Welcome to this years last Friday Feature. This week we are featuring the shop Beautiful Jean. Bonnie Jean makes beautiful feather acessories which include hair clips, headdresses, earrings and shoes.
1. What is your Shop Name and URL ?
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
3. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
I have been creating feather hair accessories, feather earrings, hat clips and headdresses since 2008. I started making hair accessories one fateful night of crafting with my girlfriends. It must have been a hidden talent waiting to be born because once I started using feathers to create a hairpiece I just got really into the creative process. I created three pieces for myself to wear at a festival for my birthday. After all the compliments and seeing other talented artists work as inspiration, a lightbulb went off and I started making more with the intention to sell at my local farmers market. I rest is history. My process is mostly about preparation. For me it's all about having the materials ready, organized and a chunk of time in my day to work with ease. Once my work station is prepped, and I typically start each piece with an idea for a color scheme, or size or concept to incorporate a particular type of feather. It's all about working with a "mistake", going with flow and making each piece work and look beautiful! For the past few years my main focus for sourcing feathers has been mostly from bird owners. I have access to naturally molted, "cruelty free" and incredibly vibrant colored feathers.
4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I am a dancer, yoga practitioner and teacher, and currently in the process of completely a hula hoop teacher training program, so my breaks from making pieces and jewelry typically consist of a hula hoop dance session. Movement is important after sitting for hours and focusing on intricate work.
My most awesome achievement was when I was in NY selling at a show in Brooklyn a few years back, and a young women by the name of Trixie Whitley, singer/songwriter had bought a hairpiece to wear at the Juno Awards in which she was nominated for an award. One of my pieces walked the red carpet, which was by far a huge highlight in my design career.
5. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
I have tried to photography every piece I've ever made, so my facebook album is kind of like a timeline of my progress.
6. What inspires your creations?
Flowers and colors of nature are my inspiration.
7. What crafting skill(s) do you wish you had or hope to learn someday?
I wish to learn new skills and be more comfortable using a sewing machine. I would like to dabble in millinery, and see what comes through and if I take to it. I tend to pay close attention while creating and trying new creative skills because it's important to notice what "turns on" my creative fire.
If you had a gift certificate to Etsy for any one item you wanted, what would you buy?
8. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
Every sale on my etsy feels like a success, and makes all the time and energy to get a listing up so worth it. I particularly feel so proud when someone from out of country purchases a piece. Etsy has connected me to wide world audience and clientele.
9. If you had to be an animal for one week, which animal would you choose to be? And what would you do?
A mermaid fairy, or as I like to call them a "Merairy". The would like to have the ability to be both in the underworld community and sky community. I like the idea of being multicultural in the realm of fantasy and magic.
10. What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you, and how has it affected your life?
Buying local handmade goods is how I vote and place my values. I love to know the story, and where my clothes, beauty products, etc..., came from. I love feeling the energy of the person that made it. The quality of touch, attention to detail and artistry is something that can be sensed and transferred from one to another. Selling locally has helped me develop and be part of community. The community I'm in because of contributing and caring for local handmade has brought in an abundance of resources, support to do what I do, and I get to also be a mentor and assist others in the field of DIY. I vision a world of trade, where everyone is living a life of quality products, food and resources. Where everyone is in touch with their true gifts, talents and abilities and giving back to their communities what they were designed and love to do.
11. What's next for you?
My efforts with materials are higher quality metal and gems and being totally 100% cruelty free feathers. My favorite show, this being my 5th year of vending, is the Edwardian Ball in SF. I have lined up a couple local holiday shows, but the Edwardian Ball is my favorite. I feel I get to create with 100% creative freedom, and people totally get my work with no explanation.
My dream is to break into the market in Europe, especially the London fashion hair fascinator scene.
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