From a Single Basket-Making Class to a Successful Business: The Story of Scarpari Baskets

Elderly Billings couple stay mentally engaged with basket-weaving enterprise

Jill and Paul Scarpari have been making handmade baskets together since the early 1990s. It all started when Jill attended her first basket-making class in 1991 and became obsessed with the craft. Impressed by her creations, Paul decided to try his hand at basket-making in 1995.

At first, Paul struggled to make baskets that stood on their own, but with practice and determination, he mastered the craft. As the couple continued to create more baskets, their family members grew tired of receiving them as gifts, prompting them to start selling their creations.

Today, Scarpari Baskets can be found in local stores such as Frae in Shiloh Commons and Three Rivers Gallery in Big Timber, ranging in price from $20 to $300. The business is not just a source of income for the retired couple, but also a passion project that they enjoy. They find satisfaction in creating new types of baskets and challenging themselves to produce pieces that people will love.

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