Interview + Studio Visit with Michelle Starbuck Designs

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe were very lucky to be one of ten shops chosen by Etsy and American Express to be featured for Small Business Saturday this year. They asked us to select one of our designers to present their work in a trunk show on November 29th.

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I met Michelle Starbuck in a jewelry class we were both taking in 2011, the year I opened the store. She was kind and fun to be with in class. After learning she was a jewelry designer, I asked her if we could stock her work in the store. She has been one of our top selling artists since we opened! I am a huge fan of her bold vintage designs. I love her work and talking with her about being a maker and small business owner. This week, I got the chance to catch up with Michelle in her studio in the Cornelia Arts Building which she shares with her talented husband Steve Amos.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset When did you first start making jewelry? I started making jewelry in 2005 with pieces from broken vintage jewelry that I had been collecting.

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How did you learn to make jewelry? I taught myself how to make jewelry by looking at how vintage and handmade jewelry is constructed. I went to school for painting and have always worked with my hands- knitting, embroidering, sewing, etc. so it felt really natural to me to start working with jewelry tools also.

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What are some things that inspire your collections? I like contrast in design and try to find a balance between geometric and organic pieces. In my next collection, I'm exploring the use of negative space in each piece.

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Where do you sell your jewelry? Right now, most of my shops are in Chicago, but I do have a few in other midwestern states and a couple out west. Etsy Wholesale has given me the opportunity to expand my reach as a small business so I'm hoping to continue to add new stores around the country.

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Where do you like to shop? Besides all of the awesome stores that sell my jewelry, I love shopping at Alapash, Neighborly, and Gethsemane Garden Center. I like plants and art.

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What are you currently

Working on: I'm trying to sneak in time here and there to work on my Spring collection while I keep up with holiday sales.

Listening to: Serial podcast. I pretty much wake up every day wishing that it was Thursday so I can listen to a new episode.

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Reading: I've found that I'm too tired to read when I get home at night (I'm technically in the middle of 3 books that I haven't finished), so I've been listening to audio books while I'm at the studio. I'm currently listening to a compilation of David Sedaris' short stories. I've already read all of his books, I just like listening to him read. Maybe I should just break down and listen to the ends of the books that I haven't finished....

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Watching: Season 8 of Doctor Who

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Check out Michelle's latest work November 29th for Small Business Saturday from 10-6. The first 25 purchases will get a free Etsy tote good bag with suprise treasures including these cute rings from Michelle!

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