Welcome back to our Saturday Artisan! I took a couple of months break and am slowly getting back to this.
Meet Linda of Crazy Fox Studio on Etsy, "Recycling for the Heart and Soul." I love her shop, beautiful jewelries with a unique story behind it.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what arts/ crafts that you make?
Since I was a little girl I always remember drawing and making things, so jumping from my job as a freelance designer/illustrator to jewelry crafting is really not a leap for me. I still work full-time as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. While this is a challenge designing logos, brochures, books, puzzles and games for clients, I was searching for something that would make my heart sing. I love designing for clients however, it never really feels like my own work. When I design any jewelry or accessory for the shop, I design pieces that make me happy and hopefully make others happy as well. And, I realized this was something that I loved! Family and friends had been telling me for years that I should start selling my jewelry. I’m still trying to balance the two jobs. In the future I hope to make Crazy Fox not only my passion but full time career as well!
Which part of creation process that you like to do the most?
I love the hunt! The jewelry we make is from re-purposed vintage pieces that were once loved and cherished by someone. Old skeleton keys, that may have once opened hidden, secret doors...Rhinestone buttons once adorning a bride’s wedding dress...Old pocket watches counting the seconds to a lover’s tryst...
All these pieces have to be found. My husband and I search Eastern Ontario and Quebec’s flea markets, auctions, tag sales and garage sales for vintage pieces that speak to us. Some of the stories we know, some will always be a mystery and that is what is so exciting to me. We try to find unique vintage items and marry them to other vintage items to create one-of-a-kind pieces. I really feel we have to take the time to appreciate the quality and workmanship of our ancestors. In this day and age, recycling is the way of the future. Each piece at Crazy Fox is made with heart and soul, that hopefully will make the wearer’s heart and soul happy.
For us who love to travel, could you share a bit about your beautiful town/ city?
I grew up in Montreal, Quebec and moved to the tiny rural village of Williamstown, Ontario to be closer to nature. Williamstown dates back to 1784, rich in history and now a farming community. Williamstown is half way between Montreal and Ottawa and perfect for traveling back and forth for freelance work/shows. Williamstown is also home to Canada’s oldest continuing annual fair, which celebrates its bicentennial in 2012. Our home is nestled along the Raisin River and is over a hundred years old and is the perfect retreat with tons of nature all around us.
What is your goal for 2012? And are you on the right track?
In the 2012, there will be more of the same re-purposed jewelry and a lot more copper and leather pieces. My husband does all the soldering and copper work. We don’t have a lot of these bracelets, escutcheons/keyholes in the shop yet, because they keep selling out! The patina on these bracelets is so beautiful and iridescent. And right now I’m working on Crazy Fox Papers! I figure I have been designing for clients, so it is now my turn to be my own client. I’m in the process of creating a Woodland line featuring foxes and bears. The line will include cards and articulated paper dolls. This leads me back to my childhood when I would spend endless hours creating a world with paper dolls. The only thing I’m need is a little more time... to create all these ideas running around in my head!
What is your favourite tool that you cannot live without?
I don’t really have a favourite tool however I do have something I can’t work without. My dog! Last summer I lost my dog Gracie, a boarder collie to old age. After fifteen years of her sitting at my feet being my muse I found it difficult to work. Our other dog Boo (another boarder collie) is not interested in being a muse. I was not ready for another dog however everyday I felt like something was missing. In the fall I found my perfect muse, Wally, a rescue dog (norfolk terrier). Everyday Wally sits by my feet and muses... and mostly he makes me laugh and reminds me to take a break and live in the moment!
Any advice for others running their on-line shop?
When we first started on Etsy, we really did not know if anyone would like our work. Etsy gave us the confidence to start to think bigger. This last holiday season we participated in 3 shows which was a huge step. These shows were really a success, and the feedback was overwhelming. I don’t think we would have taken that leap without being on Etsy first. We had no idea that there would be a market for re-purposed jewelry.
I’ve always been a big believer in following your dreams and listening to your heart. I really feel Etsy supports that. They encourage handmade and helped make handmade “cool.” So, people are coming out of the closets with their cool designs. For us living in a rural area where traditional design ideas are more common, Etsy introduced us to a world where the more creative you are the more sales you make! So, the advice I would give is take the leap!
Anything else you would like to share?
People often ask where the name Crazy Fox Came from... In the spring of 2009 we noticed a fox cub in our area. The tiny fox was always by itself so we assumed it had been orphaned. This little fox was starving and searching for food. We would see him all over the village night and day which is unusual for foxes. We saw him running through hay fields, chasing bugs, sleeping on porches and even on the steps of our local general store. One day we went out our back door and he was in the garden, my husband held out his hand, the fox walked up, checked him out, then leapt after a butterfly. He had no FEAR. We started calling him “Crazy Fox”. Every time I went out the house I would look for Crazy Fox, he stayed around all summer and into the fall. In January 2010, I opened an Etsy shop and wanted a unique name, a reflection of how I felt. Crazy Fox Studio was the obvious choice, to me it meant to move forward without fear, even if some people may think you are a little crazy!