Monday, July 12, 2010

Behind the Design - Sparkle Thots

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

This week's Behind the Design features Ruth of Sparkle Thots.

Where does your inspiration come from?
I am unashamedly a dreamer and romantic at heart. Whilst I don't quite have the luxury to fill my home with all things pretty, I turn to the internet to help transport myself into a different world. I love browsing wedding related sites and seeing all the different elements come together for the big event. I am a very visual person and I draw a lot of inspiration from colours. Beautiful photographs play an integral part in inspiring me. Not to mention, just sitting at the beading table and gazing at the array of colours excites me.

Do you have a spot you like to go that helps you feel creative?
Being a mother of two very young children, I don't get a lot of 'me-time'. I don't have the luxury of escaping to somewhere quiet to daydream. However, being such a dreamer, the internet or pictorial magazines are enough to get me in a creative frenzy.

Where do you do most of your work?
Right now I work out of the study room that we have converted into an office. I share the space with my husband (he manages his own IT business). I used to work out of the corner of the living room so that I could keep an eye on my two children. However, with them being at an exploratory stage in life right now, my beads are dangerously making their way into their wee mouths. Occasionally though I'll fill a small tray with elements for a new project and bring it out to the living room and work from there late at night when the children are asleep. Those trays mysteriously disappear in the morning when the children wake.

How did you come up with the name for your business?
I wanted something reflective of the business. I love how the gems sparkle and the sentiments that go behind jewelry gifting so marrying the words together into 'sparkle thots' came quite naturally.

Your favorite thing to make?
Rings! I have an obsession with rings and it shows. I love the symbolism of rings (the perfect circle, no beginning and end) and love making such treasures to be enjoyed. I appreciate how customized they can be (I hand wrap them to size specifications) and how they add an extra special touch to complete the outfit.

What is your all time favorite design from past or current collections?
The Wraptured ring. I love how the two hearts have joined together as one. I make these on request only as they are so hard to make. A close second is the Ribbon ring. I often dream about who wears them as I ship them out. I first made them just before the birth of my daughter when I seemed to forget things. Now it has been a lovely reminder of the pregnancy and many other treasured memories since.

You couldn't run your business without _________?
The support of my family. My parents and husband are truly god sent as they help keep an eye on the kids when I am busy working on new designs or fulfilling custom orders. They help free my hands and time up to craft. Other essentials are of course, the internet and my macbook. Can't work without those material things either.

What advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?
To do what you love and go along with it. There are thousands of great ideas to be done. Find the one that really fits you and you will enjoy the process every step of the way. Even when the going gets tough (and it will!), getting back to basics will see you through. Also, be open to changes. As a business, Sparkle Thots has evolved so much. From a simple blogshop to designs that spell romantic elegance.

Coffee or tea?
Tea. I NEED my cup of iced cold tea with milk to kick start my day. Being in Singapore, Asia where the weather is usually hot, hotter, or hottest, I love cold drinks.

Favorite magazine/blog/daily read?
This is really difficult for me. At last count, I follow 150 different blogs in my RSS reader (thankfully they don't all update every day!). My current obsessions are Art-Pixie, Vanilla Minuet, Abby Try Again, and Mocking Bird. And yes, they are (mainly) photoblogs.

If you could follow one person around for a day, who would it be?
Martha Stewart! I am absolutely in awe over all her crafty endeavours. I dream about having all the equipment she has at her disposal too.

Do you have any hobbies or creative outlets other than your work?
If you count mothering as a creative outlet then, yes. But right now, with two babies (aged almost 1 and 3) at home, I don't have the luxury. Most of the spare time away from family is pumped back into the business. But having said that, I do enjoy what I do so it isn't as bad as it sounds. I'd love to be able to pick up sewing though.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, money and time being no object, where would you go and why?
Europe! Back in university, I read Psychology and English Literature. Reading all those library classics that conjured up images of sprawling countrysides, temperate climates and quaint towns has always made me want to do a tour. I'd love to spend a year abroad, to experience all four seasons and the explosion of colours that come when the season changes.

If you had to spend a year on a deserted island, what 5 things would you take with you?
My camera, a stash of cloth and a sewing machine (so that perhaps I can try some other craft), books (if my sewing fails spectacularly) and my family.

Thank you Ruth for participating in this week's Behind the Design.

Photos courtesy of Ruth, Sparkle Thots.

Ruth can be found at:
Etsy shop

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