From the coast of southern California Briana moved to Missouri for the Kansas City Art Institute. She graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Fiber, specializing in weaving. From there she fled the art world and joined the Peace Corps, working and living with rural women weavers in a small village in the Middle Atlas Mountains where people lived close to their food and other natural resources. After Morocco she moved on to sustainable farming in Massachusetts, where she met her eventual partner. After settling in Kentucky and saddled with college debt she became a Licensed Massage Therapist and farmed on the side. Making art or weaving again were far from her mind.
After the birth of her first child in 2014 she became interested in woven wraps to carry him in. Rather than buy a wrap she decided to purchase a used loom and weave her own. She soon fell deeply back in love with weaving. Making wraps at first, but soon rediscovered her joy in small color, fiber and texture studies, conveniently of a size suited to cowls.
She continued to dive into her weaving while struggling with PPD and PPA after the birth of her second child in 2016. Finding others interested in her work and wanting to sustain her weaving habit financially she started Bri Weaves and began attending shows and craft fairs in 2018.
In 2019 she was accepted into Kentucky Crafted,* stopped massaging to focus on the business, and promptly got pregnant with her last baby.
The worldwide pandemic, cancelation of all shows and craft fairs and birth of her last baby required big pivots in 2020. While some in-person events are happening again, Bri Weaves goods are available primarily online and porch shopping by appointment at her home studio and urban homestead in Louisville, Kentucky. She can often be spotted walking the neighborhood with her two Nigora goats, Betty and Boon, who produce cashmere for her products, and some combination of her three rambunctious human kids, Eldon, Arlo and Remy.
Bri Weaves would not exist without the unending support of her husband Josh, and his breadwinning business, Empower Solar LLC, local family who regularly take on childcare, and dear friends and loyal customers who buy and honestly review her products. Bri Weaves has afforded her her dream loom, fiber goats, a plethora of yarns and dyes and limitless fiber, color and texture combinations to discover through the joy of weaving. Bri Weaves is now self-sustaining and intentionally contributes to local organizations for the betterment of her community. She could not be more grateful to be doing this work.
Photo of the artist by Natosha Cundiff
* Kentucky Crafted is the symbol of artistic excellence and quality craftsmanship reserved exclusively for artists adjudicated into the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted Program. The Kentucky Arts Council is the state arts agency funded by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.