Miniature Art with Geraldine

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Hello everyone. Today for the Inspiration column, it’s all about macarons. And cake. And cupcakes. And chocolate dripping, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries piled on fondants and cream…well, you get the idea. It’s a sweet interview! Geraldine makes these deliciously detailed desserts.. out of polymer clay. And obviously, you can wear them and once you put them on, you feel an urge to go out and treat yourself to a nice slice of cake etc. Ha!

Let’s get down to the matter: She sells her lovely little creations in her shop called Gemnesis. And, she’s going to be sharing a little bit about her creative process and her inspiration. Seriously, I’m always in awe of the ‘fine’ details in art and she makes miniature desserts too?! Consider me a fan. Now on to what she has to say…


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello. My name is Geraldine and I am 24 years old. I am currently taking my degree in early childhood and at the same time building my business selling my creations.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

 I love the delicate details in your polymer clay creations! Could you share the story of how you started using this particular medium?

Since young art has always been my favourite subject, particularly- painting. However, I always loved creating things with my hands. About 8 years ago, I chanced upon this tutorial that used polymer clay to create cute animals. Together with my mum, we went to the store and she got me my first set of polymer clay kit and an oven.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow do you maintain the balance between regular life and your work?

I only started getting serious about setting up my own business late last year as I had a full time. Before that, it was just a hobby I loved and my shop was to sell my creations to others who would love them as much as I did. To be honest, when school gets busy, my shop is usually very empty. I do try my best to stock up whenever I’m free so I usually start crafting when I have the time again.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I think everything about starting a business isn’t easy, from having to produce the product from scratch, to setting up a shop and marketing, everything takes time and experience. Mistakes will be made for us to learn from them. But the easiest part would definitely to be able to do something you love to do.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat makes you the happiest in your creative process?

Looking at all the delicious dessert online and offline and in my own style, making them into delicious looking polymer clay jewelry. I can never say no to desserts so it excites me that I can gather inspiration and eat at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comCould you give us a glimpse in a typical day of your life?

I usually start my morning on the wrong side of the bed because I am definitely not a morning person. It takes me at least 2 hours from waking up to be fully functional.

Depending on how my day is planned, I would either head out, start on my creations or study. If I am home the whole day, it would consist of lazing in bed A LOT. What can I say? I love my bed. The rest of the day would be alternating between working and lazing around.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

The first most important thing is you have to have the passion for what you are doing. A handmade business would require you to turn your hobby into a business. Thus, you need to have love for what you are doing in the first place. Secondly, what you are selling should be something that you really enjoy making. I started out with a lot of trial and error. I tried out making animals, little people and that are even of my own creations (big head dolls with round bodies and hands with no feet at all.). It was only in recent years that I realised that I loved making delicious looking desserts the best. This made my clay making even more enjoyable.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
Where do you see yourself in a few years?

In a few years, I hope to be able to make this business my full time job and focus on what I love to do the most.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comWhat motivates and inspires you the most?

DESSERTS! As well as the love and support I have gained from my love ones. They are the ones who paid for my materials when I was out of money and also encouraged me to pursue what I love. I also love looking at other polymer clay artists’ work. When I am out of inspiration, looking at others’ work can actually motivate me to do more!

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow long has jewelry making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I started making jewelry when I was around 16 years old and it has stuck with me since then. I wanted to do something I love so I thought it would be a good idea to convert it into a business.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comJust for fun: What’s your favourite colour, flower and food? 

I love, love the colour pink!- so much I have to restrain myself from getting pink clay and creating all pink desserts. I love sunflowers the most because of their bright happy colours. If I would have to say my favourite food, I can eat nuggets everyday.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.comHow did you come up with the name for your shop?

I am really bad at coming with shop names. Before I got things serious, I came up with a few names myself. My first shop name way back in 2011 was Treasure Whispers then, Hut of Presents and I even tried to use my own name for a shop name.

My sister was the one who gave the name. It sounds like genesis which means a beginning and gem at the front is to show how much my creations mean to me, just like gems.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com

There’s a great emphasis on sweet treats in your work. Do you think you’ll explore other elements/themes later on?

If I were to explore other themes, they would definitely be cute looking miniature animals.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What would an ‘ideal’ day be like for you?

My ideal day would be: at home with the people I love, eating tasty cakes and working on my creations with fun and laughter at the same time.

Miniature Art + Jewelry with Gemnesis- a creative maker interview with Opinion9.com
What’s the significance of art in your life?

Art is something I can find happiness and solace in when I’m sad. When upset, creating things with my hands makes me forget about the worries and stress that I face. It also makes me happy and I see how a piece of clay can slowly turn into something that can look so beautiful.

