Browsing for a couple birthday presents on Etsy, we came across IS WAS + WILL BE, they make wonderful thoughtful pieces of jewellery and have a lovely message to go with it. Read their Handmade and Hot interview below…
Who are you and where is your workshop/store/studio?
We are Telle and Rex and we design under the creative pseudonyms ISWAS + WILLBE. Our studio space is currently in Portland, Oregon, where this endeavour started in 2011.
How and why did you start your business?
It was 2010 and we were treading water in our professional lives. We’ve both toyed around with various arts and mediums since childhood, and finally came to the realization that self-expression through art forms gives us both great joy. We shed our former lives on the East coast and transplanted ourselves into unfamiliar territory in the magical Pacific Northwest. It was an artistic rebirth.
Why do you hand make your products? What do you get out of it?
We have strong emotional connections to the things we own; we have the habit of naming our inanimate objects, and we treasure the stories behind our possessions. We believe in living simply and surrounding ourselves with materials that have connective, relevant meanings to our lives. Our handmade designs are the tangible narratives of our experiences; our vision for ISWAS+WILLBE is to provide people with objects that they emotionally connect with and use to enrich their daily experiences.
How long does it take to make your pieces?
Our creative processes are ever-evolving; we constantly tweak and revise our designs to ensure an on-going thoughtfulness and praticality of our artwork. There is no definitive timeline; each piece is indefinitely changing.
What is your studio/work space like?
Our studio space is situated in the center of our house; our life is our work, and our work is our life. We surround ourselves with inspiring objects and sounds, and have a flow to our workspace that allows for inspiration and creation to occur organically.
What new products do you have in mind for 2012?
Our upcoming designs for Fall 2012 inspired by mysticism, romance, and futurism. Keep an eye on our shop or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.
How would you like your collection to grow? And where else would you like to see it sold?
We have so much we want to say, so many messages we are keen to spread. The future is wide open, and we have some grand plans on where we would like to take this dream; there is always an adventure waiting for us. We have sold to customers and shops all over the world; we love working with small gallery/boutique owners. It’s fascinating to discover and be part of so many micro-universes of curated taste; every one of them is so different.
What is the best thing about what you do?
We are passionate about it. Though it’s not dreamy and ideal every single moment, throwing ourselves into this endeavour has resulted in tremendous personal growth for the two of us. We are part of a strange and exciting world, and have found our niche. We hope our passion inspires others to be bold and dream big.
Social links- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iswasandwillbe
Instagram: @iswasandwillbe Blog: http://iswasandwillbe.tumblr.com/
Thanks guys, best of luck with it all, love your work!
Gwyn & Tamra