************************************Disclaimer************************************ I have to state that I am in no way affiliated, nor have I have been employed by Etsy. Etsy is also in no way affiliated with myself or with thefashionablefoodie.com ***********************************Disclaimer************************************* Now, on with the feature! It’s official. I”m obsessed. www.etsy.com I can, […]
Everyday there is new ground to cover and new people to meet, like Juliet! She came across little old me by way of Margaux Lange and sent the sweetest email saying how much she loved the site.
Juliet collects vintage plates and recycles them into her own masterpieces. I was so stoked to do this feature because she blends my two favorite worlds — food and fashion. Who would ever think that plates could be so damn fashionable?!
The queen of the 30 Minute Meal, Rachel Ray recently rocked one of Juliet’s necklaces on her show!! How cool is that?!
In addition to this ahhhmazing exposure, her work has been featured in countless magazines including, Baltimore Magazine, Style, and Urbanite just to name a few.
I recently got the opportunity to “sit down” for an interview with Juliet. Check it out!
Did you always know that this is where you’d be one day?
I always knew that I would work in a creative field, but never in a million years thought that I would become “The Broken Plate Lady.” Out of college, I worked in Art Administration but when I found myself jealous of the artists that I was working around, I knew I had to figure out some way to make money making art.
How did you “break” into the jewelry making business? Pun intended!
I started college majoring in photography, but when darkroom skills became an unmarketable skill (and when my camera equipment was stolen) I switched gears and decided to learn some new skills in jewelry making. When I graduated, I had no idea what to do with my Craft Degree, so I did not make anything for about 6 months. Finally, I had to make something, anything, just to get this creative bug out of my system. I took some old plates that I had collected from the thrift shop, broke them up, and used them to mosaic my mailbox When I was finished, there was a pile of broken plate shards left that I could not bear to throw away so I wrapped one in silver solder and wore it as a necklace. I instantly started getting orders for more, found a few places to sell (including Etsy) and applied for my first craft show. That show was such a huge success that I knew that I could defiantly make more money at this then in the part time non-profit job that I had at the time. I put in my 2 weeks and the rest is history.
What inspires you as an artist?
I am really inspired by all of the amazing artists that repurpose materials into new exciting things. I love being surprised when I learn what something is made of. I am most inspired by the community of crafters that are all so supportive, especially my fellow members of The Baltimore Etsy Street Team.
Getting Rachel Ray to wear your designs on television is huge!! How did this come about?
Well, remember how I quit my real job after that first craft show? Well, I did not know it at the time, but I was pregnant. Surprise! After I had my son, I was stuck in a perpetual breastfeeding position for the first 3 months (because he was so little) this meant the TV, especially the Food Network, became my new best friend. I always took notice of Rachael Ray’s jewelry and thought, “Man, she wears some ugly jewelry; I bet she would like mine!” I sent her stylist a letter and a necklace and hoped for the best. A few weeks later I discovered a message from her stylist saying that she left my necklace in Rachael’s dressing room to see if she liked it, and she loved it! She wanted me to overnight 20 pieces for them to choose from because she had a cover shoot and was appearing on The View the following day! I rushed a bunch of pieces to them and crossed my fingers. I waited and waited and waited and started to give up hope that she would ever wear something of mine. It might have been a year later when I got an email from a customer telling me that she thought she saw Rachael Ray wear my necklace on her 30 Minute Meals show! I had to wait a whole week for the repeat, and low and behold she was wearing my necklace! I was super excited! No sightings since, but they are still holding onto a belt buckle, which I occasionally check in to her shows to see if she is wearing.
You don’t meet too many Juliets these days. What’s the story behind your name?
Juliet is my grandmother’s name. I grew up being called “Judy” because, I guess, they thought Juliet sounded too formal for an awkward little red headed girl. Once I got into college, I just stopped correcting teachers who called me Juliet and it stuck.
You use vintage plates in your jewelry making. Where do you find such gorgeous plates?
I find plates all over. Usually I go to thrift shops, flea markets, eBay and sometimes Etsy. Sometimes though, I cannot resist a new plate from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s.
I just started a new online Etsy shop to sell off some of my collection at justplates.etsy.com
What’s next for you?
I am not sure how long the indie crafting scene will draw big crowds so I have been concentrating more on custom orders and wedding party orders. I am also working on developing a fine silver line of recycled plate jewelry and am working on a book proposal.
To purchase one of Juliet’s amazing designs, check out this link that has all the info:
This chick is amazing! Definitely an inspiration to me and I’m sure a lot of other women. Founded by Jennifer Perkins (the lovely lady pictured above), Naughty Secretary Club includes a collection of kitchy jewelry and accessories all with a serious wow factor! Everything is hand made by […]