Friday Finds... BelleJouJou
Wow it's been a while but Friday Finds is BACK after a holiday of it's own, and to kick off 2011 I have a beautiful store and brilliant crafter behind the work to share with you! BelleJouJou specializes in custom wedding and special event bags, and they are just absolutely stunning! If you are planning something special, especially those ladies looking to accessorize for their big day or for unique gifts then you'll find BelleJouJou is full of luxurious elegant treats to feast your eyes upon. I contacted Cynthia, the lady behind the work to find out more about what she does! I hope you enjoy her interview!
Interview # 55
(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.) I’m Cynthia Duke-Birowski, age 57. I live in Dallas, Texas and have for 36 years, except for the 5 years I escaped to California. I call myself an ADD artist. I can’t do just one thing!
-- What is your business about then? My business is about making beautiful clutches and purses for the discriminating woman to match her wardrobe and her style.
-- How did Etsy come into your life? I’m in an artist ring with a group of wonderful women who support each other in art, life and mentor each other. My associates kept telling me to check out etsy and I finally did!
-- Are you working a day job too? No, I’m not working a day job. I call myself semi-retired, since I will never ever stop doing and creating SOMEthing.
-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? I’ve been an artist since I could hold a crayon. I used to design new clothes on my paper dolls at 5 and 6 years of age.
-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? I was a fashion designer for 15 years in the Dallas area, and retired from that very stressful arena. But, I had bought about 10 yards of a faux leopard print fabric a few years ago (for drapes that I never made) and decided to do something with it. The bags seemed the best thing to make with it. It kind of exploded from that into doing silk bags for brides and bridesmaids.
-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Beautiful, luxurious, elegant
-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? I get up around 8, then get a cup of Good Earth tea, get on the computer for about 1 ½ hours, doing research, answering emails. Then I cut out some bags or do a planning session for the flowers and embellishments. If I have a custom order, I may have to go shop for fabric in that color if I don’t have enough. I come back home around 3-4 and sew or cut more bags, then go to the gym around 5:30 and have dinner later. If I have a pressing order, I may continue working until around 10:30 at night to complete the order.
-- What's your favourite material and techniques to work with? I love working with silks and brocades. I also love planning the flowers which I make myself out of satins, organzas and chiffons and find just the perfect rhinestone button or color of feathers for embellishments.
-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? I would love to work with more brides who come to me for their very special bag that would be a family heirloom or paint someones dream bag for their special event.
-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? I love to read at night to put me to sleep. Usually a fantasy book. I also love just getting together with friends in my women’s group. On the weekends, I relax at the lake with my husband on our boat if there’s not an art show going on somewhere, that is!
-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? I usually search for rhinestone buttons, feathers, flowers and other clutch accessories, and check out my competition to see what the latest trends are.
-- Any last words? Yes, I love this quote from Mark Twain:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." –
I’ve decided that this is my motto – and to be true to yourself at all times!