As part of our ongoing interview series with designers that use digital fabrication tools today we talked to Stacy Hotchkiss. Stacy is a designer that sells her jewelry on ETSY.
Inventables: What is the name of your company and what do you do?
Stacy Hotchkiss: My company is called Running With Scissors and I create edgy, punk rock, and kitsch jewelry using various mediums, the newest being laser cut acrylic.
Inventables: Founding a company takes courage, what inspired you get started?
Stacy Hotchkiss: Since I was in second grade I had always planned on being a teacher when I grew up. So, I went to college and got a teaching degree. My plans changed when I had my first daughter. Once she was in my arms I knew I would do whatever I could to be at home with her. I have always been very crafty and creative and I found a way to turn my hobby into a business that I could work from home. So I guess it was the flexibility to be with my family that inspired me to start Running With Scissors and I also love the fact that I get to do what I love everyday. I consider myself very lucky and I encourage other stay at home moms to start home based businesses too.
Inventables: From a quick look at your ETSY store it looks like you focus on designing products for the wild girls out there you might call it a focus on rockabilly. Please tell us the story about the product you're most proud of.
Stacy Hotchkiss: Yes, I definitely have a very niche target audience. I like to mix cute and sparkly things with dark and evil things to create something different. I like the shock value of it. I refer to it as jewelry for the sweet and evil side of every girl. One of my favorite pieces is my logo necklace. My logo is a skull and crossbones with a pair of scissors as the crossbones. It's great seeing my company branding come to life as an adorable accessory. Because it incorporates scissors, many hairdressers and seamstresses like these necklaces and they are one of my best selling pieces.
Stacy Hotchkiss: Man! Some of the custom requests I get are pretty insane! From obscenities, to inside jokes, and even the funny pictures that people want casted in resin, I really get a good laugh once and a while. I have also met some of the greatest customers and also fellow business owners that are always great for advice and cross promoting each others companies.
Inventables: What kind of tools or machines do you use to create your products? What kinds of materials do you use?
Stacy Hotchkiss: I have a laser engraving machine from Universal and I love having my own machine so I don't have to outsource, which keeps my costs low. It also allows me to create items in a day instead of having the turnaround time of using a third party company. I love to use the sparkly glitter acrylic sheets and the different colored mirrored acrylics. I like to layer different colors on top of each other for a 3-dimensional look. I am constantly experimenting to keep my jewelry line stocked with new items.
Inventables: These new low cost digital fabrication tools like laser cutters are pretty exciting. How do you see this changing the jewelry design in the next 5-10 years?
Stacy Hotchkiss: I think it's really awesome that these types of tools have become more affordable to small businesses. It has already broadened the spectrum of the jewelry selection on the market today. It opens the door for jewelry designers to create custom pieces that make great personalized pieces. With more and more businesses creating their own designs there is sure to be much more competition out there. I'm sure it will keep me on my toes to come up with more cutting edge designs.
Stacy Hotchkiss: I am currently excited to see the growth in my company. I have more and more repeat customers and also more first time customers coming to my shop daily. I'm really looking forward to the future of my company and seeing where it will take me.