What do you make?
Mostly vintage re-worked jewelry. Though past items have included scarves made from “rescued” wool sweaters, brooches made with vintage ribon, and sushi for kitties made with felted wool scraps. And of course there was the organic cotton panties screen printed with “eat organic” on them. Cheeky, yes.
What or who inspires you?
I’ve always been inspired to work with existing materials; thrift stores have been a huge inspiration to me. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure is pretty much my personal motto.
How did you get started?
I always used to be crafty when I was young. I remember making an entire stable for my toy horses out of cardboard boxes. Shredded newspaper was the straw in their stalls, and I used twine to fashion halters for them. Then I became a graphic designer and channeled my creative energy onto the computer. Then I got burned out on being in front of the computer all day and started making stuff by hand to get away from the that.
I rode the wave of the revival of handmade stuff about 6 years ago when I walked into a store wearing one of my scarves and the store owner said she wanted to carry them in her boutique.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Vintage, thrifted, recycled, refound, back alley finds….
What is the hardest and most favourite part of crafting?
Without a doubt, the hardest part is keeping up with the paperwork that comes along with being a sole proprietor. I took art in high school, not math!
My most favorite part is when I am selling at a market and I get to see one of my creations find the perfect home with a lovely woman who really appreciates the work.
List 3 of your favourite links and why you like them
Etsy: Well, I’m on etsy pretty much every day. It’s a been such an amazing, affordable way to set up an on-line store.
Cute Overload: If I have half an hour to waste, I’ll get on cuteoverload.com and laugh my guts out.
Super Naturale: A fantastic source for all things creative. I look forward to their newsletters.
Do you have any advice for those in the biz?
Don’t be too precious about the stuff you make. It is a business transaction, and as such, you have to develop a bit of a thick skin and view your products from the customers point of view. That said, don’t ever make and sell something you are not 100% in love with… and pricing! Gah – I hate it when I see a new crafter/designer/artist selling their stuff too cheap! Pay yourself a decent hourly wage, remember to include any overhead you have, and for god’s sake, build in a profit!
Art vs. Craft – Are these terms different? Do you consider yourself an artist or a crafter?
I think there is a difference… related to artists dedication to a consistent vision / body of work over the years….. but I’m not going to presume to fully answer that question ever! I consider myself a designer.
Check out Christi on the Steven and Chris show: Episode 120 – April 10 (approx. 25:35)!
(photo images courtesy of Christi York / BuenoStyle)
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