By guest contributor Rose Salseda
Fringe boasts a variety of creatively designed crocheted, knitted, and sewn accessories. The handmade creations, which include whimsical lariats, romantic capelets, and cozy cowls, would surely keep anyone stylishly warm in the upcoming winter months. In an effort to learn more about these artfully crafted goods, we ask Dennice Mankarious, the designer behind Fringe, to share her story for Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx.
1. When and how did Fringe begin?
I’d like to begin by saying thank you for your interest in my work. It’s an honor to be featured on your fabulous blog. I hope everyone who reads this will be inspired to create with their own original style.
I started selling my creations locally several years ago, but not seriously. I didn’t become focused and serious until I joined Etsy back in January of 2007. I sort of fell into this whole thing. I learned to knit and then crochet at the ripe old age of four, but I have only been creating in this capacity for a few years. A friend of mine told me about Etsy in 2006 and I sort of scoped it out for six months before I dove in. It’s been a learning experience ever since-a very valuable learning experience. My humble advice to sellers is to do your research, take pride in your work. The most important thing is to be true to your self and be original.
2. Where do you look for inspiration while developing new products and designs?
Two of my main inspirations are music and nature. However, many other things inspire me too. Ideas come to me while I’m sleeping, or driving down the road, or cooking. I can be in the middle of a conversation with someone and an idea will hit me. I always carry a pad of paper and pencil with me. Classic movies are a big influence to me as well.
I guess the act of creating motivates me. I will be lying in bed at night and have an idea pop into my head. I have to get up and write it down, or start creating it. I am always thinking about new designs. A great motivator is the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a design. Once I complete an item, I already have another one planned to start on. So, it seems to be a continuous cycle of creating. I get frustrated when something slows me down and I can’t dive into the next new idea. I’m always motivated to finish what I’m working on, so that I can start the next creation. The self-gratification that comes from clients who love my work can be a bit addictive as well.
3. What does your creative process entail? (do you have a regular schedule for making items, do you sketch, how long does it take to finish particular items, etc.)
I do have a somewhat regular schedule, since I have a family to take care of-and that’s my number one priority by far. While my son is in school, I work very intensely. I also work in the wee hours of the morning and late into the night. I work a great deal on weekends when my son and husband are busy doing “guy” things. The hardest job in the world is the job of a wife/mother who is simultaneously trying to be a successful business woman, a wonderful mother, and loving wife. You have to be part superhero, part supermom, and part sex kitten. Though, perhaps, not in that particular order.
I am very much into sketches. I sketch out most of my creations before I begin creating them. It’s an effective way for me to keep track of all my designs as well as remember them from the point of origin (which could very possibly be in the middle of the night from a dream) to when I can actually begin making them.
4. Are you particularly smitten with any of your designs? If so, what item is your favorite and why?
This is a tough question for me. I am always smitten with my latest design, yet I love all my designs as if they’re part of me. I could never pick a favorite. I’m proud of all my pieces and the fact that I designed each and every piece myself. I don’t mean that in a bragging sort of way. It’s been an honor for me to have one of my items chosen to represent Etsy on the Martha Stewart Show as well as The Today Show. The Uniform Projecthas been kind enough to include a couple of my donations as part of Sheena’s daily outfit. Also, I was given the grand opportunity to be featured in Knitscene Magazine‘s Fall ’08 issue as well as features on excellent blogs such as Indie Fixx.
5. What do you find to be the most satisfying in sharing your creations with others?
Just the idea that there are people spread out all over this beautiful planet that own a Fringe creation. They are taking a little part of me through their journey. They may live somewhere that I’ll never visit, yet we have a connection. It blows my mind and thrills me. It inspires me. I never would have dreamed I would be where I am today. It is unbelievably rewarding to have your work appreciated by many different people, who may have nothing else in common but their Fringe item. I know that may sound dramatic, but its how I truly feel. Life is such a mysterious and wondrous experience.
6. What do you envision in the future of Fringe and your designs?
Oh well, if I told you then there would be no surprises, right? I have many visions for Fringe in the near and distant future and so many dreams that I plan to make a reality. I hope all of you have dreams to follow, to pursue with a passion. It’s what makes life worth living.
7. Describe what a perfect day would be for you.
Every day is a perfect day for me. I’ve learned to value life on a day to day basis. You know the saying “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”? That’s so true and such a positive thought. I try to live my life that way. However, if you insist on a scenario. . . envision a sandy beach, a soft mild breeze, crystal blue sky, the ocean waves breaking on the shore. . . me, myself and I, a thick book, a cooler filled with drinks and snacks, an umbrella, comfy chair, fluffy beach towels, and no watch, no cell phone.
About the contributor: Rose Salseda is one of the Indie Fixx interns this fall. She has a Master of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin and will soon be pursuing her PhD. Rose coordinates the Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx interviews.