Featured Artist + Shop: Chelsea of Leather and Copper

I've started a new FEATURE blog series, where I'd like to showcase some talent and passions of artists and shop owners all around I've come to get to know and admire! It won't necessarily be a weekly blog series, but I'm going to post them as often as possible.

For the first blog post, meet my adorable and even more talented friend Chelsea.

The interview:

1. First off, tell us a little about yourself. Your quirks, favorite color, anything!
My name is Chelsea Brendle and I am a senior at Appalachian State University.  I am studying Art Education, Art History, and Studio Art. Let's see...my quirks? Oh dear...too many to name, I'm sure!  One might be that about 75% of my closet is made up of thrift store finds!  (Which reminds me - we definitely need to have a GW trip soon, Melissa!)  My favorite color is grey.  I know it sounds boring, but it is really just so beautiful.

2. How did you decide to open up a shop? What was your inspiration for Leather and Copper?
I started Leather & Copper in May of 2010.  I had been dabbling in other crafty areas and had already started an Etsy shop for those, but I became much more serious about this one.  It all started when I just decided to check out the Tandy Leather store.  I came home with a starter kit for leather tooling and I knew that I had found something that I loved!

3. How do you juggle being a college student and handmade shop owner?
Being a handmade shop owner is kind of perfect for being a student.  I have always wanted to have a job while at school, but didn't know if I would have enough time; this way I can choose my own hours, do something that I love, and even make a little bit of income from it!  I also have this weird thing where I kind of like to be busy (I have never taken less than 18 hours a semester!), so it works out well!

4. What are the things that inspire you most?
I have a confession: I am a Pinterest addict. Matt (my boyfriend) tells me I spend way too much time on there, but he just doesn't understand.  A lot of inspiration comes from there - colors, patterns, designs - but a lot also comes from art classes as well.  I love seeing different art motifs from around the world, and art history classes are wonderful for that.  Oftentimes, I have more inspiration than time to actually make the pieces! I definitely need to get better about that! I have a feeling that I will be adding a lot more stuff to the store soon, so stay tuned!

5. What are some future plans for your etsy shops and well, life?
I am going to finally sit down and make a lot of new inventory, so that should be coming soon to Leather & Copper!  I also sell my goods at Ruby's Gift in NoDa in Charlotte, but I am hoping to also get them in some local stores in Boone.  As for life...whew...I wish I knew! haha.  I will be taking my last semester of classes now, and then student-teaching in the Fall.  After school, I would absolutely love to find a job in the arts.  I definitely want to be an art teacher, but I would also be happy in any art setting.  I definitely want to travel as well - there is such an amazing world out there that I can't wait to get out and see!  Whatever happens, I want to continue Leather & Copper and keep working on my own art!

Thanks so much, Melissa! Your blog is amazing - I always look forward to your posts!

Her work:

Isn't she adorable?! And isn't her shop just wonderful? I definitely need to grab one of her cuffs before we both split after college. I hope you enjoyed her little interview and definitely check out her shop! I love having talented and crafty friends like her :) Also, I know that she LOVES custom orders so be sure to shoot her a message on etsy or email her! So a big thank you to Chelsea for taking the time to let me interview you and share your art with the blogging world!

*All featured artists are handpicked by me and I am in no way compensated for the featured posts on my blog. I just want to share the talents and passions of different artists all around! Support your local artists.