A place to share the things that inspire us.

Q&A: Meet A Designer

Peruvian Connection designers have been creating some of the most coveted knit and woven designs around for over 30 years now. We are so proud of their talent and endless capacity for innovation and creativity that we thought it would be fun to let you meet a few of them…see what makes them tick. Today we begin with Tabbetha as she answers just a few questions for us. Tabbetha has designed knitwear for Peruvian Connection for 14 years.


Tabbetha (center) at PC’s Washington store opening with the Ambassador of Peru, PC’s director of South American operations, the owner’s daughters, and Tabbetha’s husband, Jeremy.

What made you want to become a designer?
I don’t know when I made the conscious decision to become a designer. I have loved making clothes and working with textiles since I was a young kid. I spent a lot of time with my mom, grandma and aunt who were always knitting, sewing or crocheting. I joined in and used their leftovers to make clothes for my dolls – some of which I still have! I was a fast learner and picked up the different techniques quickly. At some point in junior high school, my mother had purchased the supplies for us to make a pair of corduroy jeans – together. One day, she came home from work and I had completed them without her – including the fly zipper! From then on, I have had my own sewing machine. Throughout high school, I worked at my mom’s knitting shop, then at a wonderful Kansas City fabric shop while attending the Kansas City Art Institute. I studied textiles and fashion textiles in college. I have worked for two wonderful clothing companies since college – Asiatica in Kansas City and then for Peruvian Connection.

What inspires you?
My travels – I have been to India, Turkey, Spain, Morocco, Italy, France, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, lived in England, and I am planning a trip to Iceland in January…only for 3 days…but I am excited to see a country with such a great knitting tradition.

Some of the highlights of my travel:

  • met H.H. the Dalai Lama in India on a trip with a Buddhist group from KC.

  • traveled through Turkey with 2 friends – taking buses and trains all through the country. We bought textiles, ate fabulous Turkish food, and saw the sites. I also was in Turkey on another occasion to take a workshop with a Turkish feltmaker.

  • I was in Oaxaca, Mexico for the Day of the Dead celebration (1989!)

  • lived & studied in Brighton, England for about 6 months.

  • have seen the Mediterranean from the Spanish coast, the Moroccan coast and the Turkish coast – it may be my favorite body of water

  • have been traveling to South America for over 14 years. I have had the privilege of being to Machu Picchu 3 times (climbing to the top of Huayna Picchu once), I have been to Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Cusco, and the ruins at Tiahuanaco on the Bolivian side.

I collect textiles and other goodies from everywhere I go which totally influences all of my designs. It is not only the textiles – but I also take TONS of photos (especially now that everything is digital) and use those images in my designs.


The DAHLIA skirt and jacket from Spring ’06 was from a photo I took in Agra, India (where the Taj Mahal is).

I get inspired by looking at old textiles, ethnic textiles, and new techno textiles as well. The materials that I am working with also inspire and influence what I do. I can get motivated by looking at what other designers are doing.  There is a great art community here in Kansas City with many fiber artists living here. Seeing interesting or unusual clothes on the street can give me new ideas. Sometimes just being at an art exhibit or a concert can make me want to come home and work in my studio.

What are you working on right now?
For Peruvian Connection, I am getting ready to start developing knit designs for the Spring 2010 season. It is hard to believe! I am also knitting a cardigan for my niece that will be covered in embroidered flowers.

What is your favorite piece of clothing?
It is tough to pick just one piece. My favorite sweater (this is really a tough one) is my long Rabari alpaca cardigan from Peruvian Connection a few years ago. My favorite dress is one I bought this summer at Urban Zen – Donna Karan’s new project. My favorite accessory is a piece from Liz Collins: a long brown wool scarf with leather strips of ruffles knitted into it.

Some of Tabbetha’s Designs:
Lotus Flower Kimono
Stencilwork Tunic
Arboretum Dress
Moonrise Cardigan
Dynasty Jacquard Kimono
East-West Dress
Tribal Jacket

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One Response to Q&A: Meet A Designer

  1. wardj@muohio.edu' Julia says:

    I agree with designer, Tabbetha. I think her Rabari alpaca cardigan is beautiful. The style (slim), the colors (vibrant), the weight (substantial) the pattern ( small, geometric) make it a true success.

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