Meet Our Makers: A Profile of Seamstress Rebecca Joy

Meet Rebecca Joy. She grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut and moved to Fredonia five years ago after marrying village native Andy Joy. The couple met at college and both work for J.M. Joy Farms, which produces brown eggs, chicken, pork, goat meat and live goats for 4-H projects. They also farm grapes, field corn, grains, and vegetables. She has an associate degree in dairy cattle production and management and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business.

Joy works as a program facilitator for the Girl Scouts of Western New York and a grape inspector for Welch’s. Her days and nights are pretty busy: she is also a certified kids’ yoga instructor and an active volunteer and board member of the nonprofit Fredonia Farmers’ Market.

Rebecca Joy’s vibrant, one-of-a-kind handmade flag pennants will be displayed prominently throughout the Williams Center and the Science Center during the Fredonia Mini Maker Faire on the campus of The State University of New York at Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 22, to help you find your way around the free circus of creativity.

As a child, Joy was very active in her local 4-H and that is where she honed her skills as a seamstress and Maker. She first picked up a needle and thread at 7 years old.

“My first project was an elastic-waist skirt,” she recalls. “It had seashells on it.”

The 4-H projects got more challenging every year.

“I have to thank my mom, both grandmothers and a few 4-H leaders who helped me better my skills,” she says.


Joy, pictured with her daughter, Myra Rose, is also on the board of the nonprofit Fredonia Farmers’ Market and occasionally hosts kids’ yoga sessions there on a volunteer basis.


Drake often accompanies his mother and sister to the Fredonia Farmers’ Market.

Her children – Drake and Myra Rose – are her main source of inspiration, followed by the fabrics and supplies she has on hand.

“If I see something online or in a magazine that I like, I usually modify the item into something that I love,” she says. “I rarely use a pattern, but if I do I make the pattern myself 95% of the time. If someone tells me what they are thinking of for the final product, I usually can visualize it and make it happen.”

Joy does some custom-order projects and tailoring by request on the side.

“I’m constantly hemming pants, fixing zippers on jackets and completing orders,” she says. “I’ve patched holes in shirts and I have even fixed a patio umbrella.”

She dabbles in many crafty areas – knitting, crocheting and repurposing among them. Right now she is attempting to quilt two blankets but is finding that quilting isn’t her favorite genre.

The path to learning a new skill and starting challenging products isn’t always easy, and Joy’s advice for burgeoning makers is to keep trying.

“It can be hard,” says Joy. “I cried sometimes when I was younger working on my 4-H projects, but in the end I loved what I had made. I still have times where I want to give up on an order. Instead I put it down for a couple days and then return to it. Sometimes you just need to walk a way to get a fresh perspective. I return to the project after a couple days and – voila – it’s a cinch to finish.”


One of Joy’s most popular sewn items are her one-of-a-kind patchwork-style skirts. She occasionally vends at the Fredonia Farmers’ Market and takes custom orders.

As her talents and interests have evolved, Joy has found that her creative habits and thriftiness have served to enhance her family and professional life.

“I have become more resourceful,” says Joy. “Right now I am reusing scraps of fabric that I didn’t know what to do with to turn into a rug.”

Joy just attended the Pittsburgh Maker Faire held the weekend of Oct. 15 and says it was a “great experience.”

“I feel that some of the Makers’ crafts are a dying art,” she says. “So educating others and possibly getting them to spark an interest in a new craft is awesome and beneficial to so many.”

Joy is pleased her pennants will be featured throughout the faire although she is unable to participate as a featured Maker due to work commitments – it is grape harvesting season, after all. But she is hoping to stop by to check it out depending on her schedule.

“Duty calls,” laughs Joy. “Grape season is my busiest time but at the very least I’ll be at the Maker Faire in spirit.”

Admirers of Joy’s work are welcome to direct custom design and tailoring inquiries to


Joy and Myra Rose at a recent meeting of the board of directors of the Fredonia Farmers’ Market.


Get a glimpse of where our Mini Maker Faire is happening on Fredonia campus

Our small team of organizers and producers is working feverishly to prepare for the first Fredonia Mini Maker Faire on the campus of The State University of New York at Fredonia on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016.

