Friday, November 14

An Interview with Renee from Renee Originals!

A while back I tried to teach myself to knit.  I mastered the beginning stitch and made a long strip of...knit stuff.  I never got any further.  I have knit envy.  I'm thinking of trying and failing to teach myself crochet next.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon a great crochet treasure shop, Renee Originals 1, which is run by two sisters: Sarah and Rebekah.  They sell all sorts of clever goodies, so naturally I jumped at the chance to interview Sarah about their creative process.  

1.  When did you learn to knit?

Right now I actually do not know how to knit. Most of the work that I do is Crochet, which although similar to knitting in some aspects is really another art form all its own. I am truly in love with both knitting and crocheting which is why I am happy to say I am going to be teaching myself how to knit in the upcoming few weeks, which I am extremely excited about.   I first started crocheting when I was around ten years old, my mom actually taught herself using books and then she passed those skills on to my sister and me. So it has been a good ten years since I first got started down the crocheting path.

2.  I'm so sorry I said knitting instead of crochet!  What exactly is the difference between the two?

The main difference is in the materials used, as well as the finished look of each stitch. For example with knitting, a person uses two rods that look like needles and the finished look of items made are often very tight. With crochet, one uses a hook and the stitches are often slightly looser then in knitting. For most the look of knitting verses crochet is barely discernible and in reality neither one is “better” than the other, just different.  The pictures below illustrate the different look of knitting and crochet:

3.  What are your favorite pieces to make? Do you design your own patterns?  

This is a really hard question, but I would have to say that some of my favorite pieces to make would have to be our crochet cowls and scarves as well as our crochet cloak. Some of my favorites are pictured below; I love the uniqueness of these pieces as well as the intricacy of them. We do design a lot of our own patterns which makes us very proud. We also gain inspiration from looking at other patterns which we then alter and shape to fit the kind of “look and Feel” that we want people to have when they have one of our unique pieces.          

4.  Are you influenced by trends, or do you have a set aesthetic?

Two of my favorite quotes really express our creative philosophy, the first one is by Yves Saint Laurent who said 'Fashions fade, style is eternal.' And the second ‘Elegance is the only beauty that never fades’- Audrey Hepburn. While we do strive to remain “in the know” about what trends are going to be on the minds of people, elegance and true style are more of our concern. We want people to feel elegant, unique and truly beautiful in the items we create. We don’t put anything in our shop that we ourselves would not be willing to wear. That being said we are always looking for new and creative ways to represent chic elegant style that even the trendiest fashionista’s would be happy to wear.

5.  I love those quotes-- what do you do to keep up on what’s new as far as fashion goes?

Keeping up to date is definitely a full time job in of itself! One place I love to go to find style inspiration as well as to see what trends and items actual people are leaning towards is Instagram. In today’s digital age fashionista’s now are taking to their phones to share their style do’s and don’ts, it also allows first hand looks at fashion shows and what’s heating up the runways. I also enjoy searching Instagram for your everyday girl who has style; this really helps us to tailor what we have so that it’s not only unique, affordable and fashionable but also something that anyone could wear.

6.  What is your design process?  Do you work at it every day or is it when the inspiration strikes?

One of the great things about having my sister Rebekah as my business partner is how we both handle things very differently. For example I am more of a systematic designer, so I have a running list of projects and ideas that I want to try, work on and perfect, which I do pretty much every single day. Rebekah on the other hand is one who works best under inspiration, so days may past before she has created anything, however, in her mind she is constantly thinking up different things until that moment of inspiration hits and she is moved to create something really beautiful and unique.

7.  Do you have a special routine; music you listen to, for example, when you work?

As far as routines go, the one constant, is I love a cup of hot tea while I work. When it comes to music I love all types so I usually put my player on shuffle and enjoy the sounds of Pablo Alborán, Justin Nozuka, Romeo Santos and so many more. When I am not listening to music a nice romantic comedy or Sci-fi program usually does the trick.

8.  Do you have any advice for fellow artists and artisans who are thinking of opening at Etsy shop?

My advice would be take your time and do things right! Think about what kind of statement you want to make or what kind of style you want to emit. Every photo, every item, every time someone see’s you and your item it says something, so make sure that what people hear, feel and see is what you want to portray.

Thank you so much Sarah!
You can follow Renee Originals 1 through a variety of social media links to travel along their creative journey!

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