Pieces of Home Mosaics Shop

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Let's Meet Lorraine Stone

Today's Shop Spot Light!
Recycled Materials Artist
Shop Owner
Lorraine Stone
You are going to fall in love with Lorraine's Shop! I did! Her romantic wearable art is to die for! Her purses and pillows are amazing! She really has an eye and talent for making and selling outstanding pieces.
Sit back and enjoy your journey into a shop full of Romance!
What do you sell?
I design, create, produce, sell "Eco-Conscious Creations" generally constructed of as close to 100% re-purposed resources as is possible whenever possible. I use primarily reclaimed, recycled and vintage leather for the bulk of my designs, but can and will use almost any type of reclaimed, recycled and vintage materials (depending on the nature of the project). Though I am a recycled materials artisan - I will use some new new materials (but only if the customer desires me to do so). I much prefer to love and honor all of the animals that have already been killed by re-using their too generous sacrifice. I started out initially thinking I would focus on technology device cases and bags (iPhone, Android, iPad, Laptop, Messenger, etc). My customers have rather quickly shown me the direction my shop is going in. As the months pass, my shop is rather swiftly becoming a specialty costuming business. I am the last to know! Very fulfilling, loads of fun, and each order is truly a one of a kind handmade customized design. I LOVE it! I work from scratch with each customer. To current I have not been using patterns, though if/when I do go into offering limited runs, I am considering the use of a few template patterns for efficient production process.

Specialty Items/Costuming/Festival Wear
Woodland, Steampunk, Fairie, Bohemian, Hippie, Biker eclectically influenced
Corsets, Festival Belts, Flask Holsters, Shoulder Holsters, Armour, Chaps, Spats.......
Upcycled Clothing
Bicycle Panniers (as yet still on the horizon)
Home Decor (Pillows, Wall Hangings (Tapestries, Mixed Media, Paintings), Table Runners, Place-mats)
Technology Device Cases/Bags
One of a Kinds, Custom Orders, (Limited Runs as yet still on the horizon)
How did you get started with Etsy?
Totally by default. Initially there was resistance and “no, whatever” attitude.

During the beginning of the most recent economic downturn (late 2007/early 2008) I completed the end of 10 years of being in business for myself as a video producer, camerawoman, and legal videographer. Being re-routed into having to seek out new avenues for employment, I was asked by a professional marketing woman I have known for many years if I wanted to start a small business with her. She brought the marketing skills and financial backing. I brought the rest. We worked together very part-time in the new little office space we rented together. Originally this woman had suggested that I put some of my little handmade items for sale on the bookshelf in our new office. After having sold 5 pieces in one transaction to someone we saw in our office only once, my partner thought that having my creative work for sale in our office may be proving to be too distracting and inappropriate. My partner also stated that she was concerned that I may become too successful with my artistic pursuits, that may not work well for our mutual business goals. My partner told me that I would need to get my handmade goods, artwork out of our office. That is when I decided to try Etsy. I had been told over several years by many others that “you should look into Etsy”. Initially I was very resistant, not convinced that Etsy was the place for me. I didn't like the idea of being “not real” behind a computer screen and working all alone barely engaging in the “real” 3D world. I was in for a big surprise though as my attitude totally shifted once I made my first couple of sales on Etsy. My first sale was for a re-purposed binoculars case $95 purse includes shipping; my 2nd sale was a custom order messenger bag for $175 includes shipping. I was so jazzed that I did not have to rent an office or have a business partner and somehow people still managed to find me on the internet, bought my things. How cool is that? I was hooked!
When did you get interested in making your Art/Craft?
As much as I have been trying to change or hide, I have always “been artistic”, winning art awards in grade school and again in college... I was actually trying pretty darn hard not to be an artist, suppressing my natural instincts, trying to hide and just fit in to the regular work world the best I could, trying to hide my artsy side so as not to stand out as “weird "with the goal of supporting myself – just “make a living”. It wasn't working. During the last economic downturn, I was asked by a woman (a gynecologist) as organizer of a non-profit's women's group fundraiser to please hand-make something for the group's annual Christmas fundraiser. I asked this (Dr.) what I should make – she replied – how about some little pouches, bags. The pouches, bags each one unique and one of a kind - pretty much were sold out at the 4 hour one day fundraiser event. My ex-boyfriend's woman friend actually had wanted a pouch that was sold – so another order for $100 bag was also placed by my ex-boyfriend right after the event.
Where does your inspiration come from?
First and foremost I am deeply inspired by the awesome beauty of this wonderful planet we call our mutual home – Earth. I am in love with the beauty of nature, the pants, the trees, the foliage, the flowers, the terrain, the cycles, the seasons, the rhythms of life, the animals. I can feel our Mother Earth as we live upon her, on top of her, my vision includes that I live with the Earth and not just on top of her. I am greatly inspired to honor all of the animals that humans have at one point in time or another already killed, sacrificed an animal's life for, for the use of a part of that animal for the survival of man as a species. I am tirelessly inspired to work with recycled, reclaimed and/or vintage materials when at all possible to help in my small way to reset, re-establish the balance of nature. I am endlessly inspired as I continue to re-use resources of all kinds – comforted, knowing that every “Eco-Conscious” creation I design, produce and sell is contributing to the overall reduction in carbon footprint.
Who taught you or how did you learn your art form?
When I was a child growing up, my Mother was always sewing, making clothes for both me and her. We would have matching outfits her and I, even my Barbie dolls would have matching dresses. My Mother would remake her clothes into clothes for me and my Barbie doll. Though as I grew older, it was very evident that my Mother and I had very different style preferences – it is really my Mother I give the full credit to for my life-long interest in and love of sewing, materials, fabrics, and making things for esp females to wear.
Where do you see your Shop in 5 years from now?
I would like to be featured in green living fashion shows, have models walk the green designers catwalk showcasing my reclaimed materials work. I would definitely like to run this Etsy shop as my full time ''regular” business (ha ha whatever that means). I would like to participate in conferences with other recycled materials artisans, inspiring others to re-use resources, teach courses in supporting and encouraging creative thinking and re-purposing. I would like to have a couple of limited runs offered too, things that are not just one of a kind and custom. Due to how much time one of a kinds and custom work takes (as each is its own prototype), it would be smartly much more efficient as a business model to also offer limited runs made from templates.
How do you manage your time between Etsy and the rest of your life?

