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05 October 2010 @ 02:29 pm
2010 Vendor Profile #1 - LOOKA jewelry  
Hello Everyone!

Today marks only TWO MONTHS until the 2010 Bazaar Bizarre Boston! This year is EXTRA SPECIAL because we are celebrating TEN YEARS of crafting and selling and celebrating! It's the BBB's 10th Birthday!

Let's kick off the countdown RIGHT with our first interview / profile/ vendor spotlight!

We are pleased to introduce LOOKA Jewelry!

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Hi there! First things first: What's your name, what's your business name, where are you from, and where are you currently located/crafting?

Hi!  My name is Liz Ryan, otherwise known as 'Looka' to some of my friends.  I am the jeweler (as well as designer & owner) behind
 LOOKA jewelry.
 I grew up in Spencer, MA (a small town outside of Worcester, MA) and have settled for the past year in beautiful Northampton, MA    where I am happily creating my jewelry.

How did you get your start? Please tell us a little bit about how your business went from an idea to what is is today.
 
I got my start working seriously with metal and jewelry while at Massachusetts College of Art & Design.  Although it wasn't until a few years after graduation that I began to think I could create jewelry of my own that people would want to wear (and even own!)  My experience working as a bench jeweler for a successful small business helped me to see jewelry making in a new way.  With encouragement from my  family, closest friends, and boss-friend I started LOOKA jewelry.  I started with a few designs in the beginning and with positive feedback from my first customers new ideas and creations began snowballing from there.

What inspires you the most to create?

 My jewelry designs are often inspired from those things I love most (a love of miniatures, collections, keepsakes, handwriting, rabbits....)  I am inspired by the idea of creating a piece that could be given as a keepsake and embrace sentimental possessions.  
 
In general I get inspired seeing other artists at work and love being in the zone where there is no place I would rather be than the studio.

What are your favorite materials to work with? Do you have a favorite color palette?
 
 My material is metal and I love the color palette you can create from mixing various metals together in one piece of jewelry.
 Whether it be copper, brass, silver, rose gold, yellow gold, or oxidized silver each metal has its own natural color that is beautiful to me.  



Who are some of your favorite indie artist/crafters and why do you love them?
 
Fellow jewelers Figs & Ginger : Their designs are very sweet and I love the wearability of all their work.  I am inspired by how they run their business (from what I have gathered through their blog) and admire their dedication to running an earth-friendly (green) business.
 
Vintage by Crystal :  She is an artist making amazing cotton spun figurines and ornaments.  Words can not describe them, check out:
www.vintagebycrystal.com.  Her mini animal figurines are some of my favorite handmade works out there to collect.
 
Lea Redman @ Leaf Cutter Designs:  An out of this world indie artist who created the Worlds Smallest Post Office.... the tiniest letters to send through snail mail to your friends.  We found each other through etsy and realized we share a love for mini letters and ants.... I consider her a kindred art spirit.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business? (Nothing TOP-SECRET, of course!)
 
 On the design front I am excited to be experimenting with using vermeil (pronounced : ver-may) on some new designs.
 Vermeil is silver that has a thick *real gold coating. (Think gold-plated but way better)
 It will be fun to introduce more gold jewelry options to my collection without the crazy expense of solid gold.
 
 On a personal business front I am working towards taking my business LOOKA jewelry to the next level and have a goal to be make LOOKA jewelry my full-time career in the somewhat near future!

What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?
  
 This summer was filled with my first garden (and enjoying the best tomatoes), lots of great books, checking out the beauty of Western Mass from high & low, and lots of local ice cream.
I also love camping and sending out lots of letters to friends in my free time.

What are the top 3 reasons someone shopping at the BBB 2010 should be sure to stop by your table?
 
 1. We'll have lots of new designs - lots of stuff not on the website yet
 2.  A lot of the jewelry designs can be customized (hand-stamped with your own special message) like on our Envelope Jewelry.
     Or a cool moneyclip designed just for that special someone with a custom designed image of your choice!
 3. We are friendly :) and love talking about bunnies. (esp. house bunnies!)

What is your favorite background noise to listen to while working?
 
Lots and lots of Pandora Radio (lately I've been into the Ingrid Michaelson station).
NPR's Fresh Air and This American Life are always fun too.

 
Where do you do your (craft) work? (e.g. in a studio, in the living room, a spare bedroom, the floor, kitchen table - what's your work area like?)
 
I work from my home studio and also somedays from my employer's studio after hours.
Although some nights I'll do some simple work in front of a movie with my boyfriend on the coffee table.

If you had to contribute something you made to a time capsule to be opened in 2110, what would it be and why?
 
I would contribute one of my handmade Envelope necklaces.  I would stamp a special message and the date on the back that related to this year 2010.
Letter writing is already becoming much less common.... who knows how humans will be communicating in 2110!


Thank you Liz!
We can't wait to see you and your work on December 5th at the Cyclorama!
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Please stay tuned for more vendor profiles, giveaways, information on the event and...A BRAND NEW WEBSITE!
xo,
The BBB Crew