This month, we're featuring the faux fur creations of Harrisburg-based designer and artist Bernard Ballard.
You've probably seen him around town rocking his custom-made faux fur ensembles -- from jackets and scarves to hats and even leg warmers! Bernard has been designing and creating clothing and accessories for many years, and that hobby has turned into quite the obsession. He offers custom-made pieces in 40 different textures and colors of the softest, most realistic looking faux sable, mink, lynx, leopard, ermine, beaver and bear furs.
Bernard's one-of-a-kind works are available now, and we'll be holding an opening reception 4pm to 9pm on Friday, February 20th in honor of 3rd in the Burg. Come meet Bernard and check out his selection of jackets, capes, wraps and accessories, which range in a variety of sizes, colors and styles.
STASH: When/Why/How did you start your business?
BERNARD: Why did I decide to become a designer? That is the question, since I never truly opened and operated a business. When I was 25, I read a book titled Think and Grow Rich. One of the premises was that in order to be successful in life you needed to do something fulfilling, something that you love to do. In doing that regularly and routinely with persistent effort and love, you could become a master at it, and in time, the financial rewards must come, if that is your desire. I chose designing because I love expressing myself by inventing, and creating new and different beautiful things. Designing was something I could do from home, as a hobby, and share by participating in events within the community at large. I have been involved in scores and scores of events over the years. Fashion show as fund raising events for churches, politicians, charitable organizations, school, and of course through nightclubs, festival events, and youth programs.
STASH: How did you get into this line of work?
BERNARD: A few years ago, a friend convinced me to allow her to build a website to be able to show my work in a public venue. Since then, I have maintained a website but never really took the time to promote or market my work, in part because I was working full time for state government.
STASH: What do you like best about what you do?
BERNARD: What I like most about this work is the creation of new and different designs and the challenge that comes with that. Also, I enjoy working with other motivated individuals who like the performance and presentation of this, what I consider an art form.
STASH: What inspires you in your life and in your work?
BERNARD: My new passion is poetry as a way to express what life is about from the point of spirit – expressing the metaphysics of life as it comes to me in dream state. I have published 6 books thus far which can be found on Amazon.com, and I have two more being formatted now. I have recently been asked to begin sharing my work by a couple of spiritual organizations in the area.
STASH: How do you spend your time outside of your business?
BERNARD: Meditation, writing, designing, and yoga are currently what most of my days and weeks are spent doing for peace and pleasure. Oh yes, I also love to dance.