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Conversations with Alexandra McLennan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandra McLennan.

Hi Alexandra, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Hi! I’m Alex, the maker behind Dapper House Menagerie. In 2014, I was living in Minneapolis and decided to teach myself how to macrame and embroider. I was an occasional hobbyist -something to keep myself occupied during the long winters. I made a handful of pieces for myself and friends, but nothing more substantial. In 2019, I moved back home to Los Angeles and once again found myself in need of a hobby. I was enthralled by the idea of anthropomorphic animals and wanting to see them embroidered in various settings – a rat in a leather jacket, Dodgers cap, and holding a jar of Philippe’s hot mustard; a cat in a bathrobe, smoking a cigarette; a raccoon in a terry cloth turtleneck, sipping a martini…These ideas gave way to what eventually became Dapper House Menagerie – a collection of embroidered and macrame goods intended for the eclectic, colorful, and sacred spaces we call home. In April 2020, I lost my job as a result of Covid and decided to give my all to Dapper House. I started teaching online macrame workshops and private lessons, selling my products at brick and mortars throughout California (and even one in the state of Washington!), vending at markets and connecting with other small business owners. You can usually find me at Los Feliz Flea every Saturday! Former clients include Nike, Sunday Sky, Shout & About, and countless individuals who have helped contribute to the successes I gratefully continue to experience to this day!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Navigating starting a business in the midst of a pandemic was not something I can say I’d envisioned for myself, but I’m here for the ride and ready to see where it takes me.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I make macrame and embroidered goods and recently have ventured into the world of rug tufting! I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to “specialize” in just one…Of the three, I am currently most passionate about macrame. I love having the ability to create long, flowing layers, using lots of colors (occasionally venturing into natural dyes), and getting lost in the minutia. Rug tufting is quickly turning into a close second, and I am very excited to see where that takes me. Sharing my craft with others also brings me an immeasurable amount of joy. I teach online workshops and facilitate private parties for groups of friends. One thing I take great pride in is working within someone’s budget to make them something that they are going to love. You shouldn’t have to break the bank to fill your home with happiness!

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