It all started when i saw these adorable PBJ sandwich earrings, and had one of my 1st impulse buys in quite some time. I had no idea when they arrived that it would be love at 1st bite (har har) (Okay, i mean sight.) Two sisters, Jessica and Susan, own a shoppe called Inedible Jewelry. All of their pieces are so adorable!!
1. How long have you been crafting?
We've been sculpting miniature foods since we were children seriously over-feeding our dolls. So, about 17 years apiece. At some point, we decided that food on jewelry was cooler than food for Barbies, and we shifted to food jewelry.
2.Did you always craft in this genre?
The moment we first tried polymer clay, we began creating miniature foods. And the foods have always been polymer clay. In terms of crafting as a whole, however, we grew up in a very crafty and artistic household, so we've been making all kinds of things our entire lives. We still both have other types of crafty projects, and we both love tocook real food.
3.Who or what inspires you?
Food! Why food? So many reasons. Food is fun, colorful, brings back memories of specific people and occasions. Food is very personal since most people have favorites. And we come from a very food-oriented family. We both love to cook and bake real foods, so many cookbook authors are sources of inspiration. Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater, the Food Network as a whole, magazines, restaurants, the grocery store- they're all fair game for material.
While we're crafting, we usually have on music or recorded books (check out LibraVox.org for a huge collection of free recordings of classic books!) When we craft together (which is rare, since we live in different cities), we can usually agree on 80s music- happy, melodramatic, pure synthesizer. Fabulous.
4.What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?
There is a huge difference between crafting for yourself and friends, and creating products for buyers. We've really come to understand that presentation is a huge part of selling a product, whether that's online or at shows. Online, photographs are absolutely crucial, as are great descriptions. Since people can click away in a split second, that photograph has to capture their attention instantly. The description needs to give someone as much information as possible
since people can't hold the product in their hands.
At shows, having work displayed in an eye-catching and fun way has been key. It isn't enough to simply have a fun and well-made product- it needs to sell itself too. So, display and packaging truly are more crucial to the business than we ever imagined at first.
For all the challenges, though, it's been even more rewarding and wonderful than we could ever have predicted. Food truly inspires people to tell us fantastic stories: the couple who had to have the burger and fries cuff links because they got engaged at a burger place, the fig necklace that reminded a woman of how her grandfather brought over a cutting from a fig tree on the boat from Italy, the woman who wears the kiwi earrings every time she needs some extra bravery since kiwi fruit reminds her of being brave, and many others who simply see our work and enjoy a really good laugh. We love it.
Another aspect of our work than many people always assume is a challenge, but really is not is the fact that we're sisters. We both are totally involved in all aspects of the business, from sculpting the individual charms, to creating the finished pieces, to doing all the behind the scenes work. We do each have our specialties in terms of which foods we sculpt, but otherwise you'd be hard-pressed to figure out which of us created which pieces.
And because people always ask: no, we don't use a magnifying glass. Yet.
Thanks again for asking to interview us! It was a pleasure.
Seriously though folks, my new earrings really are even cuter in person. So check out their Etsy site and say hello to them. They'd love to hear it!