Made in SLO… Stranded by Kylie

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The lovely Kylie Holt of Stranded by Kylie shared her creative life with us and we are thrilled to, finally, be sharing it with you. Enjoy a special discount at her Etsy store using code SLOLIFE13! Thanks, Kylie!

Where in SLO do you reside?

I currently live in Paso Robles and grew up in Templeton my entire life.

How has SLO grown?

Living in SLO county is great. In Paso Robles alone there have been so many businesses that have grown so much over the year, especially the wineries. In the past couple years even the dance department has expanded to two new studios in SLO county; Artistry In Motion in Paso Robles (where I work) and Main Street Dance have been added to the selection of dance studios. Overall, SLO county has added more variety in many different aspects.

I grew up as a dancer and worked as a choreographer, so I really appreciate the growth of dance companies throughout the county as well. It seems as though there is a new studio that pops up every couple months. What do you love most about SLO?

My favorite part about SLO is at times it can seem like you know everyone around you but then you suddenly meet someone never even heard of! It seems like a small town but a big one at the same time. There are always new people coming here weather they are just visiting or moving here.

I’m a newcomer myself and love the small town feel. It is one of my favorite things about SLO too! Now you have to tell us about your pretty jewelry. How/why did you start crafting?

My crafting started early on. My Nana taught me how to make plenty crafts and my favorite was jewelry. She taight me about jewelry one year right before Christmas. We made gifts for everyone that year that was all some type of jewelry! Later in 2012, my Nana had a stroke and was put into a coma. Today, she is still pushing through and she inspired me to do more than just go to school. I decided to make jewelry dedicated to her. She would have wanted me to do something special and I feel happy when I do make things.

I bet your Nana is very proud of you!

How did you come up with the name for your shop?

The name was an idea from one of my relatives who makes his own jewelry. It explains exactly what I do!

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Artists always have unique places they like to work, what is yours?

Currently, my workshop is in the dinning room of my house. I live with my two aunts and I cant just leave everything out! My stuff goes in and out of my closet when I have time to make new things. It doesn’t get too messy when I make jewelry in the dinning room. I like to keep things clean.

We really think that your creativity shines through your pieces and we wish you a lot of luck in growing your sales! My favorite of your pieces is the dream key necklace (pictured below far right). Thanks for taking time to hang out with us, Kylie!

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Made in SLO… Miss Violetheart

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We had the chance to chat with the beautiful lady behind Miss Violetheart, Shari Staufenberg, about her business and her life in San Luis Obispo. We’re thrilled to feature her as our first local artisan in the Made in SLO feature. All of our readers will enjoy 10% off on her colorful jewelry in her Etsy shop using code SLOLIFE10 through December 31, 2013!

You moved back to Cambria 2 years ago from Santa Barbara with your family, can you introduce them to us?

My family consists of me, my husband Bruce, a musician, and my daughter Arabella, an awesome singer, budding keyboard player, and loves to do arts and crafts with me.

Bruce and Arabella are new to living in SLO, how are they liking life in SLO?

Bruce has taken to living here even better than I imagined (he grew up in Santa Barbara and lived there basically his whole life) and Arabella loves it too. Definitely the right choice for us!

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I absolutely love Cambria! As a native of SLO, how has it grown?

I think for the most part, SLO has stayed the same. Obviously it has grown some, but fortunately people here appreciate the lifestyle and strive to keep the charm and keep it from getting too big. When I first move to Santa Barbara [for college], no one knew where Cambria was. When I was moving back here, EVERYONE knew about Cambria (and was so jealous I was going to live here).

How did you start creating?

I have always dabbled in creative oriented pursuits, especially as I got older. I took many classes through adult ed over the year- watercolor painting, glass fusing, jewelry making. 

Crafting was always something I did on the side, not my “real” job. In 2008, our neighborhood was destroyed by a wildfire. Although our house survived the fire, the physical and emotional challenges of re-building the neighborhood eventually took its toll on us. My family decided that we needed to have a change of scene. So, in 2011, we moved to Cambria. Along with the move, I decided that I wanted to re-invent myself and do something totally different than what I had been doing, something I loved. I had taken a wire-wrapping jewelry class shortly before we moved and I was hooked. I love the whole proves of designing a piece and the actual making of it.

What do you create?

I make bright and colorful, one-of-a-kind jewelry. I utilize many different elements- handmade fused glass beads made by my older sister, Su (who lives in Paso Robles), pearls, vintage beads, Czech fire-polished beads, and natural stone.

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What is the name of your shop and how did you come up with the name?

Miss Violetheart. I wanted to come up with a name that meant something to me- it had to reflect something I loved. I have been a purple fanatic my whole life; at one point in time my whole wardrobe was purple. My logo is a red-winged blackbird (only she’s purple, of course) which is another thing I love. I have fond memories of these birds from my childhood in Cambria.

Can you share what your work space is like?

My dream is to have a lifeguard stand in my backyard to use as a studio. But for now, I use a desk in my room, the kitchen table, or outside on the deck when it’s nice.

Thank you for hanging out, Shari! Before we go, what are you goals for your business?

I would love to be making a decent living selling my jewelry. I am so pleased when someone likes what I have done.

Visit Shari and her Miss Violetheart shop. Help us Support SLO, a movement that is so important to the vitality of our region. Don’t forget to use the discount code SLOLIFE10.