Four local makers share the secrets of their success
Published: September 19, 2012
TIME SPENT EACH WEEK: In the office 60 or 70 hours a week, and thinking about it when he's not there. He works less now than when he started, though: "At the beginning it was nauseating how much I was working. It made me go insane … I think it ruined a relationship."
"What I do now is I get to design now and I get to think. Everyone here is supporting a design vision, helping choose materials or giving feedback on details of construction … everyone has input."
"Obsessive Japanese kids, surfer guys, old guys who want a slim wallet. Anyone." (Skate photographer Raymond Molinar is a fan; his sponsor Stereo recently released a deck with photos of his favorite things, including a couple of Makr products.)
INDISPENSABLE TOOL: CAD
"Sketching is just thinking; I need the computer to work. I'm better at CAD than anything else. I'm better at CAD than –
walking. I don't know why."
Heath Ceramics, Geoff McFetridge, Fort Standard, Unis Menswear; locally, provided the stools for Cask & Larder and currently designing interior of the new Black Bean Deli
"I like making stuff – I want to keep making stuff … [but] we want to have our own stores eventually."
Sea of Bees Jewelry
In 2009, Stephanie Rivas found herself unemployed and in pain. "After I got laid off, I started playing with clay as a stress reliever, and also because I had developed pretty bad carpal tunnel. … I thought that would help me get through it." Later that year, she started using the clay to make jewelry. She's completely self-taught, although "I've been making jewelry always," she admits. "I was always taking things apart, combining them into new or different things … clocks, keychains, little pictures Mod-Podged onto bottle caps."
"People would ask, where'd you get that?"
Yet it wasn't until three years ago that she thought about doing it as a business. Rivas began experimenting with manipulating metal, combining her sculptural clay work with more traditional metal jewelry, seemingly creating for a bold warrior muse – a forest-dweller, a huntress, clad in protective brass chestpieces and antlers. She taught herself how to solder, snip thick steel wire, and create linking techniques that took two-dimensional pieces 3-D … all of it by hand, all of it on her own.
Now a veteran of local craft fairs like the Grandma Party Bazaar, Big Bang and Stitch Rock, Rivas has a fix on the Sea of Bees customer. "People are kind of opening their eyes. They don't want mass-produced things, they want something with a story, something made by hand," she says. "And they don't want the same thing their friend has."
> Email Jessica Bryce Young