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Find Gemnesis here: Instagram |  Facebook | Etsy | Blog 

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Modern Style from Maple + Mauve

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I am big fan of anyone who really adds something new to style in jewelry. Also, total respect for someone who actually dares to do something different. And that’s why I’m so happy to have on the Inspiration Series- Sera of Maple + Mauve.

I was so drawn by the bare simplicity of her work and the sheer minimalism that makes it so chic. The minimal trend has caught on, and I’m totally on board with it.

However, Sera’s work is not just the normal minimal- it stands out like pieces of art in a stream of manufactured ‘minimals’. She’s also got a sharp eye for aesthetics, and I love how that reflects in her work. My perspective on her beautiful jewelry would be : modern, unaffected, focused and rare. Read on to her what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sera Rogers and I am the owner of Maple + Mauve, a Seattle based jewelry studio specializing in concrete, wood, and ceramic wares. I started Maple + Mauve in 2012 when I decided to make minimal and architecturally inspired jewelry for myself. Then I started sharing it with the world. This little video highlights a closer and more intimate look at my making process.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

I love your minimal and cool style! Do you have a particular theme for each batch of jewelry you create? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

Thank you! Each piece is quite planned. I usually conceptualize my designs at night before I go to bed. I think my mind starts to quiet then and I can visualize my creative direction more clearly. Typically, I start with a sketch and then I will either 3D print, or cut the mold from wood, then start the casting process. Often I’ll make my designs out of paper first to get a sense of shape and scale.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

The hardest part of starting a business, in my opinion, is convincing yourself you can. I have gone through so many personal ups and downs throughout the process. Being part of such a talented, yet very saturated market, it can take some convincing that you belong. Whenever I feel stressed or start to second guess myself I look for personal support from friends and family. My dear friend Becky famously assures me, ‘you are lovable and capable.’ I try to repeat this to myself as much as possible. It helps me remember to be kind to myself. No one gets anywhere alone, and my friends and family are as much to credit for my success as I am.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I am probably happiest at the very beginning of the creative process, or for me, the idea-generating part. Ideas usually flow when I am most relaxed and most often when I am traveling and exploring. When you can achieve a mindset that is completely open to new ideas, regardless of what barriers you think stand in the way, creative opportunities become completely endless. This mental place is where my best work comes from.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

No two days are exactly the same. I usually wake up and immediately make a cup of coffee. Then, weather permitting, I walk around Greenlake (a lake very close to my neighborhood) with a few of my whip-smart and inspiring girlfriends. It’s important for me to get out of the studio and into the fresh Seattle air, both for my creative mind and my social needs. If I don’t make a conscious effort to do that, I can very easily go the whole day with my head down working inside and then, come nightfall, I am very grumpy. After that, a typical day involves concrete casting and clay molding, often in the morning and then again in the early evening. My afternoons are usually consumed with emailing, shipping, photography and bookkeeping. I try to stick to a fairly structured schedule, especially because my husband keeps fairly 9-5 business hours and I want to be able to spend evenings with him. If I don’t consciously make that effort, I can easily work all night.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 ConcreteTriangleEarringsBeckyBaseGreywithTanScarfWhat qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

Confidence, hard work and humility are needed to keep up with being a small business owner. Being able to admit that you don’t know everything, asking for help, and allowing yourself to be open to constructive criticism are certainly key to growing and improving. As far as enjoying running a business, being your own boss certainly has it’s advantages. A flexible work schedule is probably the best part. That, and creating work that I can call my own, and that I am proud of is incredibly gratifying. I work more than I did when I held more conventional jobs, but for me, it’s much more rewarding.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

(Love the peaceful vibes of Sera’s studio- all the greens, blues and whites!)

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I would love to have a larger studio space, and an assistant!

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I love traveling throughout the Pacific Northwest and pull inspiration from the people I meet and the places I am fortunate enough to explore. I feel so grateful to live in a vibrant city that supports local artists. There is so much talent here! Alternatively, I find myself feeling inspired by old oddities. I love to go to vintage markets, consignment shops and estate sales. It’s a small thrill for me to imagine the relationship people had with certain objects before I interact with them.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

How long has jewellery making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I’ve been making this kind of jewelry since 2012, but I’ve been a maker my whole life. I thought I could make it a business when people started asking where they could purchase my designs, but I was creating and selling my work for almost 2 years before taking the leap and transitioning Maple + Mauve into to a full time career.

 Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 GlobeConcreteNecklace11

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 SquareCuffLinksJustin

 

What present would you like to receive? (For any occasion)

Probably a membership to audible.com, so I could listen to all the books on my ‘to read’ list while I work! I love to read but can’t always find the time; and there are so many mornings when I am very much in a book listening mood while I am creating. I don’t know why I haven’t just broken down and done this for myself already, I most likely will just go ahead and do so after this interview.

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9 WoodandConcreteNecklace1

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Modern Style from Maple + Mauve via Opinion9

Any insight on your name Maple + Mauve?

I once read a story in a children’s book about William Perkin’s accidental invention of the color mauve while mixing chemicals. I liked that a beautiful color was created by chance and then went on to inspire, and in a way revolutionize fashion. I found that optimism inspiring and wanted to have the same approach with my products. I thought “mauve” seemed lonely by itself. Since I knew one of my mediums would be wood, ‘maple’ followed quite organically.

Thanks, Sera, for a glimpse into Maple + Mauve! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

Find Sera on Instagram and on the Maple + Mauve  Website.

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Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

When it comes to jewellery, you can usually find a lot of predictable stuff in shops. Generic, cliched, pretty, but not with much thought behind it.

Which brings me to this feature in the O9 Inspiration series.

I came across Charlotte Filshie’s website one day, where she sells these really cute and amazing accessories- with different themes like dinosaurs and geometric shapes. Plenty of colour, too. And what’s really distinctive about her creations are- (more distinctive than a Brontosaurus brooch) she makes all of them with materials like vinyl, wall coverings, cork and more; which definitely fall in the unconventional category. I love that she basically changes the purpose of each material, and crafts with an alternative approach! Originality is key, always. I’m loving the cheerful vibes and creative thought behind Charlotte’s work.

Read on to hear what Charlotte has to say.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Charlotte; I am from Australia and have lived in London for 2 years. I studied an Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Jewellery) in Melbourne, and since then, I have made all kinds of jewellery from all kinds of materials. When I was studying I did a subject called Hunter Gatherer where we had to use alternative materials to create jewellery. I loved the subject and began using old interior design samples to make my jewellery, I found the materials to often have very tactile qualities. I now use vinyl wall-covering and vinyl floor tiles to make my jewellery. I have recently started expanding my designs into coasters, tote bags, gift tags, postcards and bunting.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

I love your colourful and dinosaur themed jewellery! Do you plan themes or is the process more spontaneous?

It’s pretty spontaneous. I usually get an idea and just start designing and drawing in Illustrator, and then it all goes from there. I use Illustrator so I can resize and re-colour everything easily.
My new postcards and gift tags actually came from a joke between a friend and I. She ordered some coasters on my Etsy store and made some pretty funny requests for the dinosaurs, toilet trained, proficient in martial arts, cookie making and fetching slippers. She also requested a book about their family history. Naturally, I decided to make little books for each dinosaur and draw them doing all the things she requested. I ended up using some of the drawings and drew some new ones that now feature on the postcards and gift tags.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I started my business a long time ago in Australia, but it was always a part-time thing. In the beginning the hardest thing was finding the time as I was juggling full-time work. Now I am in London, the hardest part has been finding stockists and getting my name out. Being in a completely new place is tricky, but, the longer I am in London, the easier it’s getting.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I love when I finish a design. Seeing the final product is always so gratifying. It’s so great to see the hard work and hours that go into making all the decisions that go into each piece.
Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

I usually get up and go for a 3 mile walk, then get home and begin my work day.
I always make sure I get any orders packed first, this gives me time to make anything that I don’t have stock of. I also make extra stock for shops and markets if I have some coming up.
My afternoons are spent doing new designs, uploading new product to online stores, answering emails and doing research. I also go to the Post Office in the afternoon. At 6 I watch the news and sit on my laptop looking things up, checking social media, and watching TV.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

You need to love what you do. If you don’t love it, it will be boring and become like a chore.
You need to be adventurous. Trying new things can be scary, but you need to keep trying new things so it’s still fun and exciting (not only for you, but for your customers as well!).

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I imagine I will still be in London, making jewellery, accessories and homewares, but I will be much, much more successful! Haha! I would also love to have a store of my own, but that’s a long way off!

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What motivates/inspires you the most?

Seeing how people react to my work is such a great motivator. I get to meet people at markets and hearing their feedback is so great. It can be a bit crazy when someone says they recognize my work from a store or I see someone wearing one of my pieces on the street. The feeling is so great to see people who love something you love.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Can you list five things at the top of your head that interest you nowadays when it comes to design?
Geometric shapes & patterns
Dinosaurs
Art Deco
Bright vibrant colours
Spots

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What tools do you work with to create/ design your products?

