doloris petunia

In less then a year's time courtney prince miller of Doloris Petunia has gone from selling handmade pieces on the streets of NYC to being featured in all of the top fashion magazines, worn on the red carpet of the The Emmy Awards, and sold in retail stores on every continent (excluding Antarctica).

Tell me about how yourself, Courtney.
I am a custom accessory and jewelry designer/artist that loves to create pieces that make my clients feel wonderful about themselves- things that make the wearer smile knowing that they have a one of a kind unique piece.

My favorite designs are when I work hand in hand with my clients to create a piece for them that they love and adore- without them really knowing what that was going to look like to begin with.

I love creating pieces for special occasions- like my client's wedding day- that are a heightened expression of who they are and what that day means to them- it is a real pleasure and what drives me as an artist. 

I have been doing what I do now for about 1.5 years- My website was just launched- although it is not fully functioning.  I started out selling accessories on a card table in NYC about 1.5 years ago- and I make custom pieces for anthropologie and have been in all the big fashion magazines- its been truly a magical time. 

How did you originally get into your craft?
Although I have been making things my entire life, I will have officially been in business for about a year this coming winter. I started making accessories for myself when I was unable to find in stores what was in my mind. When my friends saw what I was making, they started asking me to make things for them too. That then turned into their friends making requests and then their friends' friends. Finally, with the help of a good friend, I decided to quit my job and go stand out on the streets in New York City's Soho and West Village neighborhoods with a card table full of handmade accessories and a warm winter coat. I would create my items Monday through Thursday each week and sell all day on the streets Friday through Sunday. In the spring of 2009 I officially created Doloris Petunia LLC, which I named after my 8-year-old Maltese, Lolita.

After a few months, I was starting to develop a small NYC following, but my boyfriend and I decided to move to Los Angeles. After being in NYC for 13 years, I had no idea how to market myself in LA. I was just about to give up and go back into the corporate design world, but I found Etsy.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
make a pile of junk into something beautiful - create order out of disorder 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
having just 24 hours and 2 hands... I have just hired my first employee and am always looking for interns- I sell out of pieces faster then I can make them- and it has been frustrating to not have had any time - not even a weekend- in the past 9 months. 

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I think all that mattered to me was that I was creative.  I was a competitive figure skater as a child- and so it never really mattered to me how I expressed that- just as long as I did.
What item in your collection would you like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
Oh- I find other artists much more interesting- so I would want the gift to come from someone else's work. 

What other artists out there do you love?
Lately I am very into Marc Johns, Chuck Close, Ralph Lauren and a zillion others. I love a mix of beauty and humor and anything that doesn't take its self too seriously.  I also love just about anything that is painfully beautiful in an effortless way.

What does your future hold?
My husband actually thinks I am psychic- but that is another interview.

I hope to be happy and able to have much more time to be creating what moves me.... so hopefully my future holds 2 new interns and a project manager!