Ruby Jean

Ruby Jean is about fun and color in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to accessories! Kelly, the owner, has a passion for making things with her hands and sharing them with others! Be sure to check her out on August 22 at Summerfest in York, SC.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Kelly.
I have always loved art and crafting from an early age. One of my earliest memories of creating something was a poster of a marching band I drew for a contest in kindergarten. I won either 1st or 2nd, but that wasn't really important. It was the process of it that I remember- sticking the little shiny stars so carefully on my flag.

More recently, I got into sewing when I was pregnant with my daughter. I made her crib bedding and curtains. I really loved being creative with fabric and sewing is now my passion!

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Apart from spending time with family and friends, I love sewing and creating new things. There's just something about working with my hands that puts me at peace and satisfies some part of me.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
I think it's promoting myself and my business. I get a little shy when talking to people about it, but sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped with that aspect. It's not something that comes naturally to me, so I have a lot to learn. Learning is good, though!

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Definitely a custom portrait of my daughter. I (finally) carved out some time to paint one of her and now it is one of my most treasured possessions.

As for my crafty items, I'd love to get one of my foldable market bags. They're made from up/recycled sheets and they fold down so it's easy to stash them in your purse. I have a tendency to forget mine! I really like the fabric on this one.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Some kids go through phases, but not me. I always wanted to be a computer graphic artist who did art for video games. I was obsessed with Sierra Games (think King's Quest,
Leisure Suit Larry, etc) and I wanted to move to CA to work for them. Graphic design was not my cup of tea in college, however. It was all a little too strict and technical for me.

What other shops or artists out there do you love?
One of my BF's has a gorgeous jewelry shop on etsy: She amazes me with her creations- how she uses old jewelry and turns it into something fabulous.

I am fascinated with the painted mannequins in nostalgiccorner's shop. I have loved mannequins since I did a final project on them in my college photography class. These are not of this world!

One of my first etsy loves was momomadeit. I am still coveting one of her gorgeous aprons! [Check out her interview with Such Cool Stuff! here - Ed.]

As for art, I love BirdNerd's beautiful paintings and creations, all of birds!

For kids' clothes, I love the repurposed designs of courtneycourtney. They are so fresh and original!

What does your future hold?
Once my daughter goes to school, I'd love to be able to spend more time on my business and crafting. I'd love to be doing more craft shows and get some creations into a boutique. Maybe I'll have a little part-time job just to keep things interesting (I get bored easily). We'll see...