Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rescued materials, travel inspired design, functional fashion

I have a tough time answering the question, so what is your work like? How would you describe it? I can profess about it in writing much better, so here it is: 

YazBerry will leave people asking you where you got it!

I was the kid growing up selling dried wild flower bouquets to the neighbors from my wagon. I've always been most content working on creative projects. Sewing, drawing, painting, coloring, building things...One of my favorite games was "business"; I had a wooden box filled with fax cover sheets and blank receipt books.

While in college I had my first run with clothing design. Working in the costume shop at the Skidmore Theatre, my creativity was put to the test creating costumes from thin air based on an idea from the director. I then produced two collections for student fashion shows.

BA in hand and a day job to boot Etsy crossed my path. *light bulb* the perfect outlet for the creative working person. Of course I dream of quitting my day job like most Etsians, but for now the bills must get paid and Etsy is the perfect forum to run my business while I sleep. I recently have started selling directly on Facebook and in some local stores.

I have been transient the last *ahem* nearly a decade; each space I have lived in I have always made room for a studio. My current studio is a tiny, closet-less bedroom in my rented house with borrowed furniture. My living and creative space are often woven into and on top of one another. I have a hard time keeping projects in the project room...they sneak into the kitchen, the living works. I thrive in organized chaos.

My favorite materials are discarded clothing found in secondhand shops. Textiles inherited from retired friends and family. Found objects from flea markets and the beach. My absolute favorite thing is to determine the limitations of a discarded item, discover its potential and work it into a functional piece of wearable art.

YazBerry is in essence, a grand recycling experiment; manifested in the form of wearable art. I am a first generation "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" student and have found it is one of my guiding mantras in all that I do in life. Always finding ways to reduce my impact on the ecosystem and preserve the beauty around us for those to come after.

At the moment I am mostly flying solo on the YazBerry frontier. At times my generous husband will help with projects; my number one fan and best sales person. My mom also helps at art fairs.

I always carry a small notepad and pen with me. I never know when something will catch my eye, inspire a design and need to be captured before my short term memory allows it to float on the wind. I am particularly inspired by architecture, eye catching color combinations in ethnic textiles and the artisan craft of peoples around the world.

I rarely make the same item twice. It feels like a chore and I want your YazBerry creation to be singular in this world. I stand by the promise that YazBerry will leave people asking you where you got it!


Virginia E. Berry-Phillips
Designer * Creator * Picker * Maker

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