Made in SLO… Celeste Craft

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Celeste Sibbach of Celeste Craft shared her innovative creations with us and explains how she is “transitioning [her] shop towards a more socially and environmentally friendly model”! Our readers can enjoy a generous discount of 15% with the code SUPERSLO through December 31, 2013 on all of her hand crocheted goodies at her Etsy shop.

Celeste grew up in Atascadero and happily lives there now after returning from college + a few years.

How has SLO Grown?

SLO has grown and changed quite a bit. I remember the mall in San Luis, as a child it was unimaginably huge. It was rare that I got to go there, but I thought it was the a huge treat to get the sensory overload from walking the hall and to eat at the food court. As an adult, I prefer the relationships that come from the small shops and I avoid the “big box” experience.

What do you love most about SLO?

SLO is such a beautiful area. I love that I never have to look far for inspiration. The hills that surround us constantly changing, the different styles of seashore, the architectural lines of the little streets and the diversity of people and ideas. I love that there is something for me to learn everywhere I go.

I too find SLO to be, overwhelmingly, inspirational! How do you find it different from any other place?

The strength of the arts community so close to the agricultural lands makes life here opulent. I feel so fortunate that to have such great local foods and local talents.

What do you create?

For my Etsy shop I crochet hats, shawls, handwarmers, slippers and costume pieces. I write patterns so other people can crochet my designs.

How did you start creating?

I’ve always been a creative person. I’ve spent time in theatre, singing in choir, swing dancing and doing all sorts of crafting. I can’t imagine a life where I wasn’t creating some sort of art.

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Where do you do your work?

I have a shelving unit in my home where I keep my yarn. I often keep a small project in my purse and I crochet on my lunch break and when I stand in lines. When I have a new concept nagging my mind, I’ll sometimes take a bag of yarn to Dunbar Brewing in Santa Margarita and make a prototype over a beer and conversation.

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We really enjoy the idea of being socially and ecologically minded and you’ve mentioned that you’re moving toward that in your shop, how so?

My favorite yarn supplier is in Nebraska, they do almost all the processing and dyeing of the wool themselves and have developed water-recycling systems. I like knowing that the products that I make are gentle on the earth, don’t involve poor labor standards any where along the way, and turn out beautifully.

Thank you for your time, Celeste! Support this Local Artisan and visit her shop on Etsy. Don’t forget to use code SUPERSLO when checking out to receive your exclusive discount!

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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.