I was first introduced to telephone wire for art projects at my very hippie parent-coop elementary school called Charquin Alternative Program in Hayward, California. I started off creating bird sculptures and other figures before gradually creating bracelets and hair ornaments. Since then I’ve perfected my technique and have yet to get bored of working with this colorful and eco-friendly material. About three years ago I moved to Panama, so I have started incorporating local materials such as tagua (vegetable ivory), coconut, and sea shells. Professionally, I am a Fashion Designer, so I also love to make clothes and accessories using vintage or recycled fabric!
Why did you join the EcoEtsy Team?
It seemed like a great resource for ideas and support! So far it’s been wonderful!
Where do you get your ideas/inspiration?
With my telephone wire designs, I just sit down with my box of beads, and wire and get to work. I have a sort of technique that is similar to netting, so I just start doing thatâ€¦then I try different patterns or color combinations.
I recently created a whole new line of headbands, cuff bracelets, bangles, clutches, necklaces, and my signature earrings. I’m really proud with what I came up with and I’m going to be updating the shop while I am back home in California in June. I’ve been trying to think of more ways to market myself and took an ad in NEET magazine this June. Besides that I love blogging! To me it’s like working on my own inspiration journal. I post about my projects, fashion, style collages, inspirational images/quotes, my pictures, and an occasional recipe. I blog almost daily and try to keep it interesting, but I know that my next step is getting more readers!
What steps have you taken to lead a green life style?
I’m from California but now live in Panama City, Panama. It was a tough transition! Already they have started offering cloth bags at major super markets, and there are a few recycling bins around. I know it takes time and education. So I do what I can such as drinking tap water, buying in bulk, bringing my own bag to the grocery store, reusing things instead of throwing away, putting my clothes to dry in the sun, using recycled materials for my designs, trying to buy fresh produce from the street vendors instead of the super market and walking to work. These aren’t major things but I think they do help!
I work as a Fashion Designer for Ocean Pacific (Latin America and Caribbean). I design for the Juniors Clothing and Swimwear lines. I would say my favorite part is creating print repeat designs for swimsuits, dresses, etc! Panama is a really small country so I get the opportunity to see people wearing clothing I have worked on all the time just when I’m walking around the mall or at the beach!
What do you do when you are not crafting?
I love to cook and used to be a vegetarian, so it’s fun to share the â€œweirdâ€ things I eat with relatives and friends here. I also just started taking a belly dance class; I used to be in a Hawaiian/Tahitian and a Latina dance group while I was in college so it feels great to get back into it. Other than that I love going to the movies, local cultural events and planning my next adventure!