To make my jewellery I use scissors and scalpels to cut all the wall covering and vinyl. I don’t use any laser cutters, it’s all hand cut. I file the edges of each piece with a Dremel so they are nice and smooth. I have also attached a tiny drill bit to the handle of a scalpel so I can drill holes in some of the tiny pieces, using an electric drill was dangerous so I had to improvise.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Just for fun: What are your favourite flower, animal and book/movie?

My favorite flower is a snapdragon, animal is giraffe and movie is Dirty Dancing….I think. Ugh there are just too many!

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What do you do in your free time?

I love to go to markets, have brunch, explore, travel, and generally just relax.

Could you share three tips for people starting a creative business like yours?

Be original, don’t give up and have fun!

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Thank you, Charlotte, for a little glimpse into your creative process! Wishing you the very best ahead!

-Aaria

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Find Charlotte and shop her colourful creations here:

Website: charlottefilshie.com

Instagram: @charlottefilshie_jewellery

Twitter: @charlottefil

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Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Hello! I got the chance to ask Ashley Henderson of Zella Woods some questions about her creative work- and boy, was I blown away by the passion and creativity with which she handles her business. I also found it intriguing that each piece of jewelry she crafts holds a different message- to different people and also has a special significance in Ashley’s creative process. Read on to discover the world that is Zella Woods- and thank you, Ashley, for such interesting and honest answers!

 Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Please tell me a little bit about yourself. 

I am Ashley Henderson – a Southern California native, living and loving in Austin, Texas. I am the lucky wife to one very selfless husband, the mommy to one very strong-willed 4-year-old daughter, and the owner // designer // maker behind Zella Woods Designs (zellawoods.com).

I have been fortunate to travel a lot at a young age and even live abroad in college. However, the list of places I want to go and see gets longer every day. This exposure to travel has heavily influenced the way I see things creatively and is the foundation behind my jewelry designs. I am inspired by foreign cultures and their craft, I tend to love everything vintage and I am a firm believer in supporting handmade makers as often as possible. The same heart that lives in them lives in me.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

How do you maintain the balance between regular life and your work?

I may not always get this part just right, but I sure try. One of the things I miss about working in an office is the idea of checking in at 9am and checking out at 5pm. When you’re the boss and the only one behind the business that just doesn’t happen. It’s really hard to turn work off when it’s in your home and all on your shoulders.

But it’s also really great to be the only one making decisions, getting to do things your own way and not having to answer to anyone else. So it’s a learning process. I have had to learn to identify over the years when work is consuming my every thought and unplug. Take healthy breaks – whether it’s a real lunch break or a week off. I’ve learned a better routine of setting boundaries. It helps too when kids get to school age because it sets a designated work window.

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What was the hardest part while starting your business?

The hardest part for me is, and always has been, talking about myself. Promoting what I make and myself doesn’t come natural to me. It’s very stressful, personally, to contact bloggers or shops and ask them to feature / carry my work. It’s something I’m still not great at I’d say, but something I have definitely worked hard to improve on over the last year specifically and it’s paying off.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

 

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

The passion behind my business is rooted in love – my love for family, love for travel, love for design, and above all love for God.

My grandmother had passed away before I was born, but she has always been with me. She is Zella Woods – the original inspiration and namesake for Zella Woods Designs. She was an immaculate lady in a generation that valued the idea of always looking and wearing your best, even if you spent your days in the kitchen at home. Seeing her in pictures throughout the 1950-60’s is how I’ve developed a nostalgia for all things mid-century vintage. When I work to salvage pieces of jewelry from that time period, or design new items using original parts from that era, it reminds me of her and the affinity you feel for family.

When I use materials ethically sourced from other countries, it reminds me of the whimsy and naivety when being totally immersed in a foreign place. Somewhere totally unknown, where the language isn’t understood and the culture are beyond my wildest imagination. That sense of being totally outside my comfort level; that’s where true adventure lies, and you never forget the feeling.

When my daughter came along, she was named after her great grandmother too. That sparked a totally new chapter of creativity. Now when I make custom pieces for mommies that remind them of their littles, it tugs at my heart. When I have women fighting cancer that order custom bracelets with phrases of affirmation or words of strength, that stuff means so much more than the words I inscribe. These things speak so deeply to my soul and the purpose God has put on my heart to fulfill with my hands.

My ultimate hope is to live a quiet life and work with my hands to make jewelry that people treasure like memories – timeless pieces that speak to the individual rather than the masses.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

I feel like my average day never has a typical rhythm. Sometimes it starts with a tea party and mommy duties before replying to emails and getting my social media game on. Other days it’s straight into the grind – making product, fulfilling orders, sketching new design ideas and photographing product for the website. No two days are ever the same. Which is how I like it. One of my favorite parts about my job is that I can flex my schedule around my daughters needs. If she wants to play dress up or cowboys and indians around the backyard for an hour, I can press pause on work and soak up those memories. Other times she’s right there beside me pretending to make jewelry and learning to use my tools. It’s a beautiful thing to see her creativity blossom behind what I call work. That alone makes my heart full most days.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business? 

