A few weeks ago my sister walked into the room after work, wearing the coolest pair of orange earrings. I looked at them, and asked where she had gotten them. “Mom gave them to me for Christmas! They were made by a lady at Patchwork Oakland….remember? She had that amazing wood laser cut stuff?” Turns out they were made by the same Stacey that I have the privilege of featuring this morning. Meet Stacey and check out her creative designs!
Please introduce yourself.
Hi my name is Stacey Abram. I was born and raised in Oakland, California and I have the pleasure of living and working here now. Being from Oakland has definitely shaped who I am today. The Bay Area is one of the most vibrant, beautiful and diverse places in the world! Beyond the bad wrap, in Oakland there is a long-standing spirit of activism, art and creativity that lives and breathes to this day.
As a child I was always fascinated with making things and discovering how things were made. My favorite book was the Childcraft Library volume called “Make and Do.” It was one in a series of books published in the 1960’s that was handed down to me. I poured over the pages playing the games, singing the songs and made everything from party hats to doll dresses and even experimented for the first time with paper mache. I was the youngest child, and with a seven year difference between me and my older sister, I often felt like an only child. I found hours of pleasure from cutting, building, molding, folding, pasting, and coloring. What I learned at an early age was that Creativity was my happy place.
What do you make or do?
I design and create wood laser cut jewelry. I love layering fabrics, graphic prints and paints to create bold and unique pieces. Although my jewelry is strongly influenced by African textiles and symbols, I find inspiration from cultures around the world. Since opening my mobile boutique in April, I’ve also expanded my brand to include hand-poured soy candles, essential oil bath salts, succulent terrariums, handmade pouches, tote bags and home decor.
Where can we find your creations?
You can find my work in several boutiques in Oakland, at many community fairs and festivals in the Bay Area, and online at www.bystaceymonique.com. www.etsy.com/shop/bystaceymonique www.instagram.com/bystaceymonique www.facebook.com/bystaceymonique
Is there an interesting story behind the name of your business? How did the name come about?
I started making jewelry as a teenager and started a business called Stacey’s Beads n Things. I sold items to family and friends, and after about a year I had moved on to some other teen flight of fancy. In 2013 when I decided to pursue my business again, I opted to use Beads and Things as a throwback to where I began. But by that time, there were other businesses with similar names and I wasn’t in love with it anymore. Last year at Craftcation 2014, I was speaking with a fellow attendee about my business, branding and goals. I told her my business name and the dilemma I was having and without missing a beat she said “YOU are your brand!” Because I create with so much more than beads and things she advised me to change the name. Thus, ‘by Stacey Monique’ was born. Before leaving Ventura that weekend, I had a new business name, logo and website! Kismet!
How long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
I’ve been a special education teacher for 11 years. My day job keeps me grounded, pays the bills and provided the money to start my business. But when I opened my business in 2013 I realized that being a maker is my passion and my dream job! So I’m determined to keep doing both until the vision I have for my brick and mortar business comes to fruition.
When you’re not making things, what do you do?
When I’m not working at my day job, or building my dream job, I am the ultimate extroverted introvert. Although I love being around people, sharing experiences, laughing and building connections, I am equally happy at home cuddled in bed binge watching HGTV. I love spending time with my preteen daughter who amazes and amuses me daily!
What would be your perfect day off?
My perfect day off would start with sleeping in. It’s a luxury I rarely get to enjoy. After a quick bite to eat we’d pile in the car and head to Santa Cruz. Roller coasters, fair food and the beach??? BINGO! Performing live for the summer concert series would be my all-time favorite… Stevie Wonder! (I see you shaking your head, but this is MY perfect day so it could happen, right?) The night would end with a bonfire complete with oozy gooey s’mores.