OK, if you’ve been on the LAB once, I really like. Twice, and you’ve moved to love. Three times, I’m a groupie. So, just call me a big crazy fan of Gift Shop Brooklyn. I love their fresh selection of handmade bags and clutches. They are classic and modern at the same time, which means they will never go out of style. I am very fortunate that owner Annie Olean is letting us in on her creative process for the newest installment of the LAB’s Handmade Profiles. Enjoy the interview and then click on any of the images to see her entire selection.
1. What inspired you to begin your collection?
While working in the fashion industry as a graphic designer I always felt I was not fully utilizing my creative energies, I didn’t feel passionate enough about what I was doing and I hated that. I knew I wanted to start creating my own product, though initially I was unsure what that was. In the beginning I tried many different items including home goods, organic body products, baked goods, greeting cards, the list goes on. For some reason I kept going back to sewing, accessories in particular. I think it kept my interest because I was creating something that I couldn’t go out and buy, something I actually wanted.
2. Can you name a favorite source of inspiration?
Anything in nature. The colors, the way things fit and work together, the textures. It’s all right there for us to constantly draw inspiration from. I love using interesting colors and textures, but in a natural way when I am creating.
3. What materials do you love to use?
Leather, silk, linen, anything shiny, and Adobe creative suite.
4. Do you have a dream collaborator?
I actually haven’t thought about a dream collaborator, but I’d love to work with a really great business person and pick their brain.:)
5. When you need a musical muse who do you turn up the volume to?
This is something that always changes. I go through phases of listening to a certain album or artist on repeat. My all time favorite though, is Tori Amos; I have listened to her ‘Scarlet’s Walk’ album probably around 1 million times and am inspired every time.
6. How do you use social media/blogging to promote your work?
I try to incorporate a mixture of topics to keep followers interested. If followers feel you are just trying to push a product on them constatnly you will lose them. I know I feel that way when following others. Although I have all social medias, My favorite way to stay connected in through Instagram and Pinterest.
7. Where do you see your shop/project going?
Forward hopefully! We never know what life will bring, or what new experiences or opportunitites will come our way. However, I love doing this now, and I will continue to do it until I do not love it anymore (if that happens).
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