Okay, it might seem early, but Halloween, for lots of people, is one of those holidays that creeps up so fast, they don't plan for it. Folks find themselves on Friday night trying to pull together a black dress and broom, white sheet with eye holes cut out, or a roll of toilet paper and tape (fingers crossed it doesn't rain!) Now, I know we're all crafty people, but there are only so many hours in a day that your fingers can handle! Luckily, there's shop RoseLaMer. Her handmade hats, headpieces, and combs are so ornate, they'll make your costume speak for itself. You've got some time to decide, but hurry up before you see that 1920s gal at the party wearing the amazing bird brooch comb you were going to buy!
Enjoy the interview. Kelsey's story is just as interesting as her creations.
1. What is your shop name and URL?
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
Milliners of Etsy, Its a Madcap Life, Business Topics, Etsy Contest, Vintage Lovers, SF Etsy
3. 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 hats and headpieces using vintage and reclaimed materials, all made by hand. I've never been officially taught hat-making, but I've learned my way through a stack of vintage millinery books and fashion texts. Much of what I do is pieced together through experiences I've had in my life; having learned sewing from my amazing mother, working in a costume shop, being an antique rug restoration specialist, and just making art and crafts all the time. I have also met some amazing milliners through etsy, and all of these women have given tips. Usually I go into my studio, pull out my fashion books and a stack of fabrics, feathers, netting, and gems and just shuffle around until items click together. But, most of the time I'll be laying wide awake in the middle of the night and be seeing crazy ideas floating around.
4. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I run my hat business on the side. I have a full time job working at a jewelry manufacturer and wholesaler called Nina Designs. I work with a group of ten amazing women to run the day-to-day of the business. We do everything from customer service to website troubleshooting. And we do get to play with some amazing jewelry components! I live in a tiny town called Crockett, out on the edge of the San Pablo Bay, with my partner and our dog and cat. We bought an amazing fixer-up house and have been totally immersed in the joys of tiling, roofing, decking, and painting. As well as going thrifting and antiquing for fun household items! I used to be an art teacher at a K-5th program where I had some great excuses for working on my other loves of painting, muraling, and crafting.
5. What inspires your creations?
I am inspired by eras past. I adore scanning fashion frames from the 1870s-1950s. There are so many variations of styles and ideas through those decades that the possibilities of inspiration are endless. I also have the 'Fashion' book from the Kyoto Fashion institute. That book is what my mom and a few of my fashion friends call our Bible. It has an amazing amazing wealth of fashion knowledge, and I would never want to be without it.
6. What is the craziest gift you have ever received?
I don't know that its weird crazy, but it was totally a wild time. It was Valentine's Day, and my beau called me up and asked if I had gotten home yet. I said yes, and he said he was just pulling up into the driveway but I couldn't look out the window. He pulled up, got me outside blindfolded, and then revealed his gift: he had done some installation work at a theatre in Marin and was asked to take some items out to the dump. One item was a Victorian couch, fully restored with red velvet cushions and perfect wood work. they didn't want it, he snuck it into his truck, and brought it home to me for V-Day. It was totally unexpected and perfect!
7. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?
You can find me and friend me on facebook! facebook.com/roselamer
If you're an Etsy seller in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Katy or Steph about joining SFEtsy!