Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday Spotlight: Gracie's Treasures

Hello, and welcome to our next Friday Spotlight...on Saturday! Every other week, we will feature a new interview from one of our TeamBPAL members.

Let's learn a little more about Sara of Gracie's Treasures.

Tell us a little about the items in your shop. What do you make?
We love to make clothing of all kinds, with an emphasis on natural fabrics, corsetry and tailoring. I also hand embellish laces and fabrics, and make flowers out of fabrics. We make a lot of wedding gowns and evening/formal dresses, but it's not limited to that. We've also made individual garments like jackets, cloaks.. That kind of thing. We also create special costumes upon request, which is always a lot of fun.

What is your creative process?
For sample projects or for my own ideas, I can be inspired by movies, places, music, books, a fabric or a historical figure. Pretty much anything and everything. For clients, I listen to their ideas about what they like, the event or place they're going to wear the finished outfit to and then look at their body type or measurements. From there, I get a lot of ideas about the style, what kind of seaming or tailoring will flatter them best and fabric suggestions are a natural progression. Once we agree on that sketch, my mother sews the garment in her workshop and sends it to me if necessary for any hand finishing or beadwork that needs to be done.

Which Etsy Teams do you belong to?
Just TeamBPAL for now, though I might be interested in joining wedding, fashion or LA specific ones down the road.


When you are not creating things, what do you do?
I'm a freelance writer and a full time mother to two small children. My life is fun, full and very varied.

Tell us two random, interesting things about you.
I don't know about interesting, but I can do random. I'm a compulsive reader, and love to settle down with a cup of hot tea and a new book. I'm from England, and have a degree in Religious Theology, which my mother told me I'd never use in my chosen career. She was right!

What has been your proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
Well, I'm a little embarrassed to say that I haven't really focused on my Etsy shop until recently, but being included in Treasuries always makes me proud. I also do a little happy dance every time I get a convo from someone, telling me they love something I made. On the other hand, we've been doing this in a bricks and mortar capacity for well over a decade now and I've had some 'best ever' moments. I think the most memorable (aside from particular clients) was having one of my dresses be a finalist in Conde Nast Bride & Setting Up Home magazine's Best Of British Bridal Awards in 2000. Each category had thousands of entries, and the finalists were selected by a panel that consisted of editors, journalists, designers and celebrities. It was the only awards that were chosen by a panel as opposed to just votes, so that was a huge deal for me.


What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
I'd tell them to do their own thing, believe in their work and be original above all else. Originality is integrity, and if you don't have that you don't have anything.

What handmade possession do you cherish?
I have some handmade jewelry pieces that I love and wear regularly, but my most beloved item is a satin and lace corset and skirt outfit my mom and I made for my wedding. It was so incredibly special, and every single part of it was everything I could have dreamed of, regardless of who made it. There's something so perfect about having something made just for you, exactly as *you* want it to be down to the last detail.

If you could have any item on Etsy regardless of price, what would it be?
A signed first edition of Where The Wild Things Are, signed by Maurice Sendak.

What other skill or talent do you wish you could possess, if you had not taken this creative path?
I'd love to be able to *really* sing. That would be rad! Alas, my 6 year old is our Rock Band lead singer. Hahaha.

Thanks for the interview, Sara! Have a great weekend, everyone! We'll return in two weeks.

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