I started getting grey hair when I was 13. After dying my hair for years, I've finally just decided to go with it - I'm 27 but I have a huge grey streak of hair, and I actually get compliments on it all the time.
I really love costumes. It's one of the best parts about living in New Orleans. Some of my favorite past costumes include Cher and a cassowary (the world's deadliest bird). I really want to dress up as one of the drag queens from The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert one day though...
When I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist. Until I realized I'm not really that good at science... Or swimming...
I've also always sort of had this fascination with terrible diseases. Like Ebola. Again, part of me wanted to be a epidemiologist or virologist, only I'm not great at science.
What got you started crafting?
I've been making things for as long as I can remember. When I was little I did a lot of stuff like collages, but during middle school and high school I got really into theatre, which is when I started learning how to sew. I'd help my mom make my costumes for plays I was in, and then I started taking apart and reconstructing my old clothes. It just sort of evolved from there.
What is your source of inspiration?
I've always really hated seeing things go to waste. It's hard for me to throw something away, even little scraps. I started making my flower hair barrettes as a way to use up small scraps of denim that would be left over after I made a denim skirt from old blue jeans. Trying to imagine a new life for discarded materials is always inspiring.
What have you made recently?
Lately I've been getting back into doing detailed pieces with hand-sewn sequins. A couple of years ago I did a pretty elaborate piece for a local fashion show, Worn Again, that was a tribute to the Mardi Gras Indians here in New Orleans. I covered a big chest piece entirely in hand-sewn sequins. I've recently been doing some smaller pieces for myself, barrettes, using the same techniques.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I sell my own handmade work alongside the work of many other artists in my online shop: https://www.shopmissmalaprop.com/cart.php (My work can be found here: https://www.shopmissmalaprop.com/cart.php?m=product_vendor_list&v=2) I also participate in many local markets and events around New Orleans, and I keep an updated listing of where I'll be selling at on my site: http://www.missmalaprop.com/events/
I'm also working towards a brick & mortar retail shop for handmade goods. I'm hoping that within the next year or two that will become a reality.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
When you buy handmade, you buy something that is truly unique, and deeply personal. You get the chance to know exactly where it came from, and you can learn something about the person who made it. I'd rather have fewer things in my life, that mean more to me, than a bunch of cheap junk.