When you by handmade, you are supporting a living breathing individual and their ambitions. Being a consumer myself, I find it to be a very fulfilling way to shop. Our money has a voice, and what we purchase with that money has influence. I would much rather spend my hard earned cash on one of a kind hand made goodies. The quality is higher, plus it’s wonderful to know there will never be another piece exactly exactly alike.
I like cheese. A lot.
I was a furniture designer for over 10 years before I started my own business.
I've dyed my hair every color imaginable at least twice.
I met my fiance through Twitter.
What got you started crafting?
Drawing, designing, and painting for over a decade straight out of high school keep me exploring different mediums and styles until I developed my own. Needing a gift for a friend and having remnants of leather on hand led me down the path of making hand embroidered custom wallets.
I never thought embroidery would be something I was into, but learning to cross stitch when I was younger with my mom gave me a general understanding of needle and thread, and I taught myself the rest from there. Using leather as the base material seemed like a good choice for me because I can always find items to upcycle into new pieces and at the time I was around a lot of scrap upholstery that needed using. Eventually I mixed in fabric for hand embroidered wall art. Recently, I've started hand painting ceramics to give my sewing fingers a rest and have a new way of expressing my designs.
What is your source of inspiration?
South American, Asian, and Eastern European folk art, movies, music, tattoos, nature and critters. I usually design things that I'm interested in at that moment then move forward.
I make what makes me happy. I figure I can't be the only person that finds joy in mixing art deco with modern color palettes, or crazy wolf faces and zombies. Most of my inspiration comes from the process of creating itself. It all depends on what movie or music is playing in the background at the time that I'm cutting leather or drawing on ceramics. I rarely do a sketch first. I usually just jump in and go.
What have you made recently?
Recently I made a hand painted ceramic tile set inspired by my favorite Crypto-zoology beasts. It's called the Fantastical Four. I included Sasquatch, Yeti, Nessie and the Kraken. I also just finished a custom leather clutch for a girl that wanted a Triceratops eating cheese. I love that people feel comfortable enough with me to ask for such things. It's always fun to take customer's concepts and run with it.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I sell through my sewZinski Etsy shop, B & M's like Domestica in Des Moines, IA and Vix Emporium in Philly. I also have some items on Cargoh and Society6. Since I recently moved to Florida after living in Iowa my whole life, I've been exploring some of the local indie craft shows as well.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
Handmade for me means you have an instant connection to the product. I like knowing that I have complete control over the process from initial design, to what eco-friendly items I can use in the making of it, all the way through to where and how I would like to sell it.
When you by handmade, you are supporting a living breathing individual and their ambitions. Being a consumer myself, I find it to be a very fulfilling way to shop. Our money has a voice, and what we purchase with that money has influence. I would much rather spend my hard earned cash on one of a kind hand made goodies. The quality is higher, plus it's wonderful to know there will never be another piece exactly exactly alike. That is the nature of handmade. I like having my own identity and style, and shopping on Etsy and other online handmade venues or local indie craft shows allows me to pick up unique items that I can't get in big corporate stores.