One night when I was in the red room chatting, long ago… another etsy seller asked me about my shop name. I told her it came from a nickname a friend gave me while I was in gradschool. He would see me digging in my garden, freckles out in the sun, he just started calling me Tigerlilly. I thought it would make an interesting shop name, so I went with it when the time came to choose my username. Little did I know, my Etsy shop would take on the very characteristics of that old time perennial. Tigerlilies are known invasive wild plants, if left unchecked they grow out of control.
My daughter was 6 months old when I found Etsy. I was looking to sell online, researching consignment, wholesale, whatever. I was really desperate to supplement my husband’s income since I couldn’t work the long hours doing upholstery that I was accustomed to with my new daughter. I found Etsy and signed up immediately, and that is the beginning of the wild growth of my tigerlillyshop.
Since I started on Etsy since August 2005, I have been able to sell everything I have ever posted on there. My shrinky dink rings are my best seller. Most of them incorporate my original drawings. I started my shop with those rings. From there I have slowly branched out to include vintage component jewelry. I also make a line of fiber button jewelry that incorporates interesting silks from Japanese Kimonos and other silk textiles.
I also make jewelry now using the metalsmithing skills I picked up in grad school. I have a line of nature jewelry that my customers have really been enjoying. I can press actual pieces of nature like leaves and insect wings into copper and silver to make one of a kind metal jewelry. I also have the equipment to plate copper onto any organic 3D object, the process is called electroforming. Remember bronzed baby shoes? –this is the same process, only I use it to make jewelry.
I was voted Best Local Jewelry Designer by the City Paper for ’07. I also exhibit my ephemeral inflatable sculpture. I had my premier solo exhibit in March ’07 at the Schiavone Fine Art Gallery in Highlandtown. So, I am always doing something. I have too many ideas and too little time.
For a more extensive bio, a little more about me: I was raised outside just of New Orleans, LA. I am the oldest of 3 sisters, an Aquarius. I am a working artist and upholsterer, and I am the mother of a 2 yr old –who’s going on 14.
I came to Baltimore in 1994 for college, graduated from MICA in ’98 with a BFA in General Sculptural Studies. I stayed in Baltimore for a few years after I graduated working for a sculptor and an upholsterer in the Canton Broom Factory building. I learned some studio skills there that have carried me very far. Then I dropped everything and escaped to northwestern PA, I gardened like a maniac and got my MFA from Edinboro University of PA.
When I moved back to Baltimore I bought a house with my painter husband. We live in a building in the back of the Highlandtown neighborhood that used to be 2 homes. They were knocked together in the ‘50s at some point. This building used to be an Italian hall called the Gladiator Club, no one will tell us what when on here... This home is where the magic happens. Our entire downstairs serves as a studio to us. One day it is an upholstery shop or a painting/printing studio. The next day it is set up as a jewelry and electroforming workshop.
Yes, this is all a lot of work, but I have been able to achieve a manageable balance of art making and motherhood. Long live Etsy!
Post written by Tigerlillyshop