At work with Alison: Baskets by Shelia

KINGWOOD, W.Va. (WDTV) - Preston County native Shelia Brown has been weaving baskets for 25 years.

Shelia works on one of her baskets.

"I took a beginning basket weaving class in Morgantown from a retired WVU Professor, Ken Carvell. I did that and I just absolutely loved making baskets," Shelia said.

Seven years ago she decided to start her own business, Baskets by Shelia, and sells her creation online and at three craft shows, the Mountaineer Week Craft Fair in Morgantown, Spruce Forest Artisan Village in Maryland, and Holiday Open House at Hopping Acres in Preston County.

"It lets me express my creative side. I might make one basket that's more functional and then I might do another basket that's very artsy" she explained.

Each basket starts as a base, either flat wood or woven.

"You have to figure out the size of your base, the size of your ending basket, and create your spokes. Then you use whatever materials you want to use to create that basket," said Shelia.

Shelia creates over 450 different designs and has even incorporated deer antlers, metal, and ribbon into her baskets.

"I designed a basket a few years ago that I call a 'Cardinal Basket' and it has the colors of the male and female cardinals, and I saw those [birds] outside my window," she said.

For Shelia, the best thing about her business is being able to use her baskets to help her community.

"I'm up to almost 100 baskets that I have been able to donate to various causes. So sometimes I'll hear a story on NPR that touches me, so the next basket I make that's a special order I might ask the person to make a donation. So it's a way for me to give back," said Shelia.