Friday Interview: Faye Guanipa! May 25, 2012 10:50

Happy Friday, everyone! Last week I introduced you to Christine Guanipa, the artist behind Little Man Originals. This week I'd like to introduce you to her daughter Faye, whose jewelry is available here in Craftland. Please keep reading to learn more about Faye and the challenges involved in starting your own business. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business.
My name is Faye Guanipa and my business is “Faye”. I create one of a kind and limited edition statement jewelry made from reclaimed vintage beads and findings.


Describe your studio for us.
My husband and I are currently renting a tiny one bedroom and so I re-purposed our 60 square foot laundry room into a half-studio for myself. It was tough trying to squeeze all of my mismatched storage space along with a functioning table-top into such a small space, but we made it work. For my work table, we used a pre-existing book case – topped it with plywood, painted it a happy red and wrapped the bottom in a bold stripe fabric. This way, I have plenty of storage and work space and everything is neatly hidden away. For added storage, I’ve used a vintage barbershop cabinet – utilizing the top for display (I photograph all of my work on the mannequin here) and kept a corner nook for myself with my fifties vintage chair and side table – right near the window. Still working on filling up the wall space but I’ve got my inspiration board going, right above the table, and some small wall pieces to keep it interesting. 


Can you tell us about the materials you use in your jewelry?
When I hunt for beads I look for colors and sometimes odd shapes that inspire me. A lot of my beads are vintage Lucite, wooden, mixed material and I also seek out metal findings for unique closures. My signature necklace clasp is actually an old style dog collar clasp, it draws a lot of attention. I’ve recently been experimenting with rope as well.  

What's your process like of taking your ideas and turning them into jewelry?
My process is anything but planned, in fact it’s a bit helter skelter….I’ve found that my most successful designs have been the ones that are inspired by the materials themselves than ones that I’ve thought out and sketched. I like to boost my inspiration with shopping contemporary and vintage to keep informed on what people are buying but also to draw from fashion in eras that I enjoy like the 20s, 40s, and 50s and from fashion and accessories I see all over the world and 100s of years ago. Generally I shop with colors in mind and then go from there. I bring home my beads and just dig right in. 


What has been the most challenging part about starting your own business?
The most challenging part of starting up a small business is keeping myself motivated. I have giant spurts of ambition and motivation where I can focus on being creative and pumping out new designs for several days straight and there are days I just want to come home from work – go to the gym, come back and cook dinner, and go to bed! The motivation to be creative when I am not feeling it is hard to muster up sometimes.  But, it can be so rewarding when I can see the fruits of my work, look at my necklaces displayed in a window, and watch people walking away wearing my signature pieces. 

What does handmade mean to you?
When something is handmade, it means that it is special. Someone sat down and spent time focusing in on that one thing, dreaming it up, thinking about it, crafting it, and feeling satisfied with the final results.


How did you first become involved with Craftland?
I first became involved with Craftland when I applied to their most recent holiday show. It must be a good fit, because I haven’t left since!

Little known, fun fact about you?
I’ve been drinking coffee since I was a baby and pouring my own cup since I was a toddler. That’s not an exaggeration, ask my mom.