Hi! I’m Amanda … corporate creative by day, crafter by night. Oh, and I am married, have a 1 year old & 4 year old. So, yeah, pretty busy. I’ve had an Etsy shop since 2006 and until about a year ago, I mostly sold handmade Virgin of Guadalupe retablos & shrines that I made out of cigar boxes. I’ve had a love affair with Guadalupe since college (I studied a lot of Mexican American literature) so it was only natural to create a room full of cigar box shrines, right? After that, I took a LONG hiatus and reopened and rebranded my shop. I also went back to my roots, which was my love for making jewelry and accessories.
Where are you located?
I grew up in OKC, lived in Norman for several years while I went to OU, and am now craftin’ it up in the burbs in Yukon, OK.
What inspires your work?
Natural elements, vintage pieces, fabric! And hardware stores! I have recently learned how creative I feel after browsing through the nuts and bolts section at Lowe’s.
Another inspiration is honestly MY inability to accessorize myself. I walk into stores and feel so ho-hum about everything. I’m never quite sure how to put it together. I have in my head what I want to wear, but I just don’t see it. So I always set out to create something I would want to wear, and I just hope there are others out there who love the same things.
Favorite Handmade/ Antique/ thrift shop?
I have to say, I’m biased, because I now have three brick & mortar shops that carry my items: The Art House in Tulsa, Paisleys & Peonies on Rt 66 in Yukon and most recently Unlabeled Apparel in Norman. Visit them!
I am a VERY devout shopper at Central Oklahoma Goodwill shops. I get many of my materials there! I like to repurpose and reuse. Most of my scarves and bags are upcycled jersey tshirts, & some of my beads are from awful 70’s necklaces that I’ve pulled apart to reuse.
As far as antique shops go, there is nothing that can compare to a good estate sale. But if you can’t lug the kids from house to house, like me, The Rink Gallery in OKC is the bee’s knees.
Where do you see your handmade business in the future?
I really like where this year has taken me in terms of networking with other crafters, as well as store owners. I think that sometimes the social/networking part of being a handmade crafter can be the hardest part of the gig. Like deciding to do a craft fair, planning my first trunk show … it’s a little intimidating, but I’ve learned so much already. I really just hope to continue creating things I love and just see where that leads.
I’m having my first trunk show in Norman Feb 10th 6-8pm at Unlabeled Apparel (FREE CHOCOLATE + FREE WINE). I hope it goes well, and I hope to meet some Etsy folks too!