• Shelby

Adorning The Ears

It has not been very long since I found out about polymer clay and how many people make it into earrings. Since then, possibly early 2019, I have become fascinated with it and the idea of the small shops, hard working humans and deserving backstories that come along with creating something so particular. I had a chance to try out many small shops earrings and interview them on what’s important to them; the art, the family oriented business or their morals and sustainability values?



Queer Abstraction:


What inspires you?

I’m inspired by a lot of things but primarily nature, architecture, and human form! As an interior architecture student, I’m always trying to merge my two passions and I think architectural shapes can be used in many other creative pursuits. My love of terrazzo and organic shapes both come from my love of interior design!

What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?

I’m a Virgo and boy oh boy does it affect me. In many ways, I’m a stereotypical Virgo. I’m a perfectionist, I have to be organized, and I’m extremely detail oriented. Those things can be good and bad so I’m trying to work on toning it down when it gets in the way of my life. It’s good to strive for excellent quality products but if it means getting a headache after working for too many hours, I have to move on. But overall I love being a Virgo! I’m in tune with my emotions and the emotions of those around me.

What is the main purpose of your account/brand?

Queer Abstraction is about creativity and expression. I want people to wear my earrings and feel more complete. Expression is important, especially in the queer community, and if I can help people express themselves in any way then I’m happy. For me personally, it serves as a way to release my creative energy and work with my hands. There’s nothing more satisfying than holding up a finished pair of earrings that I made!

What is something you love deeply about yourself?

I love that I want to help others and serve my community. I care deeply about social issues and I’m proud that I’m able to stand for what I believe in. Obviously, that steers away some potential customers. But in the end, I don’t want to serve those that don’t stand for equality and representation.

What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?

Confidence is hard and I think we are all constantly working on it. There is never a day where I don’t think just one negative thing about myself, but what’s important is that I catch myself when I do. I can’t be perfect and neither can my work. If others can’t understand that then they aren’t worth my time.

What makes you feel confident?

A good hair day, new earrings, compliments on my work, a cute outfit, the list goes on! I feel the most confident when I look in the mirror and accept myself. I can’t do that everyday and I often can’t control what days I do but nothing feels better. It’s that feeling of “I’m going to take this day, and win it.” I don’t know how you can win a day but but feeling content with yourself is a good way to start.

What have you had to overcome that’s made you who you are?

When I was a young teenager, I suffered from stress headaches and terrible OCD. I ended up becoming depressed and losing weight. It took time for me to grow back into a healthy and happy person. And watching those around me constantly try to help me made me feel extremely guilty. It wasn’t my fault that I had these problems, but it felt like it was. I think that’s why I love helping others so much now, because I know how much it means. I still have the occasional headache and obviously my OCD isn’t gone, but I wouldn’t change it. I’m a stronger person because of it. I’m more confident, I’m more social, and I have a higher pain tolerance so I can get tattoos without suffering too much!

Who are your biggest inspirations?

My mom is definitely up there. It’s cheesy but she’s one of the most caring people I know. My grandma also, she designed her house and if that’s not goals I don’t know what’s is! I also love Elsie De Wolf, the first American home decorator and also an amazing queer icon. Of course my friends inspire me and anyone else that breaks the mold and stands for the right causes.

What’s your beauty/fashion go to?

I love the YouTuber BestDressed, her style is so perfect. In reality though, I don’t dress as feminine as her, so I turn to queer fashion for that department. No other names really come to mind. I like brands that don’t shy away from important issues such as equality and environmental issues. It’s easy to buy fast fashion but I’ve been working on moving away from that.

What would you say is the best thing about you?

Physically, my hair. Sometimes I hate it but I mostly love it and all it’s crazy curls. It’s also pretty soft if you ask me. Other than that, I like to think I’m funny. I’ve had people say I’m the funniest person they’ve ever met but that’s a bit of a stretch and it makes me concerned for their well being.

What does equality mean to you?

