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meet janet of lingua nigra

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WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

Hi! I'm a Brooklyn based jewelry designer. I work and create from my home studio and love the process of creating art based jewelry.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I make jewelry. I like to call it "work" because I hope that it's more like art than just jewelry. I create work in natural objects like beetle wings or shells. I also create work in brass, bronze, sterling silver and 18kt gold. I loooove jewelry so much.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A MAKER?

I took a jewelry class when I was very young and it really sparked my interest in design. I thought I was going to become a fashion designer, but life had other plans for me! I got my degree in jewelry design and worked in the industry. From working with small designers to larger companies, I have done it all for about 16 years. All the while, I've worked on my own brand. I've been self employed for almost 7 years, I've had the brand for over 10.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

Hmmm, I'm not sure if they're "the best", but they definitely are the best to me! The quality is top notch and I work on every piece myself. Everything is produced in the USA and I do the production on my own. I do all the quality control and really take pride in my work.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE.

My space is magical. It's the main bedroom in my apartment. Everything is almost in arms reach (for the most part). I have several tables and chairs and love when friends come over to hang and create with me! The natural sunlight is crazy and I love working with all the windows open during the spring or just with the shades up. My plants give me life and also liven up the space.

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?

You can find me on all the social medias at Lingua Nigra! I live on instagram via LinguaNigra. Etsy - LinguaNigra. My own website www.linguanigra.com This spring and summer I'll be making the circut doing Renegades and West Coast Craft in San Fran! Check out my blog for updates (www.linguanigra.com

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I'm originally from the South Side of Chicago. I'm the product of magnet elementary school and a magnet high school. I moved to New York at 19 to study Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

My newest work has made me pretty excited to design! I found some dentalium shells while on a world tour of vending on the Pacific Northwest and didn't know how I was going to work with them. You can check out the details on the site. I think they look pretty amazing, if I say so myself! 

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Omg, I want to learn everything! I actually just graduated with another degree last year and am itching to go back to school! I am eager to learn lapidary, which is stone cutting and shaping. I don't use stones that much in my work, but collect them like I do! I have a problem yall. 

COFFEE OR TEA?

Tea all day. With lemon. 

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

I am a true night owl. I like to work until the sun comes up. I love when the city is asleep. I feel like I can think with the surrounding quiet. 

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHILE YOU'RE MAKING?

I usually just play my own music, which is truly a mix of everything. When I get bored with that, I listen to some favorite podcasts like "Neck of the Woods", "The Friend Zone", "The Read", and a few others. During the evening I'll switch to Netflix and watch a ton of documentaries. 

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I've lived alone for 15 years

- I once auditioned for Rent, even though I had never seen the musical (I was the first person in the line to get a callback!)

- I plan to visit every country in Central America (is that a fact)

- I've been a pescetarian for 20 years (fish only, former vegetarian!)

- I have three college degrees - Fashion Design, Jewelry Design, English with a minor in Cultural Anthropolgy

corduroy company lingua nigra

March 13, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski

meet meg of megboys studio

corduroy company meg boys studio

WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

My Name is Meg Boylan and I am the girl behind megboys studio! megboys studio is a Chicago-based metalsmithing studio founded in 2015. I am a one-woman show, so I design, produce, market, and sell everything myself. I live with my boyfriend and 2 hilarious cats in the Pilsen neighborhood of the greatest city in the world!

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I make hand-fabricated metal jewelry and home objects using high-quality gems and metals. My work is clean, minimalist, and polished with stamped patterns and fun exaggerated imagery that makes pieces simultaneously graceful and a bit humorous. I try to make beautiful, handmade objects that are aesthetically accessible to everyone.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS MAKER?

For as long as I can remember, I have been using my hands to make things! As a kid, I remember pouring over craft books and making everything from Sculpey beads to origami to friendship bracelets to boondoggles, everything! By high school I was making one-of-a-kind-stencils and printing onto T-shirts for classmates and painting and drawing in my free time. I went to art school, and was exposed to many different forms of art and craft, and I was so drawn to the process of metalsmithing. It takes a lot of planning and careful preparation. Bending, cutting, and joining metal together feels powerful, and working a piece from start to finish feels like magic.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

I take so much care in design and practicality in material choice. I strive to make jewelry comfortable, well crafted, and super special for every body that chooses to wear one of my pieces.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE

My studio is my favorite place to be! We live in a 3rd story flat with an enclosed back porch that has been transformed into my studio. My workbench looks out onto a big empty lot where neighborhood dogs play. I get so much natural light in my studio. It’s a humble little room attached to our apartment, but it’s definitely my favorite room in the house.

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS? 

I sell in shops around the midwest and a few on the east coast. You can find me around Chicago participating in pop-ups and craft fairs alike. My goods are also all for sale on my website.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I grew up in Sterling Heights, Michigan, a suburb about 15 miles north of downtown Detroit. Went to college and learned my craft in Kalamazoo, Michigan at Western Michigan University. Finally moved to Chicago in 2012 and have been here ever since!

