WHERE ARE YOUR DIGS: I have a little studio in my home in Austin, Texas.
COMPANY NAME: maneki
CRAFT TOOL YOU CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT: my Dremel!
FINISH THE SENTENCE: When I am not making jewelry I am reading, practicing yoga, swimming, spending time with my boyfriend and my friends, or playing with my little Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix, Chibi.
Maneki Neko means lucky cat. Why did you opt for this name for your business?
I did a lot of research on choosing a name for a business, and Maneki had a lot of plusses—it sounds pretty when you say it, it is unusual, and its meaning has positive connotations. Maneki is also sometimes translated as “beckoning,” which has a good connotation, too. Also, I like to think of it as a nod to my six-year-old self, who not only loved fashion but was the president/founder of the Cat Club and had a subscription to Cat Fancy magazine.
You just got a brand spanking new lovely website. How is Maneki 2.0 different from your old site?
I’m most excited about the slideshow on the homepage; I’ve been experimenting with photography and with composing a photograph so that it tells a little story about the jewelry, and I think the homepage displays that really well. I also started a blog!
What is your favorite type of jewelry to make? I find I am an earring gal myself.
Definitely necklaces–probably because I find myself more likely to wear them than I am to wear a pair of earrings (depending on the outfit, of course). I also like to play around with different types of necklaces a lot, using asymmetry, multiple strands, etc.
You and I have crossed paths a time or two at local flea markets scavenging for vintage bits and pieces. Any tips for aspiring jewelry designers on how to divide and conquer at a flea market?
One thing that I constantly have to remind myself—don’t be afraid to bargain. I mean, it’s a flea market, not some fancy estate sale. Also, I like to bring a camera and take photos, because a lot of times I will see something that I don’t necessarily want to buy but can serve as inspiration–even if it’s not jewelry. But, just FYI, be discreet about it, because every once in a while someone will scold you for taking photos (not that I know this from firsthand experience or anything)!
Austin, TX seems to be a hot bead of creativity. You and I both are from small Texas towns and have migrated to Austin, any theories on why this little town smack in the middle of the lone star state is such a bumpin’ spot for crafters?
I think crafty people (especially crafty people from other areas in Texas) are attracted to Austin because it has kind of a “best of both worlds” appeal—it’s still in Texas, I can still visit my family pretty easily, I can still go to small town flea markets or drive out to somewhere beautiful like Pedernales Falls. But on the other hand, I get to live in a town that has an active art/craft community, theaters that show independent films, great live music, functional public transportation, etc. Basically, it’s a town where creative people can feel like they fit in but still get to be Texans.