Best of American Made

I was thrilled and honored to find out that I was a finalist for Martha Stewart’s American Made Competition a few weeks ago!  Being American Made is an important part of my mission with fail and also informs a lot of the choices I make with my own wallet every day.  When I head the good news, I went onto the site to check out some of the other nominees.  I have together from some of my favorites below and invite you to also go and check out the wonderful makers keeping their communities alive.  There are so many more I didn’t include!

The nomination process is still ongoing so if you know a maker that deserves to be celebrated, let them know!  And keep your fingers crossed that we end up being selected as one of the 10 winners this fall!  If you want to help the cause, feel free to share our nomination on social media to help get the judges attention.

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Thimblepress

Pine & Boon

Pine & Boon

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Shitf_Design

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Milk Farm Road

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Cleverhood

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Bagsmith

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Heather Palmer Glass

Leather Messenger Bag- Made in USA- Cicada Leather Company_0

Cicada Leather

Paper & Clay

Paper & Clay

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Paloma’s Nest

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Coil + Drift

San Francisco Bound

14.7 Renegade SF

Once again, I am heading to San Francisco for the Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason.  This year I am right up front so you cant miss me in booth #7.  Come by early to see the Pecos and failHOME collections and snag something before they sell out!  With hundreds of makers selling amazing handmade products alongside great food and drink, it is a great way to spend an afternoon.

Hope to see you there!

Fostering Creativity Pt 1- Creative Spaces

Behind the scenes of fail I have been thinking long and hard about shaping the future of my brand and my place within it.  Moving into the new studio last year was a welcome shift in my focus and attention. It wasn’t really until the beginning of 2014 that I started to truly dissect how my studio was organized, how I was going to invest in my employees to encourage long-term growth (for us both), and how I was going to find more joy and excitement in my daily routine.

Over the past few months I have made several strategic changes to the way I work, but more importantly to the way I think.  I feel so fantastically good about how my studio functions, and am ever grateful for the lovely and amazing women I have working with me.  With that in order, it was time to focus on my own role within my studio.  I know that sounds crazy, but what most people don’t realize is that once you really start running a business you end up sitting in front of a computer all day, and rarely end up actually making and creating anymore.

Finding and organizing my time so that I could focus more on creating was at the forefront of my mind when I went to a CRAVEfuel event focused on creativity, hosted at Spruce last month.  My collaborator and good friend Natalie Davis of CANOE was on a panel along with Amanda Brown of Spruce, Mara Ambrose of Folk Fibers, Chelsea Fullerton of Go Forth Creative, and Jessica Sanders of drink.well, with moderation by Crave’s Andrea Genevieve.  I was not expecting to leave as inspired as I did, but everything that the panel hit on was perfect for me and my state of mind when I walked in the door.  I left with 4 bullet points that have changed the way I think, act and plan and I wanted to share them with you.

Amanda supplied the answer that gave me my first ah-ha moment of the evening.  The question was, “How do you foster creativity”, and her answer was about having a space to go where everything was in its place, tools and inspiration were readily available, and outside thoughts were kept at bay to allow you to focus on being creative.  That is when I realized that within my own studio I didn’t have my own creative space!  I know that sounds crazy, but I sit in front of a computer all day with emails popping up, alerts, social media, accounting…. you get the picture.  I don’t even have a jewelers bench where I can start and stop projects at will.

My marching orders are clear and I am now on a mission to establish my own creative space!  A jewelers bench is next along with a little more studio re-arranging. I think I will incorporate a physical inspiration board and more tactile items to see, hold and contemplate. It will be a work in progress for the next few months but I am excited to have yet another piece of the puzzle in my hands.  And now I throw the question back to you-  How have you created your own creative space?  What does it look like?  What does it contain.  I am all ears!

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I continue to expand upon those 4 magical bullet points.  Hopefully we will all be a little more creative because of it!

 

Sturgill Simpson

I’ve been a bit obsessed with Sturgill Simpson’s rendition of When In Rome’s The Promise.  Obsessed!  I felt like I have heard his name before, but really didn’t know much about this Kentucky artist now living and working in Nashville.  His nostalgic voice blended with insightful lyrics sound just right to me right now.  Dig in a little yourself and check out this great interview on NPR and enjoy the video below!

Maker Pop-Up at West Elm

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Hi All!  I wanted to make sure you all knew about the Austin Maker Pop-Up this upcoming Saturday at West Elm.  I will be showing alongside two amazing designers {and friends} Leah Duncan and Canoe.  The event is from 12-4pm and a great chance to see the new Pecos and fail HOME collections in person.  I have included a preview below in case you needed more enticement!.  I hope too see you there!

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Process – Ra Hinge Bracelet

I am finally getting back to showing you some more insight into our “process” and what it takes to bring these pieces to life.  This week I am focusing on the now classic Ra Hinge Bracelet.

The Ra Hinge Bracelet was originally introduced as part of the Giza collection in Fall 2012.  Giza was my first wholehearted attempt to incorporate semi-precious stones into the fail collection in new and unexpected ways.  I didn’t want to just wire wrap some stone and throw them onto a piece but I wanted my pieces to stand apart from the masses.  My solution was to tube rivet sterling silver bezel cups onto hand-cut and hammered brass sheet, allowing me to include bezel set stones using only cold connections.  It wasn’t long until the Ra Hinge Bracelet was one of our better sellers and a classic fail style.  Enjoy!fail_jewelry_process_of_a_piece