This question is an assumption that I do!

Every day is an effort to achieve balance. I am by nature heavily an experimentalist, thus I usually have at any one time numerous projects stuck off to the side with a note on each of them – things I want to experiment with. I would say that there is an endless stream of things I could be making and/or learning about techniques to add to my toolkit. So my time is managed only by me reigning in and controlling my wild horse streak, controlling my eccentric nature to “just stay to myself and play around with my materials”, knowing that I must also “take care of business” (the ex video producer side of me).

Is this a hobby, part-time job, or full-time job?
This is a part time job which I would love to grow to full time.
Do you make or stock items you love, or what will sell?
Well actually really neither. I am actually stocking less pre-made items and selling more deposits for custom items. Although my shop initially was intended to focus on one of a kinds, custom and limited runs – as mentioned prior, as time goes on, the customers are the ones deciding for me what I am stocking/selling. Although I had intended to have numerous pre-made items in stock at any given time, my shop has been selling out of those items faster than I have been able to resupply the store with. I have not been able to keep up making more pre-made items while the custom orders have been taking more of my time, increasing in volume of sales in the last year.
Where else can we find you online?
You can also find this shop on Facebook:

Did you always want to have your own business?
I don't know if always is accurately descriptive. I learned that I may need to be self-employed, that working for myself was necessary if you will... for a couple of reasons. I don't like having to look busy. Many jobs want the workers to give the impression to the public or to the clients that the workers are always busy. Some of my best work is done when I do not look technically very busy. Another reason for owning my own business, I am so not a first thing Monday morning type. I like to be able to set my own hours, feeling generally often more productive working on my own body clock, making my own schedule.
Any other thoughts you want to share with us?
One of my "extra curricular" goals with my Etsy shop is to design for celebrities (esp musicians, singers), A dream project for me would be to get hired (and paid) by band(s) that promote green and sustainable living in their music's main message, making all of the band member's stage performance clothing/costuming for benefit concert(s) on behalf of the control of global warming, other environmental causes. Another goal of my Etsy shop is to create green fashion shows with other recycled materials designers and hold these green fashion shows at green and sustainable living conferences throughout the US as well as internationally. I am continually inspired to my core to show people all over the globe what can be done with something others may consider is “just trash” “throw that out”.

Thank you for your time to read this.
Here are some more of Larraine's incredible creations!
I hope you have enjoyed meeting Lorraine as much as I have!
I love the fact that she is engaged in making our world a more beautiful place... re using, up scaling & recycling.
She is a true Artist!
Pop on over to my shop Pieces of Home Mosaics!



  1. Cool! Very unique shop! i love the metallic lace purse!

  2. Such beautiful creations , fairy tale like. Very talented!

  3. What a great interview! Lorraine's statement about trying to hide from her artist-self really resonates with me!

  4. I never found my artsy side until I was in my 40s. I wish I would have found it earlier! But, maybe no matter how we embrace it and when we embrace it... The timing was meant to be.

  5. Her stuff is really, really gorgeous. thank you for this!

  6. Very nice Kate! Lorraine, wonderful to hear that your customers are deciding what you are stocking/selling!

  7. I really liked ready your blog and I really like the first ladies top. I am very new to blogging and I was just wondering how I can get the I Sell On Etsy banner on my blog if you could help me. Thank you