Tuesday, January 27, 2009

FeatureMe - Paperelle

Creativity, originality, quality, uniqueness, what sets you apart from everyone else on your online selling venue?

I started a thread today, to find out who felt they made unique items. In a matter of minutes the thread exploded with responses and it took me a really long time to read it all and be current with the posts.

Several of the uber cool shop owners who posted stuck out to me. This is a link to the original thread, if you would like to browse thru all of the shops who replied.

I found one in particular pretty darn cool. I actually said out loud "wait....she MAKES that?....like really....wow."


A Little Bit About Paperelle

Lauren is the brains and creativeness behind Paperelle. She hand makes these fantastic little origami stars out of old (about to be thrown away) paper and creates one of a kind jewelry with them.

ME: Origami stars huh? Is this an old origami folding technique? How did you learn about it?

LAUREN: Yes, it's a relatively simple origami technique. (It must be simple, if I can do it!) I saw it on a craft blog and thought it was pretty cute, and wanted to give it a try. I found a tutorial online, cut some paper, and gave it a go. I didn't want to spend any money on this, so I used some scrap that was in the recycling bin. I've heard that if you fold 1000 stars and give them to someone you like, they'll fall in love with you. I've told my husband to take care, as I've sent well over 1000 stars into the world!

ME: Yay for inexpensive crafts! Money is the main reason I haven't pursued other crafts.

ME: Are they coated in something? Do they squish flat?

LAUREN: Yes & yes! They squish flat, the last step in folding them is the puffing part. It's actually useful when you're teaching someone else, because they can practice the puffing step on a star that's already done to get the feel for it. I tend to fold them in really big batches, pick out the ones I want to make into jewelry, then coat those with an acrylic varnish. It makes them very tough, I field-tested the cellphone charms and never managed to squish one.

ME: That is so awesome! I see in your item descriptions that they are water resistant. I wouldn't expect that.

ME: How long does it take for you to fold each star? I would think that it is a very tedious job.

LAUREN: Folding is relatively quick, it's sourcing and cutting the paper that takes the most time. I cannot draw or cut a straight line unassisted! My guillotine paper cutter is an absolute must, and even then I can cut crooked. It took a lot of practice to figure out how to center an image on a finished star, and I'm still not 100%. Plus, each type of paper folds differently. Junk mail and catalog paper can be really thin, and need a very long strip for a good solid star, wheras the manga can be super thick, needing maybe half the length. If you use too long a piece it'll be too thick to fold, too short and it won't hold the shape.

Um, so to answer your question, it's under a minute to fold! I usually do large batches while I'm watching a movie, much to my husband's chagrin. I'm never looking when something important happens, so we have to rewind or he fills me in!

ME: Ok...so the folding is quick, but that cutting, measuring, and checking paper thickness sounds like a lot of work. My least favorite part of sewing is measuring/cutting the fabric.

ME: Is etsy currently, or are you striving to make etsy your full time job?

LAUREN: No & no. I actually really like my day job, I'm a science educator for a park. Plus it uses my biology degree, which I'm still paying for. Selling on etsy really branched out of my seemingly endless creating, and a need for a place to put it! I'm awful, as soon as I have a few sales I turn around and buy stuff from other etsians. If it can be self-sustaining and make a little spending cash, I'll be happy. It's also really fun to trade, I just got an awesome bracelet and pair of earrings that way.

ME: That's great that you spend your earnings on other etsy shops! We have to stick together and support eachother!! (I do the same thing...lol!)

ME: Where is your favorite hang out?

LAUREN: On the beat-up futon, with my husband and our chinchilla, Momo.

ME: Same here, total homebody. . . minus the chinchilla.

ME: When you aren't making your jewelry, what other thing do you enjoy doing?

LAUREN: On the weekends I usually try to see some friends! Although, if my best friend comes to visit we just make jewelry together. She made the sushi polymer clay beads on these earrings.

I'm a video game addict, Rock Band 2 is getting a lot of play in my house right now, and I play my Nintendo DS on the train. I do a lot of other crafts too, like knitting, gocco, collage, a little crochet, painting, etc. I tend to try things that look interesting and have a low start-up cost.

ME: Oh, I want a wii soooo bad!

ME: Of all the fancy flash tools on etsy...pounce, tm2, colors, etc. Which is your favorite?

LAUREN: Pounce! I like the undiscovered option. Before I had a sale I kept pouncing to see if my shop came up! I've never quite figured out the time machine.

ME: Same here! I could pounce for hours!

ME: Do you sell on other venues? Either online, or B&M?

LAUREN: Yes, I sold at New York Anime Festival last year in their artist alley. All of the positive feedback lead me to open the etsy shop. I've joined the {newnew} etsy street team, and that has opened a lot of local selling opportunities too.

When you purchace any of her gorgeous jewelry not only do you get a one of a kind masterpiece that you can wear, but they come gift wraped in a hand folded origami box!


Paperelle said...

Thank you so, so much for the interview! You asked some great questions, thank you for featuring me :)

Debra said...

Those are really cute!! I will be checking that shop out.

SewNasty said...

Really great interview, and really wonderful jewelry!

Happy Cloud Moments said...

I have seen paperelle's store around before. Paper stars are cool, been around for a long time. Never knew I could make them water resistant though.

Lauren, what a coincidence! I have a dog named Momo, though I am sure he's not as soft as your Momo. Chinchilla fur is awesome.

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