We're very proud and fortunate to host talented makers in our shop and not too long ago we welcomed Lavender Lion to our little family.
Meet Katelin the maker behind the animal necklaces and brooches we're all obsessed with. Although you won't be too surprised to hear she's an animal lover you might be by how she spends her time. Here's how Lavender Lion began..
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Lived in Florida until I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2009 with degrees in Biology and Veterinary Technology. I actually skipped my graduation to take a job at a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Texas! I've bounced around between domestic and wildlife rescue facilities in the hill country, before settling into a career at the Austin Zoo in 2012. A year and a half ago I welcomed my daughter, Delilah, into the world. Now I share my home with my fiancé, daughter, 3 rescued dogs, 1 cat, and 3 chickens!!!!
2. What inspired you to start Lavender Lion and making animal necklaces & brooches?
As a child I always wanted to be an artist of some sort, but was always told I could never make any money doing it. After I had Delilah, I went part time at the zoo and a full time stay at home mom. I got a little stir crazy and art just sort of found me again. I figured being home was as good a time as any to try to turn my art into a business! Being an animal care professional, I'm always drawn to animal anything...clothes, jewelry, etc. so I wanted to create something that met that need.
3. What’s your spirit animal?
I would have to say deer. I grew fond of them after moving to Texas, and actually earned the nickname Fawn Momma at the first wildlife rehabilitation facility I worked at. They are highly sensitive animals with a strong intuition. I appreciate that it takes awhile to earn their trust, but once you do the bond is indescribable.
4. What’s your favorite piece from your collection and why?
Right now my favorite pieces are the fringe maned lion necklaces, both of which are currently in Jack & Lola. I love the combo of fun color and texture...plus, lions are one of the first animals I got to work with (hence the brand name).
5. What is your creative process like? How do you decide on animals, colors, fabrics & etc. for each piece?
Animals are a huge part of my life, so environmental sustainability is also very important. Through thrifting, I noticed how many handbags, wallets, etc were beat up beyond use and destined for the dumpster. I found that I could use these items and break them down for the vinyl or faux leather fabrics and embellishments. Once I have the fabrics, the creative process really starts. Usually the fabric inspires the type of animal I will be making and if it will be a necklace or brooch. I hand draw each design/stencil, hand cut all of the fabric, and hand stitch every detail. Most of my glitter fabrics end up being some sort of animal constellation, and the neon fabrics are currently inspiring summery creations.
6. What’s your favorite thing about being a small business owner?
I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a homebody, but I'm trying to force myself out of my comfort zone. Since starting Lavender Lion, I've been exploring more of Austin. I'm meeting people through popup shops and art events, and love the local artist community. I have a greater appreciation of where I live because of my small business.
7. What can we expect in the future from Lavender Lion?
I'm getting a lot of great suggestions from customers that I would like to start incorporating into my work. Clutches and wallets are definitely on my to make list!
What's your favorite piece?