Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Feature: StrappyKincaid

Today I present to you, dear readers, the lovely Jen Lee, the talented woman behind StrappyKincaid!

Tell us a little bit about you!
I'm Jen and I live in Portland, Oregon with my lovely husband and our 3 rescue dogs. My husband is my biggest support and cheerleader and the dogs are... really great "helpers". I have a demanding and stressful 9 to 5 job, so designing and creating are wonderfully necessary outlets for me. This past June I started a business I named StrappyKincaid. I see StrappyKincaid as my alter-ego- a unique individual that wears "sassy accessories" (that are sometimes quite racy).

If you're not making things, what would we most likely find you doing?
When I'm not working for the man at my day job or in my little studio space, I'm most likely on the hunt for heart-shaped rocks to add to my burgeoning collection, checking out style blogs for inspiration, people-watching, running, hiking, or (weather permitting) drinking a beer outside. (OK, I'll be honest, I'm usually walking a dog to a place to drink beer, going out for a beer to reward myself after a run, or hitting a pub in a small town....for a beer! after a long hike. I prefer IPA's, by the way.)

What does your creative process look like?
My creative process is peripatetic. It's bursts of overly-ambitious inspiration and a lot of trial and error, topped off with a touch of patience and loads of persistence. I'm a perfectionist and I find that those bursts allow me to take risks without becoming paralyzed by my fear of making mistakes. I spent a lot of my life not creating art because of that fear and I've had to let it go and not judge my work so harshly. The really wonderful side effect is that's opened me up to non-judgment in all areas of my life and made me a much more joyful human. If I get nothing else out of my business, I hope to inspire people to take risks and truly, truly participate in life.

A few StrappyKincaid creations

Do you have any eco-friendly tips to share?
My husband is my real inspiration when it comes to all things eco-friendly. Up until I met him 4 years ago I'd recycled, sure, but I'd always enjoyed the idea of being eco-friendly more than the execution. I have utmost respect for his sensitivity to the environment and have settled into a REDUCE/REUSE mantra, while he's the resident RECYCLE guru. My reduce/reuse mentality has permeated my whole world and become a part of my normal thought process. When shopping for materials for my designs, I first look for scrap or surplus materials, then for materials that can be re-worked such as leather skirts or leather jackets from thrift stores. Who knew that bad '80's fashion would work surprisingly well for handbags and jewelry? I've found that scrap upholstery leather is great for belts and my leg coverings (left, worn by a model at Portland's annual Modified Style show) - it's flexible, durable, soft and comes in great colors. I'm also always on the lookout for hardware that can be re-purposed-- o-rings, d-rings and buckles off old dog collars, leashes, harnesses, that sort of thing. When you tweak your mind to that "reuse" mindset it's amazing how much you can find to reuse!

Hop on over to StrappyKincaid's Etsy shop to peruse Jen's lovely creations, and while you're there make sure you use your exclusive coupon for 15% off any item by entering the coupon code SKPP11!

You can also stay up to date with news and information on the StrappyKincaid FaceBook page.