Welcome to the third installment of our Meet the Maker series, where we profile an all-star vendor from our Close to Home shop! This week is all about Shaun, from the Roadkiln/bfloGALS brand – she creates lovely bangles and bracelets bursting with pride for her hometown of Buffalo, New York. Shaun is unique in that she realized her artistic potential later in life, truly living out the quote “it’s never too late to follow your dreams!”, and is now a successful, full-time artist. Check out some of Shaun’s work below and scroll down for a Q&A between us.
Shaun agreed to a short Q&A, and I learned so much about her and her brand! Check it out:
- Tell us a bit about the story behind your business. How and why did you get started?
I come from a family of artistic “late bloomers”. While in the midst of a teaching career, on a whim a friend invited me to join her at a copper enamel workshop with a master enamellist. Little did I know that this would totally change the course of my life.
The material grabbed me because of its malleability and seemingly endless possibilities to create beautiful works of art. It was an instant connection and from the first workshop I was inspired and enthusiastic to see where this artistic expression would take me.
Early pieces were heavily rooted in using the elements of art to transform geometric shapes into abstract wall hangings. Eventually I discovered that pennies could be used as a canvas and that ushered in a new direction of freedom and creative output.
As a full time working artist for the last 7 years, I have continued to hone my skills, challenge myself to explore new projects and collaborations, and vastly expand my jewelry lines.
- I see you are one of our top sellers – that’s awesome! How have you kept up with the success without sacrificing the quality and craftsmanship of your product?
I am approaching the production process differently. For example, when I “fire”, I focus on one aspect of the design at a time and create more pieces in one session.
In order to keep up with production, as a top seller, I am working with different suppliers having found them through networking and research. I feel like my craftsmanship has continued to grow by working with new materials that inspire me. I have confidence in the quality of the materials I am using.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I am inspired by micro details and design elements from everyday objects and fuse them together in interesting organic compositions that transform these images in a new light.
- Has your business changed since you have started to sell with us?
In the community people have approached me and verbally expressed their excitement to see my work in a national chain. Additionally, local shop owners are seeing my work as recognizable and a valuable addition to their inventory.
As far as my production numbers, how many pieces I produce, it’s doubled since becoming a retail artist with BonTon.
- Do you have a favorite piece? If so, what is it?
My favorite piece is the bangle. I find this to be versatile because you can mix and match the textures, colors, and metals to create a unique wearable look. There is enough variety of designs that you can spend some time playing and putting together stylized accessories that highlight your outfit.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Shaun and Roadkiln! Her bangles make the perfect gift to the Buffalo gal in your life. Not from the Buffalo area and still want a piece of Shaun’s cute jewelry? Check out her Etsy shop! As a huge hockey fan, I have my eye on her hockey bangle Happy shopping!