We want to take a moment to share with you some images of the buildings on campus where the bulk of Maker Faire activities, displays and demonstrations will take place.

The event is happening in two spaces – the new, state-of-the-art, award-winning Science Center as well as the Williams Center – with a bevy of food trucks parked in between the two buildings. Additionally, we will have Makers, displays, demonstrations and performers scattered between the buildings and on the lawns and common areas around the heart of the beautiful campus.

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The new Science Center is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. The TeaRex Cafe is a popular spot to pause for a bubble tea and other refreshments.



The Williams Center will host a variety of Makers and make-and-take activities as well. There is a Tim  Hortons in the building where attendees can purchase food and drinks.


In addition to the food trucks onsite, there is also a newly refurbished Starbucks at Cranston Hall.

There is ample free parking on campus on Ring Road and in various lots scattered across campus.



Manual, agreement sent to Makers

The Fredonia Mini Maker Faire’s MAKER MANUAL and MAKER AGREEMENT were sent out this week.

We apologize for the delay in sending them; we had to resolve some technical issues that hindered submission.

If you did not receive them please download them here or e-mail us at

We appreciate your patience as we prepare for the Oct. 22 main event!

Maker Meetup set Aug. 17 at Science Center on campus of Fredonia

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Check out the new Science Center on the campus of Fredonia, the State University of New York, on Wednesday, Aug. 17 at a Fredonia Mini Maker Faire social gathering and Maker Meetup from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
FREDONIA – Learn more about the upcoming Fredonia Mini Maker Faire at a Maker Meetup social hour Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the atrium of the new Science Center on the campus of Fredonia, the State University of New York. There is ample nearby parking and a few entrances to access the facility.

Join a community of creative people organizing the first Maker Faire in the region and find out where you can fit in. Makers (STEM enthusiasts, artists, inventors, creators, tinkerers, performers and beyond) are invited to bring examples of their creations and projects. The public is invited to learn more about the Maker Movement in anticipation of the free, family-friendly main event slated Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Fredonia State campus.

The Fredonia Mini Maker Faire is a collaborative effort of Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, Fredonia, and MAKE magazine with the support of the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System, Lumsden & McCormick LLP of Buffalo and other generous sponsors.

Described as a “circus of creativity” and “the world’s greatest show-and-tell,” there has never been anything quite like a Maker Faire in Chautauqua County.

Deadline for applying to be a featured Maker is Aug. 22.  E-mail for more information.


Join our Circus of Creativity


Come one, come all to join our Circus of Creativity ahead of the inaugural Fredonia Mini Maker Faire in October. Our community of Makers in Chautauqua County is growing by the day and we want you to be part of the Maker Movement in Western New York.

Join us for an informative social gathering on Tuesday, July 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES LoGuidice Educational Center, 9520 Fredonia-Stockton Road, Fredonia.

The Maker Meetups are free and no-obligation. We will have an APPLICATION STATION set up for those who haven’t applied or are having trouble applying to our CALL FOR MAKERS on this website.

Our last Maker Meetup was a few weeks ago in June and we had a blast piloting Maker Jess Ellen Boice’s abstract watercolor cards. Some other makers showed off their metalwork, their sewn creations and even played a video game designed by an elementary-school-aged Maker.

It is our hope that aspiring Makers will find our gatherings inspirational and discover within themselves the potential to pursue their passions with the encouragement of established Makers.

What do you like to do? What do you want to make? Who do you want to be? The Fredonia Mini Maker Faire  can help you find a way to make it happen!




What is a Maker Faire?

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A Maker Faire brings together people who love to create and show what they have made. The Fredonia Maker Faire is an opportunity to meet other makers, create, learn, discover and play.

What is a Maker?

Makers come in all ages, sizes, skills and abilities. Makers are techies, crafters, artists, musicians, tinkerers, inventors, homesteaders and more. Makers sew their own clothes, brew their own beer, bake their own bread, and write their own code; they make movies, music and more. They weld, they sew, and they build with Legos.

Call for Makers

See the application on the righthand side of this site. The Fredonia Maker Faire will be held Saturday, October 22, 2016 on the Fredonia State campus.