North Shore Collinwood is home to world class artists – from sculptors to photographers to musicians – but what about fashion? That’s where Dru Thompson comes in.
Thompson, owner of Dru Christine Fabrics and Design, creates custom fashion designs for her clients, stocks a gorgeous array of fabrics, teaches lessons to the community, makes clothing and accessories for men and women, carries numerous vintage pieces and even has a line of home goods.
How does she manage all that on her own? It takes a lot of time.
“This is my day, night and weekend job,” says Thompson. For her, running a business and being an artist takes a delicate mix of flexibility and being able to produce pieces for her clientele. “As an entrepreneur, time is my most precious commodity,” she explains.
Thompson’s creativity and hard work started at an early age. At 13, she taught herself to sew and says she hasn’t stopped since. She grew up in Cleveland in a household full of arts projects. Her mother – a self-employed caterer and baker – helped fuel her entrepreneurial spirit early on.
After graduating from Glenville High School, Thompson attended the University of Akron for her degree in fashion merchandising. While in college, she began working with her first clients as a designer.
Then things took an interesting turn. After graduating college, Thompson relocated to Los Angeles where she worked as a costume designer for movie and television productions for a little over a year. She even worked as an extra between design jobs, appearing in movies like Little Nicky and shows like ER.
Thompson relocated to Cleveland in-between a move from Los Angeles to New York. But – as she explains – marriage and a son quickly changed her plans. She soon found herself setting down her fashion roots in her hometown once again.
Following several corporate jobs and then three years as a business owner in Cleveland Heights, Thompson packed up her shop and reopened in the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District in October 2014. “I longed for the opportunity to be around other artists,” she says. “Being a creative, the energy surrounding you is extremely important, and I’m inspired daily by being around like-minded small business owners and artists.”
Thompson fell in love with the energy around North Shore Collinwood so much that she even moved to the area as a resident.
These days, Thompson is a full time artist and maker. She loves working with fabric first and foremost but also dabbles in jewelry and home décor. She draws inspiration for her pieces from all around. Her mood, mindset, current events, other artists, pop culture, even music all influence her creative process.
In addition to her custom work for clientele, Thompson displays and sells her pieces in her shop – it’s a never ending display of her work.
As a resident, Thompson is deeply involved with the community. She participates in area art exhibitions, including the Day Glo 2015 exhibition at Waterloo Arts. And she is an active community member inNortheast Shores Development Corporation projects, including Ballot Box, where she is on the artist leadership team, and Made in Collinwood, where she is a participating maker.
Dru Christine Fabrics and Design recently began offering a series of workshops in-shop, including personal image and styling, t-shirt deconstruction and even a field day experience for aspiring fashion professionals. Thompson is also extending her schedule for public speaking opportunities on business and fashion related topics.
To learn more about Dru Thompson’s upcoming events, speaking opportunities and pieces for sale, visit www.druchristine.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or stop by the shop at 15615 Waterloo Road and talk to her about your fashion and design ideas.