Sheila Odessey is a textile artist turned entrepreneur. After more than twenty years working as a hand weaver in the heart of New York’s garment industry, Sheila found herself back at the drawing board when the recession left her unemployed. What may seem like a stroke of bad luck is what drove Sheila to launch her own business: a line of eco-fashion handbags.
Jasmin Malik Chua for Ecouterre, writes, “Sheila Odessey’s satchels, purses, and clutches may be made from discarded plastic bags, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anything remotely trashy about them. Sleek, polished, and dare we say it, sophisticated, Odessey’s eponymous range of carryalls is everything the cheap disposable isn’t.”
Sheila Odessey graduated with a BFA in textiles from the California College of the Arts, with a specific interest in Ikat, an ancient dyeing technique in which yarn is tie-dyed before being woven into cloth. She reinterpreted this technique into a modern aesthetic which became her signature art medium. Woven on a traditional floor loom, and powered exclusively by human effort, her textiles give a modern twist to traditional woven fabric.
Sheila takes the mundane of everyday objects and gives them a fresh identity that is unexpected and visually exciting. Her motto: “Look good while doing good!”
Odessey has been shown in New York City at the Museum of American Craft, Grey Art Gallery, CSV Gallery, Julies Artisan’s Gallery, and the Brooklyn Historical Society. She exhibited at the “Oh Plastiksack” show at the Gewerbemuseum in Switzerland and was featured at the United Aid to Africa Benefit. Currently, Sheila’s work can be seen at the Musee de Design et D’arts Appliqués Contemporains in Lausanne, Switzerland.
See more of Sheila’s stunning bags here.