my favourite Etsians - Q&A with Zelma Rose

You could be mistaken for believing that I buy pretty trinkets all.the.time, and if I had the funds, you know I would buy out everything from here, here, here and here, but in the mean time I love just looking at pretty things, it makes me so happy and inspired.

More than buying pretty things for myself, I love buying pretty things for my nearests and dearests, and it was during one of my excitable treasury-making/pretty-thing-hunting expeditions that I saw and fell in love with Lisa's gorgeous jewellery. You might have noticed one of her lockets in my bee treasury, and from that first discovery I was completely hooked.


One of the most unique things about her shop, Zelma Rose, is the concept behind her jewellery: "The Button. Redefined." Although using buttons in jewellery has been fashionable for quite some time now, I had never seen anything that encompasses so many different awesome elements as Lisa's work. My favourite of her items are the beautiful lockets, which are not only lockets (though that is a great start), but they have a chalkboard inside too! And that's not it - they're also magnetic, and include a tiny magnet inside! Her green and white dotted button locket is one of my most favourite things ever, and I was lucky enough to have had it bought for me by a lovely friend after having seen it on my wishlist! Yay!


After receiving the beautifully-wrapped package, I couldn't help but contact Lisa to let her know just how much I love her work, and she very kindly agreed to answer some questions which I thought I would share with you here:

Hello Lisa! Thanks for agreeing to answer some of my questions! Firstly, would you like to introduce yourself to Matin Lapin readers?

Hi there! I'm Lisa Anderson Shaffer, designer and owner of Zelma Rose Vintage Inspired Curiosities. I live and work in lovely San Francisco California in a beautiful blue Victorian house built in 1904. I am a Mom, designer, artist, licensed psychotherapist, teacher and Pilates enthusiast. And when I have free time, ice cream eater, music lover and all around dreamer.

Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! How did you first get into jewellery-making? And how long have you been creating jewellery for?

I was 12 the first time I made a piece of jewellery. My friend and I took a summer camp jewellery making class and both made matching best friend sterling silver rings. How cute is that? (very!) About 15 years ago, when I was traveling in Ireland, I began making macrame beaded jewellery to pay for my travels. It was the perfect way to express myself creatively, make something that was portable and easy to travel with and earn a little extra money for Guiness. Since then I have made jewellery on and off taking breaks here and there to focus on other interests, like painting, photography, psychology and teaching. I opened Zelma Rose about a year ago after a six month sketching and designing spree. It was the first time I had ever worked with buttons and now I am obsessed! The possibilities are limitless and drawing from something as basic and utilitarian as a button allows me to broaden the ways in which we see and use such an ordinary object. The button just might be the hardest working fashion essential!


So are you self-taught or did you undertake some formal training in jewellery-making?

I have some formal training in jewellery making, but most of my training is in fine art. I have a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), one of the oldest private art schools in the United States. It's a wonderful school located in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco. SFAI boasts such graduates as Mark Rothko and Damien Hirst and is home to an original Diego Rivera Mural. I think in general, art making and crafting require a mastery of abstract thought. To be able to paint yourself out of a corner and dive into the new without knowing. Spending time surrounded by artists and those who take the creative leap freely and fully has been essential to my creativity.

Since your interest in jewellery-making started with creating silver rings, and having mentioned some of your other interests like painting, photography and macrame, how do you feel your work has changed over the years?

My work seems to change and expand almost everyday. I try not to throw away any ideas. No idea or design is too complicated or too silly. Some ideas make it to a finished piece of jewellery shortly and others sit and breath for sometimes as long as a year. I still make and sell the first Zelma Rose necklace I ever made. It seems to be an oldie but goodie: http://www.etsy.com/listing/53629431/double-sided-fabric-necklace-on-antique.

What would you say is the most popular item in your shop?

My most popular shop items differ by season. My chalkboard magnetic lockets are a favorite for spring and summer. Many people give them as gifts for weddings, Mother's Day, graduation and prom. The fall and winter favorites are my infinity scarves. I create a limited edition every August and sell them through March.


And how about the thing you most enjoy making?

I love to create custom work. It's such a gift to hear a person's story and learn about where the piece is going to, who will be wearing it and why. My customers are full of great ideas and I am always inspired by how they will wear a piece. I spent a year designing my chalkboard magnetic lockets and it is still my favorite piece to make in the shop. I adore creating custom lockets for wedding parties, gifts and especially new moms.

Where do you get your inspiration from, and which designers inspire you?

Hands down designer Marc Jacobs. He is a hero of mine. His work ethic is incredible and it is magic to watch him create. Whenever I am feeling uninspired or having a creative block I watch the French documentary, Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. Marc's energy and passion is contagious. I also find inspiration at the many museums in San Francisco. The Academy of Sciences has a lovely library where you can draw animal bones and taxidermy. I love examining the beautiful and intricate texture found in nature. A bird wing, the delicacy of a plant root structures. Beautiful! San Francisco has such a diverse population of fashion obsessed. Everything from big burly bikers to hipsters on their fixie bicycles. Everyone has their own look. It's inspiring to see how people choose to introduce themselves to the world.

Other than designing and creating jewellery, what else do you like to spend your time doing?

I love being a mom! It is the craziest, most creative and fun adventure I've ever been on. When I am not designing or with my daughter I love to take walks through the many neighborhoods of San Francisco, watch San Francisco Giants baseball with my husband and indulge in ice cream.


Finally, please share an interesting fact about yourself with us...

I'm ambidextrous and can write legibly with both my right and left hands.

Awesome sauce! Thank you so much for your time and for answering my questions!

If you would like to read more about Lisa, you can find her here:

2 hellos:

Zelma Rose said...

Thanks so much Vixie! A big Hello to all your followers :)

Vixie said...

Thank you again, Lisa!

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