Monday, February 15, 2010

Featured Artist Stacie of Deepshade Creations









This week’s featured artist is EtsyNJ member Stacie of Deepshade Creations, http://www.deepshade.etsy.com/. Stacie fashions wild and wonderful chainmail jewelry (see here for some truly inspired selections) designed to make you stand out. To quote the Deepshade Creations shop announcement, “if you're searching for bold, attention-getting jewelry with real personality, you've come to the right place.” Intrigued? Then stop on by for a fun and unique shopping experience!

1. The Tote Trove (TTT): When and why did you decide to turn your passion for jewelry making into a business?

Stacie (S): It happened way back when I was working at my very first job. It hit me that my time was no longer completely mine, that I wasn't able to do something as simple as decide to take a weekend trip without having to run it by someone else and get permission first, that I could no longer make plans without having to fit them around someone else's schedule, that somebody had the authority to tell me I couldn't do what I wanted with my time if it wasn't convenient for them first. It horrified me when I realized people are expected to spend their entire lives trapped like this, and I saw my love of jewelry as my doorway out.

2. TTT: What is your favorite item in your shop?

S: It's a draw between the Midnight Lace Choker and the Cold Fire Handflowers. My favorite designs are always the boldest, most outrageous ones. I figure, what's the point of wearing jewelry if it's just going to blend into your clothing and not be noticed? Or if it looks exactly like something you could buy at seven different stores in the mall? I love accessories that stand out and demand attention!

3. TTT: What items, if any, would you like to add to your shop?

S: There are so many possibilities; it's hard for me to keep my shop looking coherent sometimes, because I always get so many ideas for new things to try! What I'm currently working on is incorporating the chainmail into sewn accessories such as wide cloth bracelets with chain embellishments, cloth purses with chainmail overlay, etc. I'm hoping to have some of these new pieces ready to go by springtime.

4. TTT: Describe your creative process. Do you follow a routine, create when inspiration strikes, or a little bit of both?

S: I'm terrible when it comes to routine, not just with the creative process, but with anything. So yes, I do a lot of creating when the inspiration strikes. I also have a lot of fun just randomly experimenting with new designs, seeing what I can come up with by pairing colors and patterns that I wouldn't normally have considered.

5. TTT: Do you sell your work in venues outside of Etsy (i.e., other sites, craft shows, etc.)? If yes, then how does selling online differ from selling in person?

S: I also sell from my main, non-Etsy web site and at craft shows. I find it's much more challenging to sell online than in person, because with jewelry, there's a tendency to want to see and touch and try on before buying. That's understandable. The jewelry you wear is an expression of yourself, and you want to be sure you really love a piece before you commit to it. Because you can't do that online, artists have to rely heavily on making the photos and descriptions seem as real as possible, to give someone the feeling that they're really seeing the jewelry for themselves, not just reading about it. Another huge difference is the fact that in person you're able to enjoy talking and getting to know your customers and see them leave your booth happily wearing your jewelry. Selling online is a little less personal. But I try to make up for that by connecting through Twitter and Facebook.

6. TTT: Are there any new artistic/creative skills you’d like to learn?

S: I would love to take a class in metalwork. I've seen some really amazing creations by metal artists, and I think it would be really interesting to get a feel for how they do it. Plus I would love to be able to make little components that I could incorporate into the jewelry I already make, something to mix things up a little.

7. TTT: According to your Etsy profile, you’re studying Spanish and Russian. That sounds challenging. What inspired you to learn these languages?

S: I've had an interest in learning to speak foreign languages ever since my high school Spanish teacher told me I had a knack for it and made me realize that maybe it wasn't just something I was learning to fulfil a requirement. It's something that comes easy to me (relatively easy, that is -- it can still be a huge challenge some days!) and that I really enjoy. When everyone else in high school was taking extra science classes or music classes, I was taking Spanish, French, and German at the same time. I love traveling, and I really like the idea of being able to speak the language of the countries I visit, rather than surviving from a phrasebook. I'll be living in Chile for several months later this year, so that should be a pretty good test of how I'm doing with my Spanish!

8. TTT: What are your hopes for Deepshade Creations in the future?

S: I like the idea of having a small brick-and-mortar shop someday, maybe in Philadelphia or another nearby city. But as for the near future, I'd love to take the craft shows a step up and start taking part in larger, higher-end ones in cities across the country. I think it would be amazing fun to spend six months traveling from show to show and seeing all the places I've never been before and what they have to offer. Maybe next year will be the year!

9. TTT: BONUS QUESTION. Just for fun, if you were stranded on a deserted island and had to eat the same thing every day, what would it be? You can pick a drink and a dessert, too. (I find that dreaming up a whole meal makes this game more entertaining!)

S: Pizza with everything on it. I don't think I've ever gotten sick of pizza in my life. As for the drink and dessert, I think I'd go with unsweetened raspberry tea and cherry cheesecake. Where is this deserted island with all my favorite foods on it, anyway? Being stranded there doesn't sound half bad!

Thanks for checking out Deepshade Creations and getting acquainted with Stacie! Need to delve deeper into Deepshade? Then be sure to follow Stacie on Facebook and Twitter:

http://www.facebook.com/deepshadecreations

http://www.twitter.com/deepshade

Don't forget to drop by next week for a fresh interview. Oh, and if you or someone you know would like to be interviewed, then don’t hesitate to email me at thetotetrove@gmail.com. Thanks!

4 comments:

Made by Melissa said...

Great interview! I love chain maille, its so cool and looks like it requires a lot of patience! Beautiful work!

Lulu said...

Wow - I have trouble speaking proper English let alone another language! You obviously have a talent for language, as well as creating chain maille jewelry! :) Love the pictures too!
--Laura @ PetScribbles

The Tote Trove said...

Thanks for reading!

Deepshade Creations said...

Thanks so much for interviewing me! I had a lot of fun with this and look forward to reading about upcoming featured artists :)