Etsy Crush of the Week- Sugar & Vice

I first discovered Sugar & Vice while I was scouring Etsy for Portal themed jewelry for a previous blog post, ‘27 Pieces of Portal Jewelry‘. Once I saw their Portal Earrings and necklaces, I became practically obsessed with Sugar & Vice ever since. Sarah the crafter and creator of Sugar & Vice was kind enough do this interview with me all the way from the U.K.! Sarah is just as awesome as the jewelry (or should I say jewellery) she makes! She has a horror movie podcast called Gorepress, she’s a gamer, comic book and action figure collector and makes her own alcohol! It gets even better, I know crazy right, but you’ll only find out from reading the interview.

Interview with Sarah of Sugar and Vice Jewelry:

Girl Gone Geek: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sarah: Well, I guess the basics are that I’m 28, live in Canterbury and obsess over my cat; Sir Digby Chicken Caesar. I adore making jewellery but my other love is films and I also run a horror movie website and record a podcast with a friend (gorepress.com, ahem, shameless plug).

GGG: How long have you been making jewelry?

S: I think it’s around 5 years since Sugar & Vice came about and I didn’t really have much experience with jewellery before then so I suppose I’m still a beginner, comparatively!

GGG: What is Sugar & Vice origin story?

S: So many people have asked me this question and I never know how to respond. It was a happy accident! I started making bits and pieces and selling them through my MySpace page about 5-6 years ago while working for a builders merchant (which is exactly as glamorous as it sounds.) Over the years I started a bigcartel shop, then my own website and then I discovered Etsy. Things have just gone from strength to strength and it allowed me to leave my job a few years ago to concentrate on this full-time. It’s so rewarding and although it can be exhausting, it’s always enjoyable.

GGG: Do you have any funny Sugar & Vice stories?

S: Not long after we bought the laser cutter, we’d been working with it pretty solidly in a fairly badly ventilated room and as a result started to feel a bit funny. What we thought was acrylic fumes making us think the room was moving, actually turned out to be an earthquake. Doh!

GGG: What was the inspiration behind some of your geeky and horror themed pieces?

S: Well, as I previously mentioned, I’m a huge horror movie fan so that was a no-brainer for me. As for the more geeky jewellery, my partner and I are both huge nerds. He’s an academic with two Science degrees and I collect comics and action figures. We’re both avid gamers too and there seemed to be a real gap in the market for that sort of jewellery so we thought we’d attempt to fill it. I always assumed it would be quite niche but they’ve proved to be some of our most popular pieces! I’m an enthusiastic gamer but tragically not very good and I love reading online comics and obsessing over movies.

GGG: I know you do custom pieces for customers, have you had any favorite or unusual requests?

S: Too many to possibly name! We do a lot of nameplate necklaces for roller derby girls so I think some of my favourites have been ‘Baberaham Lincoln’, ‘Annie Thingoes’ and a few logo necklaces for English teams. As for the more geeky stuff, we’ve recently done some Harry Potter themed pieces and the Naboo symbol from Star Wars [see left], both of which were a lot of fun to make.

GGG: What else do you do or other hobbies do you have besides making fabulous laser cut jewelry?

S: I’ve recently started making my own alcohol. In a strictly legitimate, non-prison wine sort of way! So far I’ve made elderberry wine, raspberry and rhubarb wine, sloe gin and a batch of ale. I love cooking too, I’m such a homebody! I’m also building up a substantial collection of colourful tattoos, much to my Mothers annoyance!

GGG: If you were on a deserted island what video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? (this deserted island has electricity)

S: Hmm, good question! I think the video game would have to be Left 4 Dead (provided there was someone with me to play co-op mode), the book would have to be Girlfriend In A Coma by Douglas Coupland. Movie is a tough one, how can I pick just one?! I guess I’d have to go with something like Cecil B Demented, I love John Waters and it was my favourite movie for such a long time when I was younger. As for the TV show, that’s an easy one, it would have to be Freaks and Geeks. All the best ones get cancelled prematurely!

GGG: Where can we find you in the web (websites, online store, facebook, twitter, etc.)?

S: Well we have a very active Etsy store – etsy.com/shop/svjewellery, our own website –sugarandvicedesigns.com, and a Facebook fan page (search : Sugar & Vice) so please stop by and say hello, we’d love to hear from people who have any suggestions or custom ideas!

Sugar & Vice Jewelry Gallery

(click images to enlarge) 

 

 

Giveaway: Win a Vintage Comic Book Ring from Comic Salvage

I love giving away free things almost as much as I love getting them! (almost) Sue Smith is the owner of the popular accessories shop on Etsy Comic Salvage where she recycles vintage comics to create beautiful jewelry and cuff links. Thanks to the amazing and talented Sue, Girl Gone Geek is giving one lucky contestant this fantastic “WHAM!” ring hand-made by Sue from a vintage comic book. 