Equality is everyone being treated equally. It’s not one group over the other. In a perfectly equal world, no one would have privileges based on how or where they were born or how they label themselves. Equality means I can share my business name without worrying someone will call me the f word behind my back.

What is your mission statement/what does your brand name mean?

Queer Abstraction means queering the art and design world. Jewelry is not just for straight women and I’m tired of people treating it as such. Earrings especially are very gendered, which baffles me because everyone has the same looking ears! I’ll be honest, when people hear the name Queer Abstraction, here’s what I want: I want straight people to feel a little bit scared, just a little, because I want them to realize that we aren’t hiding anymore. I want them to realize that they have to share. And obviously I want queer people to feel welcome. More than anything, I want them to feel welcome and accepted right from the start. In the end, I want everyone to come together and find something they like. I want the gayest person in the world to wear a pair of my earrings and I want a straight person to wear them too. Queer Abstraction is abstracting the line put between us and turning it into one squiggly earring for all to enjoy!

Shop here: https://morgansanduskydesign.com/queer-abstraction-1

BB Design House:


What inspires you?

Alongside running my business, I teach Art and Graphic Design to 11-18 year olds. Having studied a degree in Illustration I had spent 4 years approaching arts and aesthetics from a more critical and contextual standpoint. This left me feeling uninspired to create work with any sort of visual value. Teaching enabled me to reconnect with the fundamental principles of design and re-experiment with the basics of image making (eg. colour, form, shape, pattern ect). This process has been my biggest inspiration in creating my designs for Bb Design House.

What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?

Although I don’t really subscribe to star signs, I’m a Pisces and feel that the themes of duality and balance that can be taken from the Pisces sign resonate with me.

What is the main purpose of your account/brand?

One of the main purposes behind establishing Bb Design House was because I felt that it was important to gain knowledge on how to build a brand and make an income directly from creative practices in order to teach this to my students. Unfortunately, within the UK education system, Arts can be seen as a hobby subject and often regarded as an unrealistic career choice. It was important for me to both prove to my students that a career within the Arts is a viable and rewarding career choice, but to also gain the knowledge on how I can best support my students to develop the skills that they will need to succeed in perusing a career within the arts.

What is something you love deeply about yourself?

That I believe I can achieve whatever I put my mind to 💭


What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?

Pro-activity and patience…


What makes you feel confident?

Learning new skills!

Who are your biggest inspirations?

Tim Knowles – I first saw his work when I was doing my A Levels and seeing his experimental drawing techniques provided me with an alternative approach to what I had been taught in school…Now as a teacher, I show his work to my students at any given opportunity!

What’s your beauty/fashion go to?

Practicality!

What would you say is the best thing about you?

Resilience 💪


What is your mission statement?

There is a quote I wrote when starting Bb Design House that I think summarizes my answer to this question: “Each time you support the work of an independent designer you prove to the next generation of artists and designers that they can turn their passion into a career”. Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bbdesignhouse/


Two Roots Shop:


Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/tworootsshop/

Clay DTLA:


What inspires you?

I’m an aesthetically driven person and am deeply inspired when I’m surrounded by things I love to look at. In a nutshell, I’d say these things get my creative juices flowing: Downtown Los Angeles, colorful pop art, street art, fashion, mid-century design, shapes, colors, nail art on Pinterest, fabrics and patterns, graphic design, and typography. I'm also very inspired by anyone who has made their artistic gift their vocation.

What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?

I’m an Aries to a T. I actually just did a Google search and it says this: “passionate, motivated, and confident leader who builds community with their cheerful disposition and relentless determination. Uncomplicated and direct in their approach, they often get frustrated by exhaustive details and unnecessary nuances (excerpt from Allure.com)”.  That’s pretty much me.

What is the main purpose of your account/brand?

I want to create bold wearable art that makes a woman feel confident, creative and powerful when she wears it. I also love the idea that a fun pair of earrings can be a conversation piece in a time when conversations with strangers in real life are scarce. When someone says they love your earrings, it’s an opportunity to make a connection.

