Monday, November 3, 2008
Stacie Mincher, Middlebury VT
Stacie Mincher Designs
1. What is the name of your business, what do you create and sell and how did you get started?
The name of my business is Stacie MincherDesigns. I design and make things out of all kinds of recycled materials. I am best known for my creations using the teeth of metal zippers. I cut the strips of teeth off of the fabric tape they come on and arrange them into patterns on a wood base. I turn them into beautiful pins, pendants, earrings, boxes, and clocks. I also make things out of corks, bottle caps, vinyl records, buttons, magazines and books, and whatever else I can find that looks interesting. Combined with new elements such as wire, beads, or findings, they become functional items such as bowls, picture frames, key chains, or jewelry. I started my business in 2001. I was finished with college and working some crappy retail jobs and didn’t know what to do. I knew that I wanted to do something artsy and I knew that making things made me happy. I started selling my wares at the Rutland farmers market and a couple small craft shows. It wasn’t until I moved back home two and a half years ago that I began doing my crafts full time.
2. What/who inspires you?
So many things inspire me. I love working with colors. If you visit me at a craft fair or a market you will see that I have some of the most colorful and sparkly stuff around. Garbage is great! I reuse a lot of materials that would normally be thrown away. I love hunting for things at garage sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores. Also, the other artists I meet really inspire me. People are doing some great work and it is so nice to be around all of the good energy that they give off.
3. Give us a peek into you work space. Where do you create? Describe your work space or studio.
My work space is currently in the room that was once known as the ‘dining room’ at my Mom’s house in Middlebury. We have been having a lot of work done lately so the space has moved a few times. I have lots of shelves and containers to hold all of the stuff that I plan to use eventually. But right now it looks like I am just a huge pack rat. I have a few projects that are portable which can be bagged up at any time and taken on the road. I spend the weekends at my boyfriend’s house and I usually bring my zippers there with the hopes that I will get some work done. I also spend some time gallery-sitting at the Brandon Artists Guild and find that when I work on my projects while I am there, people can become engaged in what I am doing and that interest often translates into sales.
4. Where do you sell and promote your work?
I got my start selling things at Farmers Markets (Rutland, Brandon, Middlebury, Bristol, and Winooski). I have been doing two a week this year. Although I don’t always make a ton of money there that is ok because the best part of it all is the people. I have had some great customers and met some awesome vendors that I am happy to call my friends. It is so much fun to be out in the sun, taking with people, and sharing something that you love with others! I also do many craft shows throughout the year. See my website www.staciemincherdesigns.com for a list of the current ones. Earlier this year I was juried into The Vermont Hand Crafters and will be at the show at the Sheraton with my zipper designs. I have also spent a great deal of time getting my work into some of the best galleries in the state which include Frog Hollow in Burlington and Middlebury, The Brandon Artists Guild, Art on Main in Bristol, The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, and Artisans’ Hand in Montpelier. Although I have a website, I currently don’t have anything for sale online. Sometime soon I will get my act together and sell things on there or on etsy. You can find out where I will be on my website or email me any time.
5. What are three things you can't live without?
It is really hard to limit the list to three things I can’t live without, but I am going to say my car, my computer, and tweezers.
6. What are your three favorite things about Vermont?
Three great things about Vermont that have kept me here are: The laid-back attitude of most of the people, the beautiful scenery, and awesome cheese (my favorite food).
7. What does the term indie craft mean to you?
To me indie craft means being true to yourself and what you stand for. To be successful you need to follow the trends to degree, but it is so important to be original and unique. I have a policy which is that I would never make or sell anything that I would not use myself.
8. Any new products, projects or news you want to share?
I spend a ton of time trying to use what I have and to come up with innovative new ideas. This year I have been focusing more on my zipper creations and I finally have zipper pendants.