Check out my interview with Comic Salvage and hear all about Comic Salvage’s origin story at Etsy Crush of the Week- Comic Salvage.

Giveaway Rules:

Etsy Crush of the Week- Comic Salvage

 

I’m a huge fan of Etsy if you haven’t realized. Other than the fact that I find some of my favorite things on Etsy, I love to support independent crafters and designers. Since I’m always featuring Etsy shops it seemed only right for me to start an “Etsy Crush of the Week” category. Every week, I’ll feature a shop I’m crushing on and an interview with the shop owner as well whenever possible. If you have any suggestions for shops or perhaps want your shop featured email me at girlgonegeekblog[at]gmail.com. 

I’m starting off ECotW with a BANG! and a BOOM! Sue Smith is the owner of the popular accessories shop on Etsy Comic Salvage where she uses vintage comics to create beautiful jewelry and cuff links. She even does custom pieces! I have been working on getting Sue to create a custom Sandman quote pendent once I track down the issue.  

GIVEAWAY! Enter WIN a ring from Comic Salvage here

Interview with Sue Smith of Comic Salvage:

Girl Gone Geek: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Sue: My name is Sue and I live in New Jersey with my husband and two boys. I’m married and have kids, so I never really found the right time or place to start my career as a graphic artist. Etsy allowed me to find an outlet to create and have fun! I also started to get more serious about photography, so I’ve been practicing a lot on my family and friends.

GGG: How long have you been crafting and making jewelry?

S: I have always considered myself a creative person. Even when I was young, my cousins and I would create our own board games out of scrap paper and objects found around the house. Then we would have a blast playing each other’s games! About two years ago, I started seriously thinking about coming up with a job I can do at home. When I had my first son I was determined to find a way to work at home so that I was with him. It wasn’t until recently that I actually started my shop.

GGG: How did Comic Salvage come to be?

S: My husband is an illustrator, we actually met in art class over 15 years ago. He has been collecting comic books for many years. When we would go to flea markets I would notice tons of distressed comic books for under a dollar. I decided to try to recycle them in to jewelry and accessories!

GGG: How long on average does it take you to make a piece?

S: On average the actual production of the piece takes 2-3 days, but the actual finding of the right picture can take up to a month. I don’t just use any picture of a character or saying, it’s got to be the right one. So, I can buy 5 comic books and not have one usuable picture in them! The books that are not used for jewelry are instead used for wrapping of my finished product. I also am going to start making cutouts for customers to buy for scrapbooking or card making. I have been scrapbooking for years, so I thought it would be a perfect way to use as much as these comics as possible.

GGG: Do you have any funny crafting stories?

S: I don’t think my husband would find this as a funny story, but I’ll tell it anyway. The first time I made comic book necklaces, I underestimated the power of the glue I was using. I didn’t have anything under the comic book page that I was gluing my pieces to. Within 10 seconds I realized the 3 pieces were glued right down to my beautiful dining room table! I quickly removed them as I was screaming at the top of my lungs “NONONONO!”. Well, it ate right through the finish and now I have three beautiful perfect circles on my table forever to remind me how far I’ve come! Sorry honey!

GGG: I know you do custom pieces for customers, have you had any favorite or unusual requests?

S: My favorite requests would probably be for weddings like groomsmen sets. One of these sets I’m working on right now, the groomsman is not a big fan of comic book characters. He is an avid republican though, so I have to make the final set with a certain republican’s face! I’ve had some other requests for comic book characters that I haven’t heard of, but that’s when I go right to my husband for help and he usually knows where to find them. 

GGG: What else do you do or other hobbies do you have besides make awesome vintage comic book jewelry?

S: Besides photography, I love scrapbooking. There is something really special about creating memories for your kids in books they can look at forever. I not only put pictures of them in it, I include the picture of their favorite toys, drawings, tickets for places we’ve gone….everything and anything. 

GGG: Do you have any favorite comic books and comic book characters?

S: To be honest, I really don’t have a favorite. When I was younger I collected and read comic books, the “girly” ones. Popples, Muppet Babies, Rainbow Brite and Betty and Veronica to name a few.

GGG: Do you have any (other) geeky obsessions? If so what?

S: I love anything vintage, so I have fun collecting toys from my childhood! I love the 80’s so anytime I see something at a garage sale that I used to have, it’s hard for me to not buy it! I use the excuse that my kids will play with it.

GGG: If you were on a deserted island what would video game, comic/book, movie, TV show would you bring? 

S: Definitely the box set of The Office, love that show! It’s my kind of humor. 

GGG: Where can we find you in the web?

S: Right now you can find my shop at etsy.shop/comicsalvage. You can also find my Facebook Fan Page under Comic Salvage. I’m currently working on putting together a blog as well! [Also check out her husbands Etsy etsy.com/shop/chrissmithwest10th, he’s an illustrator and comic book artist.]