The Clay DTLA brand pays homage to where I live and make. I have a little loft in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles and I’m incredibly inspired by the immersive sensory experience that comes with urban living. I incorporate my environment into my Instagram feed and product photography whenever I can.

What is something you love deeply about yourself?

I deeply love that I have the courage to do hard things and a heart to help others. I’ve struggled with waves of crippling anxiety and panic disorder for most of my adult life and no matter how difficult it can be sometimes, I never give up on my goals or myself. I constantly lovingly push myself toward things that I know are for my highest good, even when it seems hard or impossible. I also always look for the lesson in difficult experiences and strive to become a better human and to help others who are struggling with anxiety.

What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?

I turned 40 this year and remember hearing from different people over the years that your 40’s are amazing because you know who you are and care less about what others think of you. I’m finding that to be true. I think authentic confidence comes from knowing who you are and who you are not and treating yourself lovingly. To do that you need to surrender fully to what-is and let go of who you think you “should be”, and fully embrace who you are. Of course, that’s easier said than done but it’s a worthwhile pursuit!

What makes you feel confident?

Following my gut, making art, wins at work, a great outfit, a fun new piece of clothing, bold artsy earrings, thinking about how far I’ve come, doing something scary anyway, learning a new skill, loving others well, loving myself well.

What have you had to overcome that’s made you who you are?

My family jokes and calls me a “delicate flower”. I’ve had physical sensitivities and health issues basically since I was born. This paired with anxiety has made some things that are easy for others harder for me. I am grateful for all of it now because I can see that overcoming these things has made me stronger and more equipped to help other people who are hurting. To me, that’s the greatest gift there is—to be able to help a loved one through something because they know you can truly relate to their struggle. All of this has also made me very tenacious and driven to push forward and grow in all areas of my life. For that I’m truly grateful.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

I have to say my mother, father and brother. My mom because she’s strong as nails and worked so hard in the face of adversity to create a loving home for her family; my father because he is a genuinely good man, is a true artist and is unapologetically and humbly himself; and my brother because he has found great success and fulfillment on his own terms.

What’s your beauty/fashion go to?

My beauty go-to is liquid winged eyeliner—oh, and lots and lots of lipsticks and glosses that I layer and re-apply way too often throughout the day. On the fashion front, I love a jumpsuit! They make me feel powerful and very myself if that makes sense. Black and white are my fashion anchors and I love mixing in pops of color. You’ll see that echoed in my Clay DTLA designs.

What would you say is the best thing about you?

I think my perseverance and generous spirit. I have a deep desire to be in loving service to others.

What does equality mean to you?

I love this question! To me it means that everyone has the same opportunities to thrive and reach their full potential. I live very close to Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles and work for an organization that works to alleviate homelessness. Through this lens it also means that everyone deserves the dignity to have their basic needs met.

What is your mission statement/what does your brand name mean?

Clay DTLA is making bold wearable art for your ears from a little loft in Downtown Los Angeles. My brand name is quite literal as I’m playing with Clay in DTLA J I also love my brand name because it’s four letters and four letters. There’s something about that symmetry.

Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClayDTLA?coupon=CLAYFRIEND15

The Kairos Co.:

What inspires you?

My friendships and other creatives inspire me the most. I love working together or just being around people that are kindhearted and creative as well.

What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?

My sign in cancer, which naturally likes art and home-based hobbies. Which The Kairos Co. started from my home based hobby, playing with polymer clay.

What is the main purpose of your account/brand?

My hope is that The Kairos Co. will become a place not just for myself, but a place where individuals can channel creative energy into beautiful pieces of art. My hope is in the next few months I will be starting once a month studio-based gathering for females to come together and create!

What is something you love deeply about yourself?

Something I love about myself is my value in kindness and community. I love gathering people together and making them feel at home.

What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?

