Elderly Billings couple stay mentally engaged with basket-weaving enterprise

From Hobby to Thriving Business: The Inspiring Story of Scarpari Baskets

In the early 1990s, Jill and Paul Scarpari turned their hobby of making handmade baskets into a thriving business. It all started when Jill attended her first basket-making class in 1991 and became captivated by the craft. Impressed by her creations, Paul decided to give basket-making a try in 1995.

At first, Paul struggled to create baskets that stood on their own, but with persistence and practice, he mastered the art. As their collection grew, their family members grew tired of receiving them as gifts, prompting the couple to start selling their baskets. Today, Scarpari Baskets can be found in local stores such as Frae in Shiloh Commons and Three Rivers Gallery in Big Timber, ranging from $20 to $300.

For Paul, making baskets is not just a business venture; it’s also a mentally stimulating passion project. With so many different types and styles of baskets to create – from small pine needle baskets to large hampers and backpacks – there’s always something new to explore. Retirement has given the couple the time to focus on their craft and add an element of fulfillment to their post-career lives.

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