Maker: Crafty Curator Stacy Wong
Our featured maker this week is crafty AND a curator! Stacy Wong has so much going on– I was surprised I was able to snag an interview! Aside from creating her own line of product, she runs an online boutique called “Twine”. Here, she explains what inspires her and how she got started.
please introduce yourself.
I’m Stacy Wong and I’m originally from Michigan and moved to California over 20 years ago after getting married. Manhattan Beach is my home now with my husband, John, and my two teenage boys.
what do you make or do?
I currently design and create “handmade wood goodness”, my own line of gifts, wood décor and customized keepsakes under the company, Stacy Wong. After my boys were born, I started designing and creating baby gifts and products on a very part time basis. Many of these “little works of art” were products I couldn’t find in the market for baby gifts and nursery decor. Then several years ago, I opened up an etsy shop to sell my products directly to customers. My most well known product is the “Birth Year Block” a wood keepsake block based on the Chinese Zodiac. This modern take on the zodiac features the characteristics of the baby or person born under the animal sign and can be personalized for a lifetime keepsake.
A little over a year ago, I purchased a business called Twine. It is an online boutique which features crafted curiosities and undiscovered handmade. I personally hand-select and curate each and every product for the boutique. I also love supporting emerging and established makers, artists and designers (90% of them are women-owned businesses and made in the USA) to bring an edited selection of handmade, artful objects to my customers.
where can we find your creations?
The Stacy Wong line on Etsy, and in stores at the Road Less Traveled in Santa Ana, Belle’s Nest in Sierra Madre and Christie in Manhattan Beach. Twine online. I’ll also be at the Renegade Craft Holiday Los Angeles and San Francisco shows.
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
For the last several years, I have thought about what I really wanted to do and how to have a saner family/work life balance. Last year, left my full time career in corporate Human Resources to pursue my creative endeavor dreams of full time entrepreneur and maker. I believe in second careers and I now utilize my artistic skills and talents to support a couple of creative businesses. I also feel it is important in life to take chances and stretch yourself. With my family support, I now am lucky to be able to work from a home office and studio.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
Spending time with my family and attending my boys’ sports activities.
what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
While I took art classes in high school, I am self-trained and always learning – not only on the creative/design side but also on the technology side. Some days it can be overwhelming to be a product photographer, social media guru and maker.
where do you find inspiration?
-In my personal collection of art, craft, and vintage findings
-My family – they are extremely supportive of my businesses and creative endeavors
-I do a lot of thinking and planning while exercising on the elliptical. The time goes by faster when I’m thinking creatively!
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?
Don’t give up. Network and hang around people and friends who are supportive of your creative side. It’s all right to have to be a creative maker on a part-time basis and still work another job.
I’ve been home with my 2nd kid for about a year and have been trying to start up an online business. Making things makes me happy, and the kids are happy when they get customised toys from me too 🙂 Sometimes, we just need to find a little time to pursue our interests. If it doesn’t work out, at least I can say that I tried