Make room for grace. Give yourself grace to mess-up and even fail at things. I know for me it’s owning my failings that have helped me feel confident in pursuing other things.

What makes you feel confident?

What makes me feel confident is, giving myself grace, it’s being secure in who I am. It’s allowing myself that I could be wrong, or I could fail, but not letting that get in the way of my person drive.

What have you had to overcome that’s made you who you are?

2019 was a year of heartbreak and tough goodbyes. I was heartbroken that the career that I has been pursuing for almost my entire adult career wasn’t working out the way I wanted to. When I decided that I needed to move on from that, I had to say good-bye to some of my closest friends and pack-up my family and move back across the country. There’s been a lot of heart break that I’ve had to go through, in community, careers, or relationships – but without that I wouldn’t be where I am today. And for that I’m thankful!

Who are your biggest inspirations?

I really admire Morgan Harper Nichols, she’s is an amazing writer. Her work has inspired me to pursue hope and seek peace and encourage others to do the same. I also am very inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, taking pain and making it into something beautiful has been very encouraging in this season.

What’s your beauty/fashion go to?

I had a co-worker I once had, had a wardrobe capsule. It blew my mind that she had the same colors, and similar outfits each day and looked so sleek. So, the past few years, I’ve been trying to emulate that. Currently, my go to is a monochromatic wardrobe with a few mustard yellow sweaters.

What would you say is the best thing about you?

This is probably the hardest question to answer. I’m still learning to love myself.

What does equality mean to you?

Equality means to me that no matter what your circumstance, gender, or race is that you are given the same opportunity and treated with the same respect as everyone else.

What is your mission statement/what does your brand name mean?

Kairos (καιρός) is an Ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. The Kairos Co. started from a pivotal moment of change.

Summer 2019 is where Shelby began her journey of change. A new career, a new location, well, new everything.

Our hope is that The Kairos Co. will become a place where individuals can channel their creative energy into beautiful pieces of art. Shop here: https://www.thekairos.co/

Use code ‘2OFF4U’ for $2 off your order!

Balanced Pebbles:


What inspires you?

I’m inspired by nature and minimalism. I love clean lines/shapes and muted/soft/earthy colors. I also enjoy incorporating pretty things like leaves and butterflies into my designs.

What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?

My sign is Gemini. It couldn’t be more accurate for me when it comes to making decisions. I’m constantly wanting to change things, whether it’s my haircut, my home decor or my profile picture.

What is the main purpose of your account/brand?

I’m a pretty low maintenance, simple person when it comes to style and I don’t want to wear anything uncomfortable throughout the day. Clay jewelry is so lightweight and comfortable, you often forget you’re wearing it. I know I’m not alone in appreciating that fact! I also love how throwing on a fun pair of earrings can make me feel put together and confident and that’s how I want to make other people feel!

What is something you love deeply about yourself?

I care and I feel for people so intensely. All I want to do is take care of everyone and make sure they’re happy.


What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?

Find what makes you feel like a badass and DO THAT! Even if it’s unconventional. Positive thoughts are so powerful, too.

What makes you feel confident?

My pixie cut (which coincidently I am working on growing out but only because I want a change! See response about being a Gemini and decision making above :D) it makes me feel Iike a badass because it’s not something that everyone has the guts to do! You can’t hide behind your hair when you don’t have any!

What have you had to overcome that’s made you who you are?

This is tough because overall, I’ve led a very blessed life.  I’ll go ahead and say anxiety and depression. It’s not a battle that I’ve won yet and it may never be but it’s a part of who I am and I’m constantly working to not let it define me.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

I’m going to go with my husband and daughter for this one. My husband works hard to provide for us and I’m so incredibly proud of him every single day. I couldn’t have asked for a better father for my daughter! And my 3 year old daughter is everything I want to be. Fun loving, smart as hell, not too serious, not afraid of what people think of her. She’s the best.

What’s your beauty/fashion go to?

