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Featured WedEclectic Shop — ClayBouquetShop!

Continuing our feature of the winner for each month’s Team Treasury Challenge, here is our second interview: held with Jennifer from ClayBouquetShop!  (Jennifer’s winning treasury for October can be seen here.  To vote on November’s treasury challenge see this post!)


How did you start your shop? 

I didn’t know it at the time, but preparing for our DIY wedding laid the groundwork for my Etsy shop. I didn’t seriously consider continuing the creative work I was doing until after being strongly encouraged by every one of our wedding vendors to create bouquets and accessories for other brides! I started creating items for my shop the day after we arrived home from our honeymoon. : )

How did you come up with your shop name?

Since I made the wedding bouquets and boutonnieres out of clay flowers, and I thought that the shop would be comprised mainly of those creations, I named it “Clay Bouquet Shop.” Little did I know that it would grow to include brooch, beaded and feather bouquets, sashes, hair accessories, and jewelry. : )


Tell us about some of your favourite items in the shop.

I love to make clay bouquets, but have to limit the number of contracts I take on due to the time it takes to make the flowers by hand after my full time job. My husband brags about them to others whenever given the chance, which I find quite funny as he protested quite vehemently (for months) when I told him I didn’t want to carry fresh flowers. He finally changed his mind when he saw them arranged, the weekend before our wedding. And he’s even commented that the fresh bridal bouquets he has seen at recent weddings don’t look as good as the ones I make, as they tend to be a bit wilted by the time wedding party pictures are taken.

I also love the brooch bouquets that I have designed for brides…and if we ever renew our vows (which he brings up all the time…and we just celebrated our 3rd anniversary : ) I’m making one for myself!

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And I have a few favorite sets…

The Amanda, bridal sashheadband, and earrings:



The Colette, bridal sash, headband, bracelet, and earrings:


What inspires you?

The brides I work with, one on one…their themes and details provide a framework for their bouquets. : )


What is your favorite wedding trend (now or past)?

I really enjoy seeing weddings that incorporate the bride and groom’s passions and favorite things. It becomes less of a traditional cookie-cutter wedding and more of a unique celebration of the couple’s lives coming together.


Given the opportunity, which celebrity would you like to see wearing your designs?

I am tickled pink whenever I see photos of brides wearing or carrying my creations, so I would love if any public figure wore or carried anything I made for them!

The Vivian, crystal headpiece and earrings:


What is your unicorn – that is, what is an object or skill that has eluded you so far?

If time is an object…I wish I had enough time to fill my current orders, maintain my life/home/business and to accept last minute orders. I’ve had to turn away a number of brides this year due to my busy production schedule, and wish that I could help every bride that contacts me. (I’m currently booked through March of 2013 for bouquets.)


What do you think the future holds for you / your shop?

We’re moving early next year, and my plan is to have a devoted room for my shop…and I look forward to be able to display my creations and have a bright, spacious room to work in!


Featured WedEclectic Shop — ArtisanMaskers!

We will be featuring the winner of each month’s Team Treasury Challenge…here is our first interview, held with Amanda from ArtisanMaskers!

Working together as a group of cousins, sisters, and friends, they create simply fabulous masks!

How did you start your shop?

The Artisan Maskers started making masks because we wanted to throw a masquerade ball and couldn’t find any masks ANYWHERE that didn’t cost a fortune!  (This was almost ten years ago–there are LOTS more options now, thank heavens!)  We didn’t really think of selling them until a few years had passed and we made some to auction for a charity event.  They went like wild-fire and we thought, “Hey.  Maybe people would actually buy these!”  It wasn’t until 2008 that we opened a shop on Etsy and really started creating and selling masks as a business.

Tell us about some of your favourite items in the shop.

Our favorite items tend to be the ones that were long in the execution and quick to sell, because they weren’t sitting around long enough for us to get tired of them!  Any that are totally unique are also favorites because they took more creativity and artistry.  Here are links to some favorites that have come and gone…

Who or what would you say has had the most influence over your craft?

I don’t know that you could say it’s had the “most” influence over my craft, but one thing that has definitely inspired me to branch out is the “green” movement.  I hate being wasteful, so when even tiny scraps were being trimmed off of other masks, I would hoard them until I found something to use them on.  Which led me to the unique “scrap masks.”  (i.e. OOAK_Mask and OOAK Fox Mask) As far as I know, they aren’t like anything else being done on masks right now.  (After all, who else would bother saving all those broken, tiny things!?)  Another HUGE influence on our craft is simply the fact that we set out to create something beautiful and unique for LESS.  We don’t use traditional clay molds to create our mask bases, which saves us time and money in the mask-creating process.  That makes it possible for us to create something that is unique without charging a fortune for it!

