As I was saying in a prior interview, when the shadows come calling, I feel lucky to gain so much inspiration from my fellow craftisans. We had Wrenay Charlton, aka, "Whimsy" 'and her other business venture "The Crafty Wren" at our first show Craftaluma. I adore Wrenay not just for her positive and creative spirit, but also because she is a joy to be around, and lucky for us joy is contagious. One thing we can promise you is that Wrenay is one crafty chick!
C: Okay, Ms. Wrenay, I'm a big fan of your crafty wares, but tell the folks who may not be familiar all about your crafty self.
W: "I actually have 2 businesses; Whimsy & The Crafty Wren
Whimsy came about as a way to frame all the things I make. I like to dabble in different arts and crafts, so I felt it best to come up with a name that describes the mood and feel of my products."
"The Crafty Wren" developed out of "Whimsy" I started to make jewelry from my art and recycled materials. I wanted to separate the jewelry from all of the other goodies I make, so I decided to create the secondary business. My name is Wrenay, but my friends and family call me Wren, so that's where the Wren comes from.
C: Where are you located?
W: Crockett, California. Never heard of it? I'm not surprised! Crockett is actually in the East Bay, off of Hwy 80. It is the last exit before you cross the Carquinez Bridge into Vallejo. It's really a sweet little town, and home to the C&H sugar factory.
C: Oh, I know where Crockett is! If there's a sugar factory you can bet I know my way there. I can see a visual on those tall sugar stacks in my mind's eye when I cross the bridge! Me and Crockett go waaaay back! :)
W: Los Angeles, CA.
C: What is it that you make?
W: I love experimenting with new processes and materials. I always have something in development! Currently, my focus is on paper goods, plush creatures, and pendants.
C: What is your favorite and least favorite thing about what you do?
W: For me, the process is always the most interesting and fun part of creating something. There is always a new discovery along the way, so I am constantly learning how to improve the final piece, or coming up with something new. I guess the least favorite part of creating is the clean up!
C: Amen, to that I'm a bit of a neat freak, but lately my desk has exploded. What brings you creative inspiration?
W: My schedule is pretty hectic, so I tend to appreciate the quiet moments and I give myself at least 15 minutes each day to sketch down ideas, and thoughts. Lots of those seeds turn into my creations. Music, nature, my kid's laughing, all hugely inspiring as well!
C: What advice would you give to a designer who wanted to start a business such as yours?
W: First and foremost, love what you do and be your own biggest cheerleader! When you make the leap from creating for recreation, to creating for business, you spend a ton of time marketing your work. I cannot stress how important it is to do your research, get your paperwork in order and network as much as possible. A great book to read when you are ready to take the leap is Craft, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco
C: Do you have any exciting news or future business plans you'd like to share?
W: My products are now being sold in brick & mortar stores throughout the bay area. One of my goals for this year was to make connections to get my work off-line and into boutiques, so I am very happy to have met this goal.
C: Send me your links to the brick and mortar before you walk away Wrenay. ;) Okay, I'm gonna throw you off track here a bit, Sean Connery or Roger Moore? :)
W: hee hee. Roger Moore
C: What is your favorite midnight snack?
C: Favorite book and movie?
W:There are so many…
My current favs:
Fiction book: A Lion Among Men (from the Wicked series)
Fine Art book: By Hand, a look at craft in contemporary art practices
Movie: I'm really behind on movies. One of top 3 of all time is Cinema Paradiso
C: I wanna go see "Wicked" in the city! Love Cinema Paradiso, too! Okay Wrenay,Your throwing a dinner party, who would you invite (living or not living) and why?
W: Mae West-someone has to be brasher than I, since I will be hosting!
Ryan Adams-love his music and he could entertain during any lull in the festivities
Jack Black-for obvious reasons
Yoko Ono-aww, poor yoko…has she finally overcome the Beatles, "killer" stigma?!! I think so. She is an amazing conceptual artist.
C: I'd better be getting an invite to that dinner party! Please seat me between Jack and Mae...or better yet Jack and Ryan, I promise to behave.
Thank you Wrenay Charlton, and we will see you at Mafia Made Holiday Craftacular quite soon!
You may find The Crafty Wrens' goodies right here, lookie.
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