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Macrame’ for stress relief turned into a sideline business

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
EZB Creations artist Emmalee Zeelie with daughters Yanika, 6, and Esmé, almost 5, pose with EZB Creations macramé wall hangings in the background. Zeelie  sells her work through Market 54 and Giesen Greenhouse in Pratt and online through her EZB Creations Facebook site and also through Instagram.

Less than a year after trying her hand at macramé, 32-year-old Emmalee Zeelie of Pratt has not only mastered the art, she has turned it into a thriving business venture, displaying her intricate creations locally at Market 54 and Giesen Greenhouse and selling online through her EZB Creations Facebook site and also through Instagram.

Zeelie’s creations include plant hangers, wall hangings, wood shelves with macramé backing, macramé shelving for essential oils, even macramé dangling earrings. She also makes felt wreaths and wood bead garlands and a variety of other décor.

“I like to have a purpose for what I make,” Zeelie said. “I like my creations to be beautiful and functional.”

It all started last fall, Zeelie said, when she felt she needed stress relief and chose macramé – the art of knotting – as a relaxation technique.

“As I focused on knotting, my stress just poured out of me. Somehow doing macramé just worked as my stress relief,” Zeelie said.

“I’m completely self-taught, I really knew nothing about macramé’, except that I liked the macramé creations and art I’d seen and thought it would be fun to try,” Zeelie said.

Zeelie said she learned by watching YouTube videos.

“I would watch the videos showing different kinds of knots and go to bed and dream about them and the next morning I would figure it out,” Zeelie said.

“I do come from a family of artists,” said Zeelie, daughter of Blake and Chris Himmelwright of Pratt.

“My Grandma Suzanne – Dad’s mom – is 92. She lives in California and is still doing watercolors. I have lots of her work in my house.”

Zeelie’s husband Divan participates in the home-based business by making the wooden pieces for the macramé and other creations in their garage workshop, evenings and weekends.

The couple has two daughters – Yanika, age six, and Esmé, who will turn five this month, celebrating her birthday on July 10.

Divan grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and the couple met in 2010 when Divan traveled to Pratt as part of a summer work crew.

He is currently employed as maintenance and electrical instrument manager at Machinery Link in Pratt.

“It’s amazing how much my life has changed this past year,” Zeelie said. “The stress that was dragging me down is gone and my life is filled with new challenges and opportunities.”