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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Artist Interview - staroftheeast

Each week we invite a different Etsy seller to visit us at our home: The House of Mouse, where all the mice live. This week's guest is jewelry- and bag-designer Estella from staroftheeast.etsy.com. Estella lives and works in Turkey with her mother, Esther.

The moment Estella enters the House of Mouse, she is crowded by dozens of girlie mice who are enchanted by her gorgeous jewelry! They excitedly lead her to the living room, where a roaring fire and several comfortable chairs (mouse-sized and human-sized!) await them. Pearl the knitting mouse nudges Estella's ankles to offer her something: It is a newly knitted blanket to lay on her lap and keep warm. Pearl says that Estella can take it away when she leaves, as a souvenir. Naomi pulls out her notebook and begins the interview.

Welcome to our cosy little home, Estella. It's wonderful to have you here to chat with us today.

Thank you so much for inviting me, Naomi! And look at this gorgeous blanket I just got from Pearl, how sweet and generous, thank you so much!
(Pearl blushes bashfully)

We'd like to begin by asking you a little bit about your Etsy stores and what they mean to you: when telling someone about your shops for the first time, what do you say about them?

When people ask us what we do we tell them that we make jewelry, most people do not take it very serious as they just think it is a hobby, playing with some beads. They do take us seriously when they find out that we live off that income and even take care of 14 dogs with it! Although it is not always easy, we are very happy to be able to live creatively!

Our main passion is jewelry making and so is our main shop and focus on staroftheeast. To give us a break from that we often make home decor and other creative outlets which end up in our giftshop, GiftsandStars. And we have a huge amount of fabric and textiles, vintage and new, which we sew into mostly one of a kind and always eco friendly bags for StarBags. As we are supply addicts we sometimes buy a little too much of some kinds, and to be able to circulate that into new supplies we sell them in our supply shop, StarofSupplies so that we can buy new supplies.

Would you share a memory with us of when you first fell in love with your favorite craft?

We always have been a creative duo one way or the other. Jewelry making started with the fact that I loved wearing earrings and didn't like or couldn't afford the ones for sale in shops here, so I started making my own. During that period a course opened here, and my mother and I went there together, we were very soon in love with it and wanted to make it our job!

How do you plan for new items in your Etsy Shops, if at all? Do you know how something will look before you start?

An idea can come in many ways. Inspiration often comes from the material we have but it can also be a movie, a conversation about something totally different, other artists works (in-an-inspirational-not-copy-way) and of course nature, which is also our main supply source. Ideas sometimes do not work out as we planned in our head, or might turn into a completely different way.

We do hope that you're a keen Etsy buyer as well as seller. What is your favourite shop on Etsy and why?

There are too many to choose just one! There is so much talent on Etsy. You will be able to find many of my favorites by searching for 'europeanstreetteam'.

We'd love to get a little snippet of your home life, please describe your home in just 5 words!

1. 14 dogs; much love and fur
2. lots of books, we both read alot
3. computer = internet, a huge source of inspiration and of course our income source
4. materials, as we usually create every day
5. comfort food, life is way less fun without it!

Ahh, so "dogs, books, computer, materials, food"! What a lovely mixture, your home must be very inviting.

Musculus Maximouse gets terrible midnight cravings. If he were to raid your refrigerator right now, what treats might he find there?

Mostly vegetables, cheese, Nutella, bread, and leftovers.

(Musculus licks his mousie chops at the sound of Nutella!)

If you were a mouse living in The House of Mouse, which one would you be and why?

I think I would love to be the Frida Kahlo mouse, I love her hair, her dresses and her art! But I love all of them differently so wouldn't mind to be any of them, hmmm maybe not Axel the executioner :)

And finally, one of the mice would like to ask you a question. Flower the Hippy Mouse would like to ask you: What is your most treasured possession and why?

I have many treasured possessions, as I give a lot of value to what I have. But not replaceable and very treasured are my mother and the furry kids :)

Those "furry kids" are lucky indeed to live in a household filled with such love.
It has been a pleasure having you here, Estella. Please let us know how we can find you on the internet by sharing some links!

The pleasure was all mine, I'm so happy to finally have met the famous Mouse Family after seeing them on the web so often! Oh I brought a special notebook with me, I would love to have their autographs, before they are too famous to have time for such things!

(The mice giggle excitedly and crowd around to put a "pawprint" in Estella's little book.)

You can find our shops at staroftheeast.etsy.com starofsupplies.etsy.com starbags.etsy.com and giftsandstars.etsy.com

we blog often at http://star-of-the-east.blogspot.com
and very recently started a visual blog at http://staroftheeast.tumblr.com

We feature a different Artist each week: If you'd like to come and visit us at The House of Mouse, please feel free to pop us a message and we will try to book you in!


  1. This was a real treat ! Thanks Naomi and Estella.

  2. Thank you for sharing :D Fun interview!!!

  3. Thanks Estella and Naomi, it's a lovely interview!

  4. Thanks so much for the invitation, Naomi, it was so much fun :)

  5. Their work is amazing, what a great interview!!

  6. What a nice and entertaining interview :) Thanks for sharing !

  7. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Thank you for sharing this interview with us. Always a pleasure to see StaroftheEast shining and also in the House of Mouse!

  9. Naomi, another great interview with artisans whose work I really admire!
    These mice get a real treat every week! >(


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