From Hobby to Thriving Business: The Story of Scarpari Baskets

Elderly Billings couple stay mentally engaged with basket-weaving enterprise

In the early 1990s, Jill and Paul Scarpari discovered their love for basket-making and turned it into a thriving business. It all began when Jill attended her first basket-making class in 1991 and became captivated by the craft. Impressed with her creations, Paul tried his hand at basket-making in 1995 and struggled at first to make baskets that stood on their own.

Over time, Paul perfected the art of basket-making and the couple accumulated an impressive collection of baskets. However, 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.

Basket-making is not just a business for the Scarparis; it’s also a passion project that they enjoy immensely. They find satisfaction in creating new types of baskets and are constantly challenged by the different styles and techniques involved. For Jill and Paul, retirement has provided them with the time to focus on their craft and add an element of fulfillment to their post-career lives.

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