wild flowers, like my daughter. ;-)

Joni Bean
Joni Bean

July 31, 2015

Oh man, multicolored roses would be gorgeous!!

Chelsey
Chelsey

July 31, 2015

Id like orchids!!

HEidi
HEidi

July 31, 2015

Daisies!

Meredith Klobucnik
Meredith Klobucnik

July 31, 2015

I would love some peonies ?

bonnie flory
bonnie flory

July 31, 2015

I so enjoyed reading your story. You’re an inspiration. I’m a self taught floral designer always learning how to love God and others better each new day.
My flower choice would be Sweetpeas.
Blessings on you and all that you do.
Bonnie

Kady
Kady

July 31, 2015

I would love to get roses or peonies embroidered! All of your work is amazing! Thanks for sharing.
~Kady

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