For beauty and skincare, I love the brand Glossier! They’re all about looking fresh and natural which is my go-to look. I don’t like how i like with heavy makeup on! My most recent fashion obsession is Carly Jean Los Angeles. Their pieces are insanely comfortable and built for capsule wardrobes which means they can all be worn a bunch of different ways. Don’t let the prices scare you, they have sales often!

What would you say is the best thing about you?

Again, how much I care. I care about people’s feelings, their happiness, and sometimes it feels like too much but at the end of the day, I would rather care too much than not at all.

What does equality mean to you?

It means that everyone gets the same opportunities. That’s not to say everyone should get everything handed to them for free but more so that everyone should be given an equal opportunity to learn and build the skillset it takes to succeed.

What is your mission statement/what does your brand name mean?

Balanced Pebbles is inspired by my journey to find balance in all aspects of life. It’s something I often have difficulty with because when I find something I like, I tend to throw myself into it completely. It’s also about slowing down. You generally won’t be able to quickly balance a stack of misshapen pebbles. You’ll need to work slowly and mindfully to get it to stay upright.

Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/balancedpebbles/

Uh--huh:

Shop here: https://www.shopuhhuh.com/

Made With Liebe:

Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadewLiebe?ref=search_shop_redirect


Alcove Craft:

Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlcoveCraft



Freckle Faced Dirt:


What inspires you?

So many things inspire me! Nature, art, music, but most of all - my emotions. Every piece I create is unique and created in a haze of my own feelings, experiences, and what's inspiring me at the moment.

What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?

I'm a Cancer + Leo cusp - if I'd been born 15 minutes later, I'd be a Leo! I'm a mix of both, but definitely more of a Cancer. I'm extremely sensitive and somewhat emotional, and I build walls (my crab shell!) to protect myself. I'm also a total mom.

What is the main purpose of your account/brand? Honestly, I just want to make wearable art - that's so uniquely me - and have people connect over it. It's also important to me that my pieces are sold at a price point that makes it accessible to most.

What is something you love deeply about yourself? I deeply love my PRIDE in myself. I know it sounds strange - but when I was growing up in Miami, I was really critical of myself and hated that I was a plus-size, pale redhead that came from a family with lots of issues. Now I love my body (even on my bad days!!), I've embraced my art, and I love who I've become as an adult woman. Getting to this point was not easy but damn, does it feel good.

What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?

It takes time to get there -- you won't wake up one day and just be SUPER confident. Talk to yourself, deconstruct your feelings - 'why does this bother me? why did that comment hurt me in the way that it did?' See a therapist (everyone needs one!). Surround yourself with people that are honest and lift you up! And always, always communicate how something makes you feel - whether it's to family, your partner, or your colleagues. Not just being a "yes-man/woman" and expressing yourself when something bothers you will give you tons of confidence.

What makes you feel confident?

Feeling empowered the be a badass at my job makes me feel confident! I work as a photo/video producer in NYC and manage shoots all around the world. Also, being naked at home makes me feel confident.

What have you had to overcome that’s made you who you are?

So many things! Deconstructing mainstream ideals of beauty, mainstream values, and going to therapy to deconstruct family issues and my own harmful thought patterns have all helped me shape who I am.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

My partner and my deceased grandmother are all my inspirations. My partner is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker who works harder than anyone I know, and is a jack-of-all-trades who is super smart and really sweet (but his scorpio energy really pisses me off sometimes! :o) ). My grandmother was a certified genius, an out lesbian in the 60s, and was a secret agent (no joke!!!). I never met her, but she seems like an amazing, complex woman and I'm really proud I was named after her.

What’s your beauty/fashion go to?

I'm not sure I have one! I've been getting my clothes from thrift shops since I was a kid (long before it was cool), because it was easier to find clothes that fit my curvy body. These days going to some of my favorite vintage and/or thrift shops and finding a steal of a deal will lift any bad mood. As far as makeup goes, I'm very minimal - I'm all about mascara and a bold lip. I love Benefit Cosmetics for my eyes and eyebrows, Ofra and Glossier for my lips, and lately I've been using Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer because this winter cold is really drying out my skin. But on most days, I don't wear anything like foundation.

What would you say is the best thing about you? Hm, I'm not sure. I think it would be my work ethic or my dedication to helping and being there for others.

What does equality mean to you? This is a hard one. To me, equality is my partner and me being treated the same in a public (or private for that matter) space. Sometimes this isn't the case.

What does your brand name mean/what’s your mission statement? Like most of my work, the name of my brand is just something that came to me. 'Freckle Faced' -- probably was inspired by my own freckled face (:-P) and dirt? I have no idea!

Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/frecklefaceddirt


Eagle Eye Shop:


What inspires you?

Bright bold colors, patterns and fabrics when I’m perusing through thrift stores and thinking about the lives the fabrics lived before they got there. Funky organic shapes and color combinations that seem to go together without being what you naturally would find paired.

What’s your sign and how do you think that plays a part in your life?

My sun is Libra, Moon in Pisces and Rising in Scorpio. I very much always associate with Libra tendencies. Now with more astrological information at our fingertips (thanks costar and the pattern) I think this plays a part in my life because I have an opportunity to reflect more on what / how I’m thinking and approaching different situations.

What is the main purpose of your account/brand?

The main purpose of my brand is to create bold, fun unique statement earrings that you can feel good about wearing. Not only do they literally feel good to wear because they are incredibly light but knowing they are hand designed using zero waste practice should make you feel like your purchase helps support a more sustainable earth.

What is something you love deeply about yourself?

I love that I can see possibilities where other people see waste.

What’s some advice you have for other people revolving around confidence?

I think half the battle with confidence is convincing yourself what you are capable of. You have to tell yourself you can do it and actually believe that. That might mean that you have to literally write yourself a note that says ‘you got this’ and post it where you see it every day, (At my desk) or give yourself pep talks every now and again.

What makes you feel confident?

When I see people enjoying things I’ve created.

What have you had to overcome that’s made you who you are?

I have had to overcome a need to know exactly what the next step is going to be. Deciding to devote more time to my creative practice really shook my foundation of ‘normal’ all around. This past year I’ve had to rediscover what I need to feel productive and content.


Who are your biggest inspirations?

Some artists that inspire me are Miranda July, Suzannah Scott, Penelope Gazin, Hilma af Klint, and Miriam Shapiro.

What’s your beauty/fashion go to?

Big earrings of course! 😊


What would you say is the best thing about you?

My creative and friendly demeanor.

What does equality mean to you?

This is a loaded question for me especially as a former teacher working in under resourced schools. If only I could count the times I’ve heard “That’s not fair!” in a classroom or thought about the challenges my students had to face that other kids don’t. I think about conversations I’ve had with my students about equality vs equity. I think people automatically assume equality means everyone getting the exact same thing which truthfully can’t help everyone – different people have different needs. I think equity means doing what you can for each individual person to make sure they have a level playing field while being aware of where you and your personal bias and privilege stand.

An overview of your mission statement, why you’re called what you’re called if you have one and any morals you hold high.

‘Eagle Eye’ name comes from my childhood! I used to travel down to Durango Colorado in the summer time with my family and as kids we would make up our own code names for the time we were there. My dad gave me the name Eagle Eye and it stuck. I have some of my favorite childhood memories associated with going to the cabin, and when I was thinking of what I wanted to call my brand I wanted it to connect to my personal history.

My mission at Eagle Eye is to make things that people enjoy wearing from creatively re-purposed materials. I hold this dear to my heart because it’s something I have done my whole life. Digging through my grandmother’s bin of fabric scraps, or looting the thrift store for a class project are where my most creative ideas are sourced. I love to think about the former lives the materials have had before I put them to use.

Shop here: https://www.eagleeyeshop.co/


This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now