Determination. It’s a must. There are days where things are totally overwhelming. I’ve heard myself saying I just can’t do this anymore and then I remind myself why I do what I do – I love it. My husband helps remind me of that all the time to, it’s impossible without support.

When you make something you love into work, you have to be ready to fight for it when things get hard. If I hear myself saying something that I wouldn’t want my daughter telling herself (like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not as good as so-and-so with 50k followers”) I shut it down, immediately. I dive into the Bible or a devotional and refocus. God has me right where I am supposed to be. I’m not going to doubt that for a second more than I’d allow her too. You have to have a strong conviction that this is what you were made for and know what will keep pointing you back to that truth so that when times get tough you can turn to that for encouragement and refuge.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years? 

We have another little one on the way as of 2016. Knowing there will be two kids calling me mommy means work will have to look a little different. For years I have wanted to incorporate the craft of other artisans around the world in impoverished regions, and this is the year I want to start making that a reality for Zella Woods. I’m not exactly sure what that will look like yet, but I know God will lead us. In the past I have featured some fair-trade items handcrafted in India where a portion of the proceeds went back to orphan care in that region. Something along those lines is where I’d like to see the business grow- in a direction that is still featuring my own original designs in collaboration with the traditional craft of other artisans that will empower and enable them to thrive.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

What is the main inspiration behind your lettering engraved on your jewelry pieces?

Scripture most often inspires them. Every time I open the Bible, work through a group study or listen to a sermon, I’m sketching something and taking notes. The word of God never fails to open new chambers of my heart, breath new life into my weariness or humble me in awe of how He loves us. It’s endless inspiration.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

How long has jewelry making been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I had made my own jewelry for ages. I never thought about making a business out of it until I got married. I had made pretty much everything for our wedding – from the table numbers and napkins, every announcement, invite and program, to bridesmaid accessories and my own feather and rhinestone hair piece. I had fun doing it all. But when my husband heard how many compliments we got he started nudging me into thinking of it as a business. Plus I hated my office job at the time and thought very seriously that a piece of my soul may die if I stayed there any longer, so when I had Zella it was time to quit and dive in head first to small business ownership.

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Just for fun: What are your favourite colour, flower and animal? Do you think you’ll incorporate other elements in your jewelry style like these favourites?

My favorite color is impossible. If we are talking clothes, it’s neutrals like navy, white or black. If we are talking strictly jewelry it’s turquoise – every single time. I’m obsessed with genuine turquoise. It’s stunning and wears well with everything.

Favorite flowers would be peonies, hands down. And favorite animal is kind of tough. I’d say the wildest animal I have seen in it’s natural habitat (that literally took my breath away) would definitely be the giraffe. They have a grace about them that you would never expect from this rather awkward looking animal. I guess I can relate to that somehow, always feeling like a rather awkward human but being told by others I have a strong sense of style and air of confidence that I don’t necessarily see in myself. If that makes any sense 😉

My favorite colors will always play a role in my designs. They’ll change over time, no doubt. But color is a great source of creative inspiration in my work. As for my favorite flower and animal, outside of the way they inspire my aesthetic senses, I’m not sure I see them in future jewelry designs of mine. But you never know.

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

I adore your clean workspace- the combination of white and wood is so clean and refreshing! How do you keep it clean and organized?

I clean it up like that after I’m done making orders. Every time. Because it feels so much better walking in to a clean slate. When I’m in the midst of making stuff though it’s pretty much covered in tools and supplies. Haha!

I think the best advice for organizing a workspace is start with the basics. My dad and I built that workbench together. I knew I needed a standing height work surface so we started with that. All the cabinets, desktop and storage slowly came piece by piece after that, depending on my needs as I learned to run things like a business and grew. Then it’s just a matter of tweaking things here and there to make stuff as accessible and organized as possible.

 Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

A lot of the components in my space are from Ikea. They’re mostly solid wood pieces that will last a long time and are easy to customize. The white cabinets under my desk are my favorite because they are shallow drawer storage, which is essential for maximizing a small space!

Hope that helps! Thanks for complimenting my space 🙂

Thanks Ashley for this amazing interview! It’s very inspiring to see people shape their vision of something so intangible at first, to something so wonderful.

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Inspiration from Ashley of Zella Woods via www.opinion9.com

 

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