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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Friday Finds... EnlightenedPlatypus
This is my 32nd interview of the amazing not-so-well-known artists of Etsy!
I am grateful to Etsy seller EnlightenedPlatypus for taking part in todays interview considering I was rather last minute approaching her! I had such a nostalgic trip visiting her store i wanted to go back in time to the days i lived surrounded by my fine art, local music and my circle of friends. The clothing has a kind of vibrant magic that makes me think of folk music and dancing free amongst nature. Where I am now with my photography, or should I say the inspiration behind it is derived from this past I am reminded of :) I was once a right old modern day hippy and if I'd have discovered Lisa Marie's amazing elven-like coats back in the day (if her business was about then), I'd have a huge collection by now already!
Take the time to visit her store!
(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)
-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) My name is Lisa Marie Correia and I am the creator of Enlightened Platypus coats. I just turned 28 a few days ago. I'm formerly from Los Angeles, CA but just recently moved to beautiful, green Denver, Colorado. I'm also a wife and the proud new mommy of an 8 month old baby girl.
-- What is your business about then? Enlightened Platypus is all about creating one of a kind clothing, mostly coats. I use 90% recycled sweaters in the softest materials I can find. I have a passion for making the old new again. It's good for the earth and because I use vintage fabrics, each piece is guaranteed to be completely unique, never to be reproduced. When I'm designing a new coat I take great care to ensure that the finished piece is going to flatter a variety of body types. I adore an hourglass silhouette, so I make sure the waist can be cinched in nice and tight. Then I patch together a giant twirly skirt that is just perfect for dancing. I take my time to ensure that every piece is of the highest quality. I like to imagine that I'm making a gift for one of my best friends.
-- How did Etsy come into your life? I've been a longtime Etsy customer and have always wanted to open my own little shop. One day I was at the fabric shop gathering materials to make my daughter a dress when I met a girl who had her own Etsy store. Talking to her inspired me to take the leap, and see if anyone else would like my unique sense of style. One week later Enlightened Platypus was up and running.
-- Are you working a day job too? Does being a mommy count? LoL! I was an elementary school teacher in Los Angeles for 7 years, and loved every minute of it. Now I am taking some time off to be the best mommy I can be...and to make some wonderful coats while I'm at it. ;)
-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? I've always loved to create art. As a teen I made quilts and clothing with my mom. While I was teaching I fell in love with painting, which helped me hone my sense of color. For the past year I've been rediscovering my seamstress skills by creating my own patterns and sewing clothes for my daughter and myself.
-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? So many things! Froud's fairy artwork, steampunk culture, Victorian Goth culture, Wild Burning Man costumes, Renaissance Festivals. And of course the fabrics themselves. Colors placed together in just the right way create a feeling and tell a story. When I see the perfect color palette, the call to create just can't be ignored.
-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Ooooh, that's tough. I'd describe my coats as Gypsy Fairy Couture.
-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? During the day I'm busy taking care of my little cutiepie. When her daddy comes home in the evening he takes over and I go straight to my sewing machine. I might start around 5 PM with choosing sweaters to go into a new creation. By 6 o'clock I've settled on my selections and will begin to cut out my pattern. Then its straight sewing until I drop. I've been known to stay up until 3 AM, though I try to be in bed by 1 o'clock on most nights.
-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? I love to shop the thrift stores for soft sweaters I n bright colors. I've used every type of material you can possibly make a sweater out of, from cashmere to cotton. I'll also throw in the odd bit of velvet or faux fur to spice things up a bit.
-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? I would love to grow my business on Etsy. In the very near future a portion of each sale will go toward helping clean up the oil spill in the Gulf. I'd like to expand that program to include other charities as well, that way my customers can choose where their donation goes. I think I have a unique message to share. I want to help people see how fulfilling it can be to wear a unique handmade piece of clothing that not only looks and feels lovely, but is also helping make our planet a better place.
-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? At the moment my favorite thing to do is take my daughter out someplace she's never been before and see her reactions to things. I love to be in nature, so hiking and letterboxing with my husband is always fun. I also love to dress up and show off my unique sense of style, so I'll take just about any opportunity to do so. I love to go to Renaissance Festivals, Burning man regional events, Goth clubs (pre-baby), or just out for a nice dinner.
-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? For me, Etsy is all about the clothes. So I'm nearly always looking at clothing and searching terms like retro, gothic, steampunk, or fairy. I also look for little additions I can add to my coats, such as hand made clasps or vintage buttons.
-- Any last words? Be Daring, Be Unique, Be Enlightened!