Time and time again, I am inspired by the ingenuity of my fellow Etsy sellers. It's so impressive how folks with a creative bent can find beauty and function in unexpected places. This week's featured Etsy artist, Kendra of Girl on Bike, is a perfect example -- before learning about Kendra's shop, I never would have imagined that stylish, striking jewelry could be made from recycled bicycle tires! I especially like these "Native Slender" earrings. So classic and yet unusual!
Enjoy the interview!
1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
I make earrings using recycled/upcycled bicycle inner tubes.
I am very inspired by nature and natural elements. Most of my designs center around feather shapes and currently the colors blue, gold, & silver. People often think the inner tube material looks like leather until they actually touch it.
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
I'm a member of SFEtsy, East Bay Team, and ETC.
3. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I got in to business young, opening my first boutique at 22. In 2009 I decided I wanted to live a simpler more conscious life and made some drastic changes. I closed my store down, got rid of my car & got a bicycle, lost a bunch of weight, sold off or gave away most of my unnecessary "things", and really got in to things like gardening and urban foraging.
Now I live off the money I make selling my earrings in local boutiques and have plenty of free time to explore the activities I have always been interested in. I run a local Bay Area Clothing Swap group . I have a group for Urban Foraging the East Bay, and I also started a group for Food Swap Events where people can get together and swap their home made or home grown foods (ie: jams, breads, granola, pickles, etc.).
4. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite?
Right now my favorite earrings are my Oak style in silver:
I wear these all the time and love how large they are while still being really lightweight.
5. What does buying and selling local handmade mean to you, and how has it affected your life?
I try to buy locally as much as possible. I want to make sure as most of the money I spend goes to bettering my community and improving my local economy. If I can't make it myself then I look for someone locally who can. I even translate this in to my eating habits and focus on buying only fruits and vegetables that have been grown in California...that is, for the produce I can't grow myself in my backyard garden.
6. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
I have a blog where I write about Food, Bikes, & Sustainability: http://girlonbikewrites.blogspot.com
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Jen from Mama's Magic Studio about joining SFEtsy!