Monday, January 19, 2009

Crafter Spotlight - Stephanie McKay of rivulette

Stephanie McKay of rivulette
Burlington, VT

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie when she became a member of the now defunct Burlington Craft Mafia. This is one dedicated and talentde lady. She has the true spirit one would think of when they think of indie craft. enjoy.

1. What is the name of your business, what do you create and sell and how did you get started?

My business is called Rivulette. I create handmade glass beads, ready-to-wear jewelry, and handspun yarns. I also teach glass bead making lessons at my studio. I recently took a business start-up course through Mercy Connections in Burlington. They taught me the details of business ownership and I left the course with a complete business plan. It was a deeply valuable experience for me and for my business.

2. What/who inspires you?

I am inspired by good music, Andrew Bird and Neko Case especially, by craft and design blogs, by the work of Sarah Sze, Wolfgang Liab, and Tord Boontje, by the punk spinning style of yarn pioneer Lexi Boeger, by the wise and encouraging words of Keri Smith and Jen Lemen.

3. Give us a peek into you work space. Where do you create? Describe your work space or studio.

I make my work in a 10’x12’ space rented from a motorcycle shop (ICCE) in the South End of Burlington. My space is divided into two parts, half for spinning and fiber work, and the other half for glass bead making. Since the space is small, it forces me to keep things simple and really consider what I need and what I don’t. I would LOVE to find a larger space once Rivulette grows but for now, my little nook is just right.

4. Where do you sell and promote your work?

I sell on Etsy, through my web shop on Bigcartel, at craft shows in Vermont, and soon, retail shops in VT and NY. A little shop called Commotion in Lexington, KY carries a few of my items right now, and some jewelry I designed for new moms went off to Bebop Baby Shop in Essex Junction, VT last year. I promote my work through my blog,, on flickr, on twitter, and through word of mouth.

5. What are three things you can't live without?

My boyfriend Ty, fried eggs, and my down comforter.

6. What are your three favorite things about Vermont?

Going swimming in Lake Champlain in the summer, being able to ride my bike anywhere in Burlington, the wonderful local foods movement.

7. What does the term indie craft mean to you?

Indie=self-sustaining, small, spirited, righteous, confident, inspired, of the moment, reactionary, inquiring, underground

Craft=handmade, creative, fresh, process-based, grassroots, resurgence, tradition, method, practice, transformative

Indie craft= a self-sustaining, small, spirited, creative, and fresh resurgence based in a tradition of method and practice with a reactionary, transformative confidence.

8. Any new products, projects or news you want to share?

I am working on a new line of jewelry made from glass that resembles smooth gray river stones with a splash of juicy color. It’s very exciting!

thanks steph!

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