Today we’re featuring New Orleans’ jewelry and home accessories designer Celeste Haar of MetryChick. Celeste describes her designs as “NOLA Style With Metry Attitude” and specializes in original hand-crafted jewelry and hand etched glass home accessories. I talked to Celeste recently for the scoop behind her unique designs.
How long have you been making jewelry and home accessories and what inspired you to choose this craft?
I started MetryChick in 2007. I taught myself how to etch glass after needing some Christmas gifts and looking to do something different. Since I taught myself I didn’t know about using stencils so I learned the hard way for a while. I got used to it and still don’t use stencils in any of my etching – this allows my etching to be very detailed and nothing is off limits. The saying is that you have to break a lot of eggs to make a good omelet and I seemed to break a lot of glass in the beginning until I got the hang of it. I also made a lot of UGLY glasses. My mom still has some of those – gawd bless her! I expanded into jewelry in 2008 as a way to increase the portability of my items at festivals and shows. My family was affected by a layoff and I needed to broaden my business base, so I took glass and expanded into jewelry. I have an obsession for all things glass – kind of like a barracuda, I love shiny things!
Is it your full-time occupation?
I was working part time in childcare until June, 2010. MetryChick.com is now my full time obsession.
What is your earliest recollection of design and art as a passion?
I have always been that kid that was drawing or writing or reading. I believe that my love of art and design came directly out of my love for reading. It really sparked my imagination. I learned how to cross stitch when I was about 7 for my new cousin. That was the first craft I remember making.
Tell us a bit about your creative process. Do you start a project with a beginning, middle and ending in mind or does it evolve as you go?
My creative process is kind of fluid. I usually start the project with the finish in mind. I know in my mind’s eye what I want the finish product to look like. I think my mind’s eye is a little nearsighted because the finished product is kind of blurry and I need to flesh out the final details. I am also a little ADD with my process. I can never have just one thing going. I usually have 2 or 3 at one time.
Do you have a favorite place where you design that’s particularly conducive to your creativity?
Sitting at my computer is where I usually get my ideas and start research or graphic design from there. I would love to say that it is sitting under the oaks at City Park, but really, it’s the computer.
Do you have any tips you can share regarding motivation and/or discipline in completing project?
Treat your work and projects as living and breathing beings. You have to tend to them until they are grown.
Who’s work has inspired yours?
A love of all things New Orleans was instilled in me by my Dad. My grandfather was a milk man for Borden’s so we would ride around the city talking about PawPaw’s routes and customers. That love was reinforced by a long time family friend, Gasper J. “Buddy” Stall. “Uncle” Buddy was a staple in my life as I grew up and I read and still have every single one of his books. I am a plethora of odd New Orleans trivia thanks to Uncle Buddy. His research of the city and state showed that history can be fun and that all sides of stories have to be fleshed out. It was through this love of all things in New Orleans history that I created and expanded my business.
Where do you see yourself and your work in 5 years?
World Domination. LOL! I see myself constantly growing and expanding. I think that if you let your art plateau or stop evolving that it will do just that. I always aim to make customers and not sales. I just believe in possibility and know that if I continue to put good Karma out into the world that it will come back to me. I just keep on planning not to plan too much. Life is too much fun of a journey to keep making plans. I am excited to see where I will evolve to in 5 years.
Where can we buy your designs?
You can shop online at Metrychick.com, or at any of these retailers that carry MetryChick – this list is always expanding!
Aluj Salon, Arthur Hutton Salon, Daydream Massage, DeJaVu Interiors, Designer’s Gallery, Fleurty Girl, Fun Rock’n Stuff, Pop City & Booty’s Fun Rockn’ Stuff You Want, Jazz Boutique, Milan Hair Salon, My Oh My gifts, Our Little Secrets, Paradise Cafe, Regan’s Hair Salon – Now Salon Sanity, Rose Lynn’s Hallmark, Serenity Day Spa and Gifts, TileMax, Touro Gift Shop