It's called recycling, upcycling, reinventing or repurposing. Taking trash and making treasure. Whatever you call it, today's "Meet the Etsy Seller"- Miss Courageous, is very good at it.
Today's interview is with Millie, from the Etsy shops Miss Courageous and BuckleUp. According to her Miss Courageous profile, everything Millie makes used to be something else. Her Miss Courageous store is known for "Pop Jewelry and Accessories...As in pop caps, pop music, pop a lid, pop art, pop culture." Necklaces made out of hand cut record vinyl, earrings made from Scrabble tiles...Millie's Miss Courageous store is full of surprises! As is her other Etsy store, BuckleUp. Full of upcycled...buckles of course! My favorites are the upcycled Altoid tins as buckles...with built in storage!
Enjoy the interview!
How long have you been making jewelry/upcycled items?
I've always enjoyed finding creative re-use for things, but I've been making & selling jewelry from recycled materials for about 4 years now. It progressed naturally to accessories from there.
What inspired you to incorporate vintage/recycled materials into your work?
Basically just the need to create from whatever I had on hand... sometimes I'll look at things and imagine what else it could become. I'm also really drawn to the idea of transformation. Some of the vintage items become incorporated because of my love of the past, & the mystery those things hold.
Why do you feel that's important?
Aside from the obvious benefits of re-use I also think as an artist it's important to try to do things that are unconventional. I enjoy peoples reactions when they see my products.
What's your favorite item in your store(s) right now?
Since I have two etsy stores can I give you two favorites? I have been in love with the Lego belt buckles, in my shop buckleup, since I made the first prototype for my nephew, but in the fun colors they're irresistibleI In misscourageous my favorite item is the bubbles upcycled record vinyl necklace, all of the vinyl is handcut. I'll be adding some with colored vinyl soon. But some of my favorite items haven't made it into my shops yet; belt buckles made from rotary telephone receivers.
Is this a full-time job for you? Or would you like it to be?
Yes! Miss Courageous is my full time job. Well, my second full time job, I also have a 4 year old daughter! Where else do you sell besides Etsy?
I also sell at the Capital City Public Market, which runs every Saturday from April 17 thru Christmas. I have just opened a brick & mortar boutique with my local etsy street team Idaho Indie Works, at btcelements.com and I also have items in a couple of consignment stores. I also sell at local events and shows.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Martha Stewart, if you're reading this, I'd love to come on your show and demonstrate how to make a storage belt buckle from upcycled materials.