What inspires you?

Each of the Maskers is inspired by something different, but I (Amanda) am personally very inspired by literature.  You can often see what book I’ve been reading by the names of my masks…  We are also all inspired by music (another one you can see reflected in the masks’ names at times) and by the many and varied materials we use.  Sometimes a mask comes about because we just found the perfect combination of things to put on it!

What is your favorite wedding trend (now or past)?

I have to say that I think the best trend in weddings is that just about “anything goes”.  I’m pretty conservative and traditional, BUT also a very casual person!  And it was nice that our low-key reception wasn’t frowned upon by those attending because wedding receptions have become anything and everything the bridal party want them to be.  If something doesn’t reflect the people who are getting married, then it shouldn’t play into the day celebrating their union.

What is your unicorn – that is, what is an object or skill that has eluded you so far?

“Appendages” are always difficult (think: horns, long/crazy noses, antlers, animal ears, etc.).  We have yet to find one perfect way of doing them all…

What do you think the future holds for you / your shop?

Since most of the Maskers are busy with other aspects of their lives (kids, jobs, school, etc.) and mostly design masks as a creative outlet and expression, I actually don’t see our business growing much more than it already has.  We like to keep things small and personal!  It is wonderful to be able to run the shop at my own pace and not get sucked into over-commercialization.  We LOVE getting to know individual clients and creating something unique for them!  That is, after all, what got us going in the first place–the desire to do something unique and individual.  So, luckily, I don’t see that changing anytime soon!

Visit ArtisanMaskers on Etsy and Facebook !

Offbeat Spotlight Featuring Krissy Cartwright

Welcome to the WedEclectic Offbeat Interview Series!  Here, we invite you to absolutely pay attention to (wo)man behind the curtain. And lucky you because they are all amazing artisans making amazing things in their fabulous shops.

Today, we’re chatting with Krissy Cartwright, Atlanta based owner of Make Believe’N Alternative Weddings LLC and captain of the wonderfully offbeat WedEclectic team on Etsy.

Krissy Cartwright, owner and designer extraordinaire at MakeBelieve’N

How did you come up with your shop name?

My shop name came from my theory that we should be the most authentic people we can be.  No make believin’ to fit someone else’s ideal version of you or your wedding. Being able to fill my days designing and daydreaming about ways to buck wedding traditions is awesome!

And what exactly are these tradition-bucking designs?

I take high quality fabrics and embellishments and transform them into personalized keepsake bouquets and accessories. Each flower is individually handcrafted out of satin, chiffon, organza, crepe, and tulle, and centered with any embellishment that can be imagined. My desire to create non-traditional wedding bouquets and accessories has enriched and fulfilled my life in ways I never could have imagined. My “art” allows me to focus on the style and personality of my clients. Every custom order is a window into a life I never would have known otherwise.

Rockabilly-inspired fascinator by Krissy Cartwright


How’d you get started?

A few years ago I started making hair doodads for a friend and the business snowballed from there.

Who would you say has had the most influence over your craft?

Etsy has influenced my work profoundly. Finding the right niche, and building my shop all came from learning from Etsy admins and my fellow Etsians.

Makebelieve’N collage postcard featuring photos by Darling Studios

What is your favorite wedding trend (now or past)?

Unique and quirky wedding details that represent the couple instead of the masses.

What would you like to see at more weddings?

I would love to see more programs that give additional background on the couple…how they met, favorite foods/songs, etc.

Which celebrity would you like to see sporting your designs?

If I had to choose a celebrity to work with it would be someone eclectic…a Katy Perry maybe.

A woman should always carry…?

Women should always carry a cell phone.  Keeps you safe and connected with those you love.


Krissy with her son, Brennon, in 2010.

What is your unicorn – that is, what is an object or skill that has eluded you so far?

My unicorn…so many things, but the biggest is web/graphic design.  Just ticks me off that I don’t have a clue how to do this!!!

If you are interested in bucking a few traditions of your own, Krissy is at your service.  Feel free to browse her shop on Etsy for a gallery of her offbeat designs, ready to purchase or to serve as inspiration for your custom order. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Interview by Janice J. Bear of  Never a Plain Jane Designs