Betsy Blodgett aspires to inspire through fashion and design.
The former owner of the now-closed Westport boutique Bon Bon Atelier is launching a podcast, “Hello Atelier,” that takes the listener inside the studios of local indie designers.
“I want listeners to hear an interesting story and be inspired to go out and make something for themselves,” Blodgett says.
The podcast, which is available on iTunes and GooglePlay, isn’t just about the business of design. It’s about the designers themselves — how they got started and what inspires them to create.
“I think learning about other people’s inspiration can open yourself up to new things,” says Blodgett, 34.
The first season consists of nine episodes and features interviews with eight local designers Blodgett met through her boutique. One episode features internationally renowned designer Barbara Hulanicki, founder of the iconic London fashion store Biba.
“I randomly contacted her,” Blodgett says, adding that she didn’t expect Hulanicki to agree to the interview.
“It was kind of scary, having to go talk to one of your favorite people in the world.”
Blodgett hopes aspiring designers listen to her podcast and find out that they can make a living following their passion.
“I think a lot of designers are thinking, ‘Can I make a living making things?’ ” Blodgett says. “Everyone we talk to does just that.”
Blodgett spent six years of her life doing that, too. Bon Bon Atelier carried home décor, worked with indie designers, sold fabric and hosted sewing and knitting classes. It was a lot of work.
“You spend all your time there,” Blodgett says. “I was ready to move on to new things.”
After closing the boutique three years ago, Blodgett followed her passion into a different setting by going to work at Indygo Junction, a sewing pattern company based in Prairie Village.
“Because I’d been in the sewing industry, it was a perfect fit,” she says.
Blodgett will officially debut her podcast at a “Hello Atelier” listening party from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Kansas City Textile Studio, 924 E. Fifth St. The party will feature snippets from the first two episodes, which feature quilter Jacquie Gering and ceramic designer Meredith Host, as well as open studio tours and a pop-up shop with handmade goods from four artists featured in the podcast’s first season.
“We want people to see and feel the stuff in person, and purchase it if they want,” Blodgett says.
Consider it the return of Bon Bon Atelier, if only for an evening.