Trashion team spotlight - Interview : disCARDS

Shop name: disCARDS: Cut(e) n' Paste

Shop address:

In a nutshell:

Cut(e) + Paste = disCARDS
disCARDS puts the "fun" in "functional" with cute, clever, handmade items, created with love and other ingredients in Pittsburgh, PA.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

My name is Emily. I live in Pittsburgh, PA, where I work full time at a non-profit agency, go to school for my master's degree in organizational psychology, and live with my boyfriend and our two cats. Outside of the Trashion team, I'm involved in the Etsy Greetings and etsyPittsburgh teams, and I write a blog about my crafty exploits: I also participate in a handful of indie craft fairs around the Pittsburgh area.

Trashion materials:

I use a lot of vintage, recycled and thriftstore finds: discarded library books (particularly old textbooks and vintage elementary school primers); vintage cabochons, charms and buttons; recycled bottlecaps; fabric scraps from deconstructed clothing and leftovers from other projects...

I transform them into:

one-of-a-kind note cards and gift tags, jewelry, and accessories for you and your home

How do you do it?

My process isn't as exciting to describe as some; my favorite part is what I like to call "research and development": collecting books, scouring thriftshops and garage sales for fun scores; buying vintage beads and charms from fellow Etsy sellers; and then sitting down and figuring out where it all fits.

What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?

I started out with scrapbooking and paper crafts--cards for family and friends at the holidays--and began to realize that the supplies I found at big box craft stores just weren't doing it for me anymore. Everything was so cutesy and contrived; there seemed to be a limited number of combinations of those pre-fab elements. I'd always been eco-conscious: environmental responsibility was ingrained in me from a young age. So I thought I'd take it to the next level. When I discovered the treasure trove of untapped resources that were just sitting on thriftstore shelves collecting dust, I realized those were the materials that really spoke to me, and I began collecting books to (lovingly) rip up and repurpose!

Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept? What was it?

Cards! When I was still making cards using more mainstream supplies, I entertained the notion of selling them. When I was trying to come up with a name, "disCARDS" kept springing to mind. I thought, "Why not use recycled materials in my cards?" and started digging through some old clip art collections and other materials I'd been stockpiling since my high school zine-making days, and it just evolved from there.

What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?

Lately I've been much more focused on jewelry-making. I've been finding amazing vintage bead and cab lots on Etsy, and am looking forward to creating with them. I just scored some great vintage plastic chain that I plan to make into charm bracelets and necklaces. That'll be fun! And I'm building up my stock of pie magnets, made from recycled bottlecaps, beads, buttons, styrofoam peanuts, felt and rickrack.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion?

For me, buying handmade used to be just about capturing the handmade aesthetic that I really appreciated. These days, the handmade look can be found just about anywhere, but the true essence of it is so special, and I really want to support real artisans of handmade goods. Part of it is about reaching out to a likeminded community and building connections. Part of it is political: removing myself from the consumption loop of mass-produced goods and voting with my dollars. Buying handmade is akin to buying locally: it just feels good to have that personal connection to someone who's selling you a product, or buying one from you. As for trashion: it's becoming more and more important to abide by the three R's: reduce, reuse, recycle. Trashion artists are using their creativity to make recycling more than a utilitarian necessity; they're creating beautiful, functional objects out of materials that would have taken up space in a landfill. I just love that!

Can you tell us anything about the trunk show?

I can't get out of Pittsburgh the weekend of the trunk show, so my participation will be virtual. I hope to join in the workshops during the show, and I've sent some miniature "Bricolage Kits" for the swag bags that will be handed out at the show. Participating in the team--and the trunk show in particular--is really exciting for me. I feel connected to something bigger than myself, as corny as that sounds, and I'm excited for the opportunity for my work to reach a larