I just wanted to share with you a few of the makers who have been absolutely blowing my mind lately (yup, my mind has been bottled, boggled and blown by them). These are the folks that can take something as simple as a stick and turn it into pure magic. I’m constantly astounded by their innate ability to artfully and respectfully incorporate natural objects and materials into their work. To me, they’re a cut above the rest. They inspire me to keep moving forward while at the same time intimidating the heck out of me with their talent. Darn them! I appreciatively and frustratingly shake my fist at their creative genius!
Roots and Feathers: What can I say about Laura that I haven’t said already–without sounding too much like a stalker? Probably not much. Here’s what I’ve had to say about her in the past:
I completely adore and idolize Laura. She’s just the whole package. Her site is a blend of bohemian fashion, jewelry design, astrology, nature appreciation, and soul-searching. She’s completely unafraid to reveal her most deepest truths and personal struggles. This honesty and fearlessness has garnered her legions of devoted, supportive fans, including myself. Plus, her and her hubby are so darn cute together! They warm my chilly little heart!
Sacra Luna: Okay, it’s hard for me to even fathom that 2013 marked Ana Marie’s first year as a jewelry designer. WTF?! Are you kidding me? She literally can’t keep anything listed in her Etsy shop for more than a few minutes. That’s of course because she’s freakin’ awesome at what she does. Here’s a great example of someone who is successfully using Instagram as their primary marketing vehicle. She takes the most haunting photos of her work, pairs them with beautiful statements about nature and the world around us, tells people when she’s putting her work in the Etsy shop and each piece is sold within minutes of posting! And she’s a sweetheart who puts up with me verbally drooling all over her Instagram posts. I can’t wait to see what 2014 and beyond brings for her!
Here are some of my personal faves:Wild Ivy Creations: Okay, if you only do one thing today, make it hitting the “follow” button on Natasha’s Instagram account. Just the dog and cat photos alone will make your life worth living. Natasha seamlessly and uniquely blends natural elements with metalwork. She’s got a real gift for design and her shop offers a wide variety of items such as jewelry, note cards, ear cuffs, fans, wall art and everything inbetwixt. This is the first shop I would visit if I was unsure of what to get someone.
Gipsy Dharma: Okay, I am not a leather girl but I’m totally cool if others embrace it (no judgements here). I do my best to avoid wearing it because I really don’t want to support the evil empire that is the factory farming industry. If I’m going to put some leather on my bod, it’s probably going to be from the thrift shop. With that being said, Gipsy Dharma gives me much, much, much, waaaay too much pause. Their boots are some of the most gloriously crafted things I’ve ever seen on this very planet. I’m drooling just thinking about slipping my feet into a supple pair and lacing them up. Ahhhh….
Do you make vegan boots? Where does your leather come from?
I’ve been trying for months now, however I’m still searching for the right materials to do the job, but I assure you that I’m trying really hard! Some materials just do not work with my designs and others that do work would more than double the cost of the boots. Also, I’ve had a few people write to me, expressing their surprise that I’ve still not been able to have vegan boots made. Well, the truth is that it is very difficult to find alternatives to leather, that do not produce very harmful chemicals as they are being made and do not pollute the environment for hundreds of years after they have been deposed of. So a lot of people who are eager to save the environment seem to be missing a point here, because non leather unfortunately does not necessarily mean good for the planet…
As for the second question, I make sure that all my leather comes from sustainable sources, i.e. no animal is ever killed for their hides.
So for now, it looks like leather may be harder to replace than one would think but I give Gipsy Dharma props for trying. No matter, I’ve found a solution to my inner conflict. I plan to win a pair. Yup, each week they give away a free (shipping included) pair of boots. Lady Luck, please, let’s finally make friends or call a truce because this girl needs a new pair of cruisers! And yes, they make super-fly dude boots too.