Thursday, December 2, 2010

Artisan Snapshot: Gabrielle Lessard of Mangosteen Jewelry

  • Who are you? And what drives to you create?
Who am I?  I'm nerdy, but not cool tech geek nerdy - more like high school literacy society nerdy.  I'm a loner with communitarian ideals.  I don't understand how people can't love animals.   I think that being intellectually honest requires a through mastery of the details and that you don't understand something if you can't explain it in simple terms. 
What drives me to create?  I'm inspired by nature.  KIDDING!  I don't know, I've always made things.  It just took me a while to find a medium that allowed me to produce stuff I like.  When I was a kid we had this craft book called "100 Things to Make and Do."  I wish I still had it.  I think I only made 97 of them.
Ivy Leaf Fine Silver Casual Necklace
by Mangosteen Jewelry - $40 USD

  •  When & why did you start your Etsy shop?
I started my etsy shop in 2009, after my friend Anna told me about etsy.  I had started making and selling beaded jewelry about a year before, which was an outgrowth of an importing business I had started. I wanted to put the imports and jewelry on two different sites, especially as I moved the importing business in the direction of fair trade.

  •  How did you come up with your business name?
Blue Quartz Drop Earrings
by Mangosteen Jewelry - $26 USD
My business is named for my favorite fruit, which only grows in tropical climates like Southeast Asia. The name made a lot more sense for the imports side of the business, since it was about something wonderful that you can't get here. Unfortunately, after I chose that business name, mangosteen juice became widely available in the U.S. and was widely promoted as having various health benefits.  People who drink the juice often come up to me at craft fairs and want to talk about it. You can't imagine how much I enjoy that.

What other favourite hobbies/activities do you enjoy?
I love to travel, usually alone, and focus on photography when I travel.   Most recently I was in Bhutan and Laos.  I bicycle, which I need to do more, and volunteer usher at the Berkeley Rep.  I also volunteer for a lot of events at the Crucible.
 To find out more about Gabrielle & her wonderful wares, feel free to click on the links:

Check out Mangosteen Jewelry & 16 other artists at Winter Wonderland Craft Bazaar - THIS SATURDAY December 4th, from 1PM to 9 PM at Urban Bazaar (1371 9th Ave, San Francisco).

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