ENDICOTT, N.Y. - A local textile artist is ramping up production as she prepares to sell her products at a major department store chain.
Andrea Coonick is a 5th generation seamstress who creates therapeutic pillows.
The colorful soft sculpture pieces are made with velvet, silk or rayon-silk brocades and stuffed with an all-natural mix of lavender blossoms and either flax seed or buckwheat hulls.
They can be warmed in the microwave or chilled in the freezer for comfort and soothing of stress and pain.
Coonick's business, Candi Andi, which she operates out of her home in Endicott, has been chosen to participate in The Bon Ton's "Close to Home" handmade department.
After making decorative pillows for years, she launched the therapeutic pillow business eight years ago and named it Candi Andi.
"I love tactile, bright colors and the bright colors kind of look like candies when I put them together. And my childhood nickname was Candi Andi because I have an incredible sweet tooth," said Coonick.
Coonick says starting sometime this month, the pillows will be available at Bon Ton stores at the Oakdale Mall, the Arnot Mall in Horseheads, and two others in the Buffalo area.
They offer four different colors of the sleep eye masks and the soothing wrap heating pads.
Coonick farms out some of the labor to local stay at home Moms who sew the pillows in their spare time.
In order to purchase the initial materials, Candi Andi has launched a Go Fund Me page to raise money.
You can see the complete range of products at CandiAndi.com.