I love art and inspiring design. Nothing makes me feel happier than finding a unique photographer, crafter, artist, fellow blogger or designer and then writing about them.
My side business is all about hair accessories and crafting them from silk flowers and feathers mostly. I love trying out different materials of both natural and manufactured to create fun accessories that a modern woman would be happy to wear at a fun party, wedding, special event, or just to give as a fun whimsical gift. I am always experimenting and draw upon my experience as a floral designer, photographer and love of fine art to make a piece that is unique and very often a one-of-a-kind design. I have been into sewing, stained glass, gardening, and cooking from a very young age thanks to my mother and her three sisters. Being exposed at a young age to different mediums of art and crafting on a regular basis has definitely shaped who I am today and has allowed me to see it not as a hobby or a even a job, but as playing.
Inspiration for me comes from many places. Sometimes a particular flower or feather has a lovely shape or line that I want to highlight or showcase. Often I am inspired by color combinations and keep in mind what is on trend for the season or what might be appropriate for a particular event. I love all the wonderful fine art museums in the Bay Area and to be able to see amazing artists on a regular basis helps keep my mind open and thinking about how to push myself further.
I started learning Ikebana, a Japanese stye of floral design from a private instructor when I was 16. Later after high school I was trained as a floral designer for 2 years at San Mateo City College, and then went straight into the business for another 5 years. I learn through experimentation, trial and error, and by looking at examples of vintage hats.
I enjoy selling at craft fairs and seeing how people respond to my work very much. It is a lot of work, but I find that when a person can touch, see and try on a piece it is easier for them to see themselves enjoying it, rather than browsing through a photo catalog online. I also enjoy finding new materials to work with and just playing with them to see what works; the design process is very important to me. An important part of my business is researching where I get my supplies because I prefer to shop local whenever possible, and also to find organic and/or cruelty-free farms for my feathers.
I am also a photographer and very often I am out and about shooting. Whether its a natural landscape, a live band performing, or graveyards for my own life-long cemetery project I am never happier than when I can document the world around me. It is a long-time passion and someday I hope to incorporate it more into my side business whether as part of my blog or product photography.
My normal 9-5 job is with a non-profit organization, and my day is filled with energy efficiency, the environment, and is 100% done with a computer. Not much room for creativity or imagination so I find that having this outlet of craft, photography, and art is how I stay sane. Alternatively, I know that pursuing a hobby as a full-time job can sometimes take the joy and interest out of it. Finding that balance in my life is so important and trying new ventures is the only way to get there.