1. How did you start?
I started when I was young, really young. I started with hand sewing little quilts for my dolls. Then I learned how to use a sewing machine and made clothes for them too. Over the years I’ve gone from sewing to latch hooking rugs, tiling planter pots, to braided and hemp jewelry and everything in between. I’ll give just about anything a try, except I’ve crossed painting and drawing off the list, I have absolutely no talent in these areas.
2. Tell us more about the person behind JUNIQUE4U.
I’ve always loved to make things but after getting laid off it has become a more prominent part of my life. I have four daughters ranging in age from 12 to 19 and this year will be my 22nd wedding anniversary. My husband is a firefighter and he puts up with way to0 many trips to jewelry stores and shows. He is very supportive and I love him for that (amongst other things).
3. What inspires you?
I feel like anything and everything can inspire me. I live in the middle of nowhere, so nature plays a big role. Sometimes it might just be a unique stone that makes me want to create something for that stone.
4. How would you define your style?
I’m not sure I have a particular style. Most people say my stuff is “earthy” which I think is a compliment. I tend to think I have a little of everything, modern, industrial, romantic and definitely earthy.
5. Any mistakes you learned from in the last year?
Mistakes, definitely! I think the biggest is when I make something and think it’s wonderful and it doesn’t really even get looked at and then the item that I think is OK will be bought over and over. It’s just my opinion that a piece is OK and not wonderful, I mean everything is made with quality materials but with jewelry I think people are attracted to items they feel emotional about and since everyone is different it’s hard to judge how things will be received.
6. Which is your favorite product to make and why?
I love to make the beaded leather wrap bracelets because it combines sewing (where I started) and jewelry. I don’t like sticking myself with the needles now and then, but that comes with the territory. Also, there are so many combinations of colors, beads, leather and buttons – it’s a lot of fun and exciting to see how they will turn out.
7. This is a question we like to ask a lot: if you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I would first be way more Internet savvy then put myself out there. I have no idea about Facebook or Twitter or anything like that.
8. Any projects?
My new projects are with PMC. I was recently looking for some buttons for my leather wrap bracelets and came across some vintage buttons and now I’m on a kick of making silver pendants out of the button casts. I wear the first one I ever made, it’s a windmill. I’m not sure why, but I love windmills. My husband wears a charm I made from a button off of a fire department dress uniform coat.
9. Where can we find you?
I can be found on Etsy, www.junique4u.etsy.com and www.lonebirchdesigns.etsy.com, I do craft fairs now and then, but it’s hard to get a space because you have to think about Christmas in April when the applications are due. I seem to always just miss the deadlines.
All photos courtesy of Junique4u.