Polaroids alone are whimsical, stir childhood memories, visions of my early college years with a best friend. With the creativity of Lauren Beacham, the Polaroid has taken an extra step above a print. She has the genius to not only shoot amazing Polaroid photographs, but to add workmanship to the dying pedigree. Learn more about the inception of Lauren's Jerseymaids:
There are a ton of toy cameras and different formats of film, but what is it about Polaroids that attracts you so much? I think there is charm in all toy cameras and alternative processes, but Polaroid has a magic to it that really is unmatched by anything I've experienced. It paints with light and romance, and it wraps up heightened anticipation and instant gratification into one little package. The colors and glow aren't found anywhere else, and no matter how well you know your film and camera...you are never in complete control. It's always a big adventure.
Ok, let's discus the amazing Polaroid Night Light! What inspired you to come up with it? I actually can't take credit for these little gems (though I wish I could!) A fellow Etsian and Photographer's of Etsy Street Team member, Bill of houseofsixcats.etsy.com, has been making them with his imagery for a long time and I admired them from afar. During this admiration period, I had also been stumbling blind in my room at night, coming close to cracking shins in half and breaking toes! I've been a big fan and advocate for trading goods on Etsy...so I asked him if he'd be interested in trading one of his night lights for something of mine. After a few conversations and weeks of collaboration, we decided not to just trade one thing for each other, but for shop stock! I now make necklaces for him of his images, and he makes night lights for me of mine. An ongoing collaboration and trade :)
Instead of just selling Polaroids, you take that extra step and have totes, necklaces, earrings. Your prints are gorgeous enough, but what inspired you to go the extra steps? To be honest, I had been searching desperately about a year and a half ago to find these things for myself (mostly necklaces.) Really coming up with no results, I decided to figure out how to make some on my own. The necklaces were my first endeavor. I gave some as gifts and they were a HUGE hit. I couldn't wear them anywhere without getting a ton of compliments on them and asking how they could get their own. I started selling them in my shop last September and have been building the collection since. The earrings are a new addition, I just added them at the begining of this summer. Shortly after the necklaces took off, I hooked up with a dye-sublimation duo I met on Etsy named Angie and Blake. With their help, the shirts, keepsake boxes, and tote bags came into the picture. It's a goal of mine to one day be a full-time artist making all the money I need to survive on my own creations. I'm constantly brainstorming, researching, and looking forward to the next step. My current (and not quite public) project: interchangeable Polaroid rings! Hopefully in time for the holidays ;)
What's your favorite photo and why? This is a very fluid answer. It will probably change in a week, whenever I shoot new things or change my mood :) But, at the moment, I think my favorite photo of mine is "The Dreamer." http://www.flickr.com/photos/jerseymaids/3443172594/in/set-72157616683558125/ and for sale http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23886896 It was taken on a train in France...the moment was so peaceful and the light so lovely that I had no choice but to capture it in a little white window.
You could have easily marketed yourself on building your own network and site. What is it about Etsy that makes you support it? Etsy has a wonderful community, and that's a big reason. It's also the most progressive and well-known handmade marketplace on Earth...and even more conveniently, it's online! I've met many wonderful artists on there that I'm proud to now think of as friends. The site and it's members provide constant inspiration, ideas, feedback, and more. On a side note, I actually *did* have my own website that unfortunately got hacked a few months ago. I lost all of my information and know absolutely nothing about web design, so I have been unable to build a new one just yet. If there's anyone out there who wants to get one up and running for me, give me a buzz! ;)
What is your target market? What are their most pressing issues and concerns? I'd say my target market is anyone fun and young (or young at heart!) when it comes to most of my "products." Everything I offer is carefully and thoughtfully created and priced so people can get a good quality product they really love without breaking the bank. I think my artwork itself is really for anyone. Polaroids tend to be a trendy thing at the moment with youth, so that's my biggest client base right now. But I do have my artwork in high end galleries with a much older and refined client base and they enjoy it just as much. I think the fond familiarity that people have with Polaroids help connect them quickly and get them talking.
What is unique about your product? What sets you apart? There are many Polaroid artists out there that I've come to know and respect quite a lot...but when it comes to functional and wearable art, there is little else like what I offer. Most customers will send a note exclaiming how clever and fun the idea is. They don't have any wall space left but still want to enjoy art work. It's another way for people to experience and me to be able to share!
Thank you Lauren! Her shop is here.
Her Facebook Fanpage is here.
Follow her work on Twitter, admire her work on Flickr, and her contribution to the Polaroid Team here. If you are in any of her networks, she frequently offers rewards such as free shipping, and has giveaways.
As a plus for our.city.lights readers, she has offered to giveaway one of her Polaroid necklaces!
Rules to Enter:
Visit Jerseymaids on Etsy, let me know what your favorite item is. All commentary is welcome on the interview and items, but if the comment does not have a favorite item from the shop, you will not be entered in the giveaway. Visit the shop here.
When will the giveaway end?
I will choose a winner via random.org on Sunday evening. Winner will be announced next week.
Who is eligible?
All forms of life, you need not have a blog to have a chance to win. Just leave an email to be contacted.