collaboration Interview lifestyle
Sunny B' Store Interview1/16/2012
As the beginning of this New Year, I felt it would be great to appreciate the new creative talent as well! Recently, I've ...
As the beginning of this New Year, I felt it would be great to appreciate the new creative talent as well! Recently, I've begin to come across some really unique and beautiful stores, that offer a range of great collectibles. One of them being 'The SunnyB' store! Its a natural bouquet, that has classic yet very original styles of bridal bouquets, and the best part is they are reasonably priced! So I decided to get a lil more info from the store owner 'Sunny B' and tell us more about herself and her lovely creations :)
1) Firstly, welcome to Fashionista Era! We would love if you would share with our readers that besides creating things, what do you do?
I'm a school psychologist by profession, but after six years in the field I found myself burned out beyond repair. In August 2011, I made the decision to leave my career and focus on doing something creative. At the time, I didn't know exactly what that would be...Though, I figured it would likely involve freelance writing since I used to be active with two blogs. The name of my shop, "The Sunny B." is taken from my pen name, "Sunny." As it turns out, writing has actually taken a backseat to my bridal shop. I never expected my bouquets to turn into a full fledged business. It was scary taking the leap without really having a concrete plan, but it turned out for the best because the plan found me instead. Having left my position as a school psychologist, I am now able to focus on my Etsy shop full time. I love it. It's the best job on Earth!
2) What does handmade mean to you?
To me handmade involves craftsmanship. It involves both creativity and skill. Because of that, no two items are exactly alike, even if they are made to the same specifications. The process of handmade creating is more organic, so there is uniqueness inherent in each item.
3) Who has been most influential in your craft?
Several people in my life have influenced my craft in terms of how I got started making bouquets. Mostly though, it's been about the process and turn of events that have unfolded in my life. I was widowed suddenly in November 2006. When my first husband passed away, I received tons of condolence floral arrangements. As a result, I came to associate fresh bouquets with sadness. Likewise, coping with the grief that resulted made it difficult for me to fully focus on my job demands as a school psychologist. That, and I think the suddenness of his passing changed me...It certainly changed my priorities; making me less willing to spend my life dealing with daily stress. He was young, just 27 years old when he died. I learned that we can never take tomorrow for granted. Because of that, I decided I wanted to do something less rigid than what I was doing in the field of education. His passing had a lot to do with why I left my career, but it isn't what lead me directly to Etsy.
Recently, in July 2011, I remarried. We only planned for a month because we had a small ceremony at a local courthouse. The time just felt right, so we acted on it. Though, because I didn't plan months in advance like most brides, I had trouble finding a bouquet. Fresh bouquets reminded me of funerals, so I knew I wanted something different...I wanted something lasting. To me, having a lasting keepsake bouquet felt symbolic of what I hoped to be a lasting marriage. And since I couldn't find anything that quite fit the bill, I went ahead and made a bouquet for myself. Having never done floral arranging, I didn't really have a plan. I simply approached it like I would approach putting an outfit together or decorating a room. What turned out was something I loved. And surprisingly enough to me, not only did I love it, but so did others. That's what gave me the idea to sell them on Etsy. If I had planned for months and months for my wedding, it's very possible that I would not have started my shop. But thankfully, as I said, the plan found me. I love that the path my life has taken allows me to now create lasting keepsakes for other brides.
4) When did you know you were an artist/maker?
Writing my first blog definitely opened the door for me creatively, but I'm still getting used to thinking of myself as a designer. That "school psychologist" title is slowing being replaced, but I can't say that the process is complete at this point. Up until fairly recently, I didn't realize that I was creative. For some reason I thought being creative meant I had to know how to draw. I thought of art in a strict sense, which I didn't think included me, since I can't draw to save my life.
5) How would you describe your creative process?
The creative process is very visceral for me. I just sort of arrange things that feel right together. When things work, I know it and when they don't, I feel unsettled. If something leaves me feeling unsettled, it gets redone until I'm happy with it.
6) If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I live in a tiny, one bedroom townhouse, so my work space is very small. Sometimes that is a challenge for me. I'd love to peek inside the work spaces of other designers on Etsy to see how they do it. Organization is not my strength.
7) What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Around my house, I have several items that I purchased from Etsy and Novica. I love the craftsmanship and uniqueness of them all. I'd have to say though that my favorite is a mixed media piece called "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" by The Other Jeanie on Etsy. I love The Wizard of Oz. The story speaks to me and that piece brings a bit of the story into my home everyday. It's truly a treasure.
8) How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I get out of creative ruts by looking around me for inspiration. Inspiration comes from the least expected places, so I always try to keep my eyes and ears open. Often I am inspired by nature. Sometimes my husband and I go to a park nearby and sit by the lake while I create. It's very peaceful. Going there is great for keeping me inspired.
9) Where would you like to be in ten years?
In ten years I would like to be the owner of a brick and mortar bridal boutique and flower shop. I have many ideas for expanding my craft to include birdcage veils, wedding decor, centerpieces, and even fresh flowers. I love fresh flowers; not all of them remind me of funerals. I'd love to get into fresh flower arranging so that I could combine them with wood and paper flowers in unique ways. I'm planning on taking some flower design classes in January, so hopefully soon that dream will become reality!
Thank you so much for such a lovely interview and sharing your personal thoughts. We at Fashionista Era wish you a fabulous new year and great success for your store. For more information on Sunny B's store, visit here.. Keep watching for a giveaway from SunnyB store by next week! So do come back for more details..!!