Gettin' Made: Last But Not Least
Wrapping up our week-long feature on the OC Handmade Brigade, let's meet the mind behind Melissa Loschy Designs. She's a Costa Mesa crafter named, surpisingly enough, Melissa Loschy. Also, read on--today's your last chance to enter to win a free gift box of goodies from the OC Handmade Brigade!
|Melissa Loschy models one of her great collage-style necklaces|
OC Weekly: Tell us about you - what's your life like outside of crafting?
Melissa Loschy: I live in Costa Mesa, right on the border of Newport - so close to the beach! I have a day job as a graphic designer for a business training company in the Salon Industry. Obviously, if I could be doing anything, I would be making stuff 24/7, but until I have the inventory, a business partner, and money saved, I'll be working the 9-5. I do like my job however and get to work with some amazing people. I get to travel too; next month our whole office is going to New Orleans for our leadership conference! If you knew me personally, you would know that I'm pretty passionate about music and traveling in addition to arts and crafts. I have no pets and no boy. It's hard to find a good man! Dating is exhausting. I'm an aquarius, and am therefore very independent and able to stay happy being single (not forever though, I hope!). I'm too busy working and crafting to feed and take care of a boyfriend/animal, haha!
|Drink Me flask by Melissa Loschy of Melissa Loschy Designs|
OCW: Where do you get your ideas from? Tell us about your process.
ML: Let's talk about inspiration! I get it everywhere, seriously. Since I work on a computer all day, I'd say I spend a good hour a day traveling through Etsy and seeing what other talented people have come up with. I have an obsession with thrift stores and old books, so almost all of my pieces either use the images from the books or have been assembled using reconstructed pieces of vintage jewelry, belts, purses, or other accessories.
When I'm not doing a custom piece for someone, I'm typically stocking up on a specific type of jewelry or accessory that is low, like knuckle rings, bib necklaces, brooches, hairclips, tote bags, or pins. I might search though the current sketchbook I'm using at the time for ideas I've jotted down, or look through my huge stack of images i've ripped out from books. Then, I strap on my arthritic wrist brace (I sew so much that my right wrist starts to bother me after a couple of hours of work) and stitch away! If I'm making my signature collage charm jewelry with vintage images sewn between vinyl or leather and sheer fabric, I make several of them and then decide what they will be after I'm done. It's not very often that I know exactly what something will look like before I start the process.
|"Triple-threat Plum Diamond" knuckle ring by Melissa Loschy of Melissa Loschy Designs|
OCW: Have your knuckle rings ever been used in a fight?
ML: I can't say whether or not my knuckle rings have ever been used in a fight - I've sold several the times I'm vending at the roller derby, so who knows! I always tell people that they would add extra pain if you punched someone while wearing one. I can say with 100% certainty that I have never used one in a fight.
OCW: Where did you get your start, and how long have you been making things?
ML: I have been making things as long as I can remember. I'm an only child, so during the height of my Barbie-playing phase, unless I was over at a neighbor's house, I had to play by myself. I typically spent more time creating elaborate places and items for Barbie's environment than I did actually playing with her. Legos were a huge part of my childhood too. What nurtured my creativity as a child was the fact that I grew up in a very creative family: Dad: woodworking and welding, Mom: scrapbooking, cardmaking, Grandma: sewing, crocheting and knitting and almost every other craft, Aunt: same as grandma, Papa: woodcarving, painting, gardening. I pretty much had every artistic base covered growing up. Christmas gifts were always art sets, craft materials, or how-to books. Then came Girl Scouts, summer camps, college dorm-life, working at Michaels...pretty much my whole life has been conducive to making things.
OCW: Tell us about how the OC Handmade Brigade's helped you out in your crafty endeavors.
ML: Handmade Brigade has done nothing but reaffirm my passion for making things. The fact that I'm officially in a group of young women who have the same interests as me, who like to work together to organize events that explore crafting and craft entrepreneurship is just amazing. It's good to be around people who you can really relate to. Most of my friends have no clue about what the crafting world is all about, so it's miraculous that I now have another group of friends who live/sleep/breathe it like me.
|Skoulture Cameo brooch by Melissa Loschy of Melissa Loschy Designs|
OCW: Do you ever get stuck in a rut in terms of coming up with new stuff to make? What do you do to get past that?
ML: It happens for sure. I find it's typically right after I've done several craft shows in a row. For instance, don't even ask me for a custom order the 2 weeks after Christmas...That's when you HAVE to take a break from craft show bonanza. I find that since I don't make a living off of my crafting yet, it's beneficial for me to just set it aside for a week or so...stay out of my studio. If I do that, then I come back after those few days and am supercharged.
OCW: Do you try to buy handmade, and why?
ML: I do, especially recently. There's something so inexplicable about buying something directly from the person who created it. You feel like you're buying a little piece of their soul. Not like the devil, haha...but a little piece of their passion. I feel that if I'm trying to get people to buy things I've handmade, it's important to set a similar example by buying from other people who sell handmade!
|Tippie Hedrin collage necklace by Melissa Loschy of Melissa Loschy Designs|
OCW: Are there any other crafty things you do outside of what's on your etsy site?
ML: Always...I have several craft books that I experiment with. I've been redecorating my room and am working on several projects from the Big Ass Book of Crafts. I also LOVE to bake. I look for any excuse to make cupcakes.
Wanna win a free box of goodies including the Triple Threat Purple Diamond knuckle ring featured here by Melissa Loschy? (She'll even size it for you for free!) Today's your last chance to enter our giveaway! Just leave us a comment on this post telling us what you think and you'll be automatically entered to win! Comment as often as you like, but one entry per person and contest closes at midnight on Friday, July 31. Good luck!