During her busiest season, tie-dye artist Bonny Rike might complete 50 garments a week, twisting and dying each of her signature shirts, onesies and underwear (yes, underwear) by hand over her laundry-room sink. When she began selling her wares three years ago at the 17th Street Farmers' Market, Rike never dreamed this 1970s style would be a big hit today.
"There's a whole new generation of people who are drawn to it," says Rike, who frequently attends youth birthday parties to teach the art of tie-dying T-shirts.
But it's her women's underwear, which runs from $12 to $15 and is also available at House of Lukaya, that makes an instant impression, which is why it's one of her most highly requested items. Using American Apparel brand cotton underwear, Rike creates a sassy garment that lets her customers add some hippie to their hips. Other popular sellers include children's attire, such as onesies and baby tees, as well as her classic T-shirts.
Rike mixes her dyes from powder and applies them from a squeeze bottle directly onto the pieces, using one to five colors and taking care to create designs that are light and somewhat more subtle than many of the mass-produced, color-saturated versions found in stores.
She prepares a large sampling of designs to sell at farmers' markets, but the majority of her work comes from orders she receives at market and then returns with the following week. To order your own tie-dyed creation — maybe it's time for some fun undies? — call 615-0751 or e-mail email@example.com.