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

Warm weather on the horizon! It’s currently mid-February, and I always get a surge of brave creativity and motivation as spring approaches. This year, my spring inspiration comes from citrus fruits, cycling, silver, journaling, mindful consumption, stickers, multiple ear piercings, and Lake Michigan.

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IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Woodworking has always fascinated me. I took shop in college but I remember feeling nervous about some of the power tools. I would love to feel confident in a woodshop and dive head first into the process and planning that woodworking takes.

COFFEE OR TEA?

Coffee, black as night, every day!

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

The older I get, the more of a morning person I become! Though I think I’m currently in limbo, hah!

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

In my studio, I am CONSTANTLY listening to podcasts. I am fascinated by true crime podcasts (Sword and Scale, In the Dark, etc) but I find I do my best work when listening to podcasts that make to laugh (Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, The Mortified Podcast, My Favorite Murder).

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I’ve played piano since I was 7 years old, and I attribute a lot of my fine motor skills to playing music!

- I love ALL genres of food but my favorites are an absolute tie between Mexican and Indian.

- I like to think I was a comedian in my last life. My favorite feeling in the world is laughing and making other people laugh.

- I am obsessed with my cats, they crack me up every day. They even have their own instagram!

- My bicycle is my preferred mode of transportation. I even have a trailer for my bike! When I have a pop-up event or craft show, I can transport all of my jewelry and display materials by bike!

corduroy company meg boys studio

February 20, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski

meet kelly of stone harvest

corduroy company profile artist

WHO ARE YOU?

I'm Kelly Nicholson, owner, designer and maker behind Stone Harvest. My partner is Austin Dodson who is an amazing painter and printmaker. We have a 3 1/2 year old son, Alder. 

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

Handmade etched brass and copper jewelry, small housewares and wall hangings

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A MAKER?

I've been a creative person my entire life. I went to art school in NYC and studied sculpture. I met Austin about 7 years ago and began working in metal, making jewelry around that time. At the time he was making a lot of copper plate etchings. He gave me some old plates he wasn't going to print with to use for jewelry making and the pieces I made turned out great, so we decided to etch some plates specifically for jewelry. They were beautiful! So we just kept making them and the business has continuously evolved from there. I began to commit full time to Stone Harvest at the beginning of 2017. This isn't a hobby or side project for me at all! I think of all of the other various jobs I've had throughout the years as my side hustles, while THIS is the real thing.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

The imagery and patterns we etch, which all come from my original sketches based on sacred geometry, nature and mythology. I like to think that I am an artist first, then a "maker" and feel that the work we do is really rooted in drawing and sculpture.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE. 

We have a unique living situation, in that my husband is the caretaker for an arts center, so we live in a small cottage on the property. Our house is a beautiful old horse stables built in the 1890's. This allows us to have a small studio space in our living quarters, but we also work throughout the arts center. we are SO LUCKY!

TELL US WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS.

Our website is www.thestoneharvest.com. We have work at Moon and Arrow & Palo Santo Wellness in Philadelphia and HOM in Swarthmore. We also have a few pieces at Prelude and Dawn in LA and Wild Sage Collective in Columbus OH.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I grew up on a small farm in north central Ohio. 

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

I am getting really stoked on making more wall hangings. They are like big jewelry pieces for your house. It is taking me back to my time making sculpture in college.

corduroy company profile artist

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I want to become a better metalsmith. I am just enamored with the potential of the material. Next on my list is to learn how to make bells.

COFFEE OR TEA?

My most consistent life ritual is (no not meditation or yoga unfortunately, although I do try!) is crafting my morning coffee. It's a beautiful thing and brings me great joy!

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

Definitely a morning person. I'm up at 6 (drinking that coffee!) because I have a wild little kid who wakes me up.

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

A lot of what I do lately doesn't allow me to really listen to anything, because I'm hammering or sawing away on metal! But when I'm assembling and finishing work I listen to podcasts (For the Wild with Ayana Young is AMAZING). 

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I once lived out of my station wagon, camped and traveled around the country for a year.

- I'm on the cusp of Cancer and Leo - people never take me for a Leo though because I'm an introvert.

- My mom is eastern European Jewish, and dad is a Scotch English. makes for interesting holidays...

- I have a huge collection of natural detritus - dried mushrooms, lichen, stones, shells, wood, bones - all stuff I've found and have stored in a bunch of wooden boxes.

- I'm a total klutz except when I'm in the studio (there, I transform and find beautiful flow!) 

corduroy company profile artist

February 15, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski

meet cristina of cristina v

corduroy company profile artist

WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

Founder of Cristina V. (my first child), wife to Wesquire (college sweetheart), and mother to Paige (the best 17 month old)!

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

Jewelry

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A MAKER?

