Crafting Success: Jill and Paul Scarpari’s Handmade Baskets Evoke Creativity and Satisfaction

Elderly Billings couple stay mentally engaged with basket-weaving enterprise

Jill and Paul Scarpari have been making handmade baskets for over two decades, turning their hobby into a successful business. It all began when Jill attended her first basket-making class in 1991 and became captivated by the craft. Impressed with Jill’s creations, Paul decided to give basket-making a try in 1995.

Initially, Paul struggled to create baskets that stood on their own, but with practice, he mastered the art. As the couple accumulated an impressive collection of 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.

For Paul, making baskets is not only a creative outlet but also a mentally stimulating pastime. With so many different types and styles to choose from, from small pine needle baskets to large hampers and backpacks, there’s always something new to explore. Retirement has given him the time and freedom to focus on his passion project, adding an element of fulfillment to his post-career life.

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