Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Steph. I’m from New York. I love to travel and learn about other cultures, so when I finished university, I went to live in London for 4 years. I met my Colombian boyfriend there and when he invited me back to live in his rural Colombian village, I packed my bags and lived there for the last 6 months. While I was there, I met a bunch of women who have an amazing talent making handbags and accessories from a plant called fique (in the pineapple family). They have very limited access to internet, don’t speak English and live an hour from the next town so they didn’t have an outlet to sell their work. So I decided to set up Made in Mogotes (www.madeinmogotes.etsy.com), a business to help them share their talents and show their work abroad. I’m back in New York now for a few months to help spread the word and switch to a business visa.
|Red Dangle Earrings|
What was the best moment of your day today?
Well, I only woke up a few hours ago so not too much has happened. I went to Canada last weekend to see one of my best friends and she gave me a whole bunch of crumpets to take back with me. When I was living in London, those were one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. So the best moment of my day so far was probably enjoying a crumpet when I woke up.
How do you express your creativity?
In Colombia, I took a class on how to make crafts with guadua (similar to bamboo) and when the class finished I carried on and taught myself to make jewelry, which I also sell through Made in Mogotes. A few years ago when I was in London, I got into photography – mostly gritty urban scenes and street art, interesting people, serenity of cemeteries – and now I have a second shop on Etsy called Photo Larks (www.photolarks.etsy.com) where I sell prints. But my creativity comes through in mostly everything I do
What makes you happy?
Traveling to new countries, long train rides, wrapping my hands around a hot cup of delicious tea on a winter morning, the smell of used book shops, photographing fascinating people, shopping for dresses in London markets, mulled wine, reading a book I can’t put down, interviewing people, the front porch at my parents’ house, chocolate sheet cake, walking around with my camera and finding an amazing piece of street art around the corner, Moroccan tagines, getting an article published, spending time with friends and family.
|London Street Art|
Who or what inspires you? Why?
Creative people who manage to stand out from the crowd by doing something completely different. Street photographers like Graham F Kerr and Pete Zelewski who have the guts to photograph complete strangers. I’m inspired by travel magazines to get out there and see the big wide world and better understand the people in it. My creative friends and hard-working family inspire me. People who reject conventional lifestyles to become permanent travelers, who make their living as they move around the world, also inspire me. And I love the quote by Langston Hughes: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken wing’d bird that can not fly.”