I began making jewelry when I was a little girl - about 7 years old. Went to Boston College to study business and had the itch to start my own, so I did from my dorm room in 2016. The rest is history.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

The thing that makes our jewelry the best is the people behind it. Besides the fact that we are made in New York, we pride ourselves on old-fashioned customer service. I believe that if you succeed at service (and you have a great product) the rest will fall into place.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE.

Well... my workspace is the basement of my childhood home. We have a small space down there with workbenches. We do have a production house in the city that makes our bigger orders. 

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?

Our website, Instagram, and pop up trunk shows from time to time.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Long Island, NY. Love the energy of NY and how direct and honest people are - no BS! It makes doing business easy and fun.

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

Growth. This past January our sales were 6x that of January last year - this has me pumped and determined to keep it up.

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IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Hmm... how to sew could be cool... how to sign language... how to program and code so that I wouldn't have to bug my amazing web team in WI all the time.

COFFEE OR TEA?

Coffee - 100%!

I have recently been into cold brew, but have loved Americano's since I was in high school. Only, I take a healthy choice and make it not so healthy by adding cream. Too good!

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

My husband says 'I thrive at night' and he is correct. What I love about working late at night is that there aren't any distractions so I can really get into a solid work flow. Sometimes I have to force myself to stop and go to bed!

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

Love music and many different kinds - it sets the tone and makes any task enjoyable. 

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- My birthday is on Christmas Day.

- I lived on a sailboat for 3 weeks and almost grew dreads.

- I'm on the verge of being a workaholic - I get natural highs from exciting new things.

- I never got sick when I was pregnant (or even felt sick)!

- I think my daughter is the coolest kid in the world.

corduroy company profile artist

February 12, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski

meet chris + rachel of hanover designs

WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

Chris & Rachel Millard, Seattle natives that moved to Pittsburgh in 2012. Been running Hanover Designs since 2016.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

Handcrafted jewelry made from concrete (it's super lightweight, trust us). We blend traditional luxury materials like gold and silver, with construction materials like concrete and copper to form and industrial yet modern style we like to call "Rustbelt Luxury."

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS MAKER?

We were building a patio and Rachel was too cheap to buy concrete tiles and decided to learn about concrete and make her own tile molds. This let to DIY concrete home goods and eventually jewelry. After seeing some of Rachel's prototypes Chris wanted to start a business and Rachel was unsure. He made a bet that if at least 10 people bought prototypes off  facebook then we had to start a business. Exactly 10 people bought our first prototypes, and we started participating in craft fairs and selling online after that. It has snowballed quickly!

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

Capturing the spirit of Pittsburgh. We fell in love with Pittsburgh when we moved and we wanted to try and emulate the blend of traditional and modern, industrial and tech that we see around the city every day.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE

We used to have a dining room table.

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS?

Online at Hanover Designs and online at our Etsy shop. At I Made It Market and Handmade Arcade. In retail stores such as CMOA, Wildcard, Robin's Nest, Refabulous Decor, and Lamplight Art Gallery.  

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

Seattle originally, Pittsburgh since 2012

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

We're currently getting a suite of new stud earring molds made, about a dozen new products should hit in Spring.

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Rachel: Spinning Wool

Chris: Woodworking

COFFEE OR TEA?

Rachel: Tea

Chris: Double Latte

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

We have a 2 year old, we don't have a choice

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

Chris answering for Rachel: Bad reality TV shows and post-apocalyptic netfilx shows

January 28, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski

meet noémie of noémie pichon

WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF!

My name is Noémie, I am 31. 8 years ago, I started my small jewelry factory.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I make subtle narrative metal jewelry, mostly with silver and gold plated brass.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS MAKER?

After 5 years studying art and jewelry making, I decided to start my own little enterprise. I always wanted to make pieces of art that people can carry with them all the time.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

All of my product are totally handcut with a little saw. So each piece is a bit different from the other.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE

I share my workspace with 4 other creative women. We opened a little concept store which is both a shop and our workshop. This is an open space so our customers can see us working. This is a really nice place!

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS? 

People can find my products on etsy, on my eshop, on pop-up shops and in a few little shops in France.

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I am originally from Strasbourg, France. I moved 8 years ago in Lyon. 

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

What has been making me excited lately is the launch of my new project collectiondeportraits.tumblr.com I started to make collections of jewelry for and in collaboration with other people, each time with someone different in limited edition of 20 pieces. This will be presented like portraits. I just published the first portrait. There will be a new portrait/collection 3 times a year.

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I would love to know everything about stones.

COFFEE OR TEA?

I drink a lot of green tea but every working day starts with a cup of coffee and a chat with my colleagues. 

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

I would say I am rather a morning person. I always feel bad when I wake up late.

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHEN YOU ARE MAKING?

I listen to hip-hop music while working.

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I could speak about food 24/7

- I collect hand-shaped objects

- My workbench is always a mess and when I (once in a while) clean and tidy it, then it becomes impossible for me to find anything.

- I have a secret passion for GIFs and memes

- I like to cook magic potions with plants

January 26, 2018 by Colleen Wisniewski