Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Designer Interview with Shona Murphy

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?

Shona Murphy

My Company is Private Label Designs-

I make greeting cards and a t-shirt designs

and under private label is “ A Chic Thing ::”, that's my jewelry website

I also have an Etsy store,
2. What kind of jewelry do you make? Accessories; earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings- basically anything you can wear I make!

3.What types of materials do you prefer?
Big, bold, bright and shiny

4. What kinds of art beads do you use? Same as above, I love beads that pop out at you; I try to design pieces around the bright colored focal point.

Lately I am finding myself drawn to recycled items. Phone wire, bottle caps, glass, vintage buttons, shells, yarn, material, paper etc…using the items we have available to us and re-using them. I find this a very cost effective move.

5. How did you get into jewelry design? There was a bead store that I saw in Minneapolis and thought I could do this…I took part old necklaces and started stringing…. Again I have always made stuff, even as a child I would make everyone something at the holidays… I wish I had some of those projects still.

6. What are some of the important things you do for your business? I want to offer shoppers something different that is affordable. I myself don’t like to be cookie cutter image-but can’t always afford those cool eclectic items that are unique and special. So if I can bring a lower price item to the market I feel that makes me a smart manufacturer. This is also were I realize that if I get materials or supplies at a discount or even free I need to pass that along to the consumer. I also love doing fundraisers for good cause organizations. Offering the creation at a wholesale price for a fundraiser give organizations something different at a affordable cost. For the last two years with the help of Jennifer of Jangles, I have made puzzle piece designs for the Autism Society of MN. They are always appreciative of the special pricing to pass along to the customer and the unique piece that is for their organization. To sum it up, it makes sense and it’s good karma!
7. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? Well I like many artists have tried the studio space away from the home and it doesn’t work for my family and me. What’s really funny as when I have a big order the creation station is everywhere in the house; living room, kitchen, dining room, car…Everywhere I go the creation goes…One time my husband said maybe we should make the kitchen in to my work area and just eat out of the garage…Sounds ok to me. Let’s just say when you walk into my dining room-you know that I make stuff!

I have a large number of bins, and in those bins are my supplies…. I try to do the do the see through ones so I don’t have to open everything…I find that if I have all my supplies in front of me on the table I work best.

I love that book, Organizing Your Craft Space, that shows you other artist workspace and I always dream that I would have a space like that-----It would be so much work to get organized like that….

8. What is a typical day like?

My typical day is a full time job. I have four sons age- 20, 19, 17 and15. My day is so crazy I can’t tell you how I do it, I think that I have been dancing the dance so long that it comes natural, not too much down time at my home--- and then my passion job on the weekends and nights. I will tell you there isn’t a day that I don’t make something…. Either a jewelry piece, furniture item, card, or a special present. I find it my daily fix to make something…my friends all call me when they need a quick gift-they know that I can whip something up. Of course some day I would love to quit my day job and do this fulltime not yet---I recently met a woman in Northfield who owns a cute eclectic gallery She is 82, and didn’t have her first store until she was 65…. She gave me HOPE; I am firm believer never to give up on ones dreams or ideas. Oh yea I may leave the house without shoes, but I never leave the house without 3-5 bracelets, earrings and my favorite art glass watch!

9. How do you stay inspired and motivated?

My brain is so full that I will be making till the day I die…I have a million ideas. I find that more I make the more creative I get------it goes back to the passion job…my passion is to CREATE. There are so many creative people out there and it is so fun to see what others are doing, sometimes I think that I should change directions and go into paper products (I make cards too) but then I always come back to beads! I have always thought that I wanted my own shop, but I am not sure I would be able to still make stuff and keep the shop stocked with unique items. So that idea is on the back burner right now…

10. What kinds of art beads do you look for?
Bright colored, big and bold. The ceramic and glass art beads are for me. It gives you a statement of clean, bold and sturdy…..I am not a foo foo girl, so the lace and delicate stuff doesn’t work for me.

11.Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?

When I first met Jennifer with Jangles at a bead show in Rosemount, MN I thought I can make these ceramic beauties…so I took the class-----well let me tell you- Jennifer has this down to a science and I will continue to purchase from her. All I do is call her up with my idea and she makes it…. funny when I made them they didn’t look a thing like hers J…. In fact my ceramic beads are in a bin somewhere…I really like the ceramic beads because the offer colors that glass beads don’t. You can get your true red, blue, green and orange…

12. What beady plans do you have for the future?
I am going to continue exploring the recycled materials area to incorporate into my work. The bottle caps, marbles, yarns, material, license plates, buttons etc….

13. Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon? The latest and greatest is the bottle caps – I have taken the ring of a bottle cap with the center cut out and beaded around it (Brickstich) I will continue to more in that direction. I also acquired a few license plates that I discovered could be cut up with the correct tool, so I am thinking there is something that can be down with small pieces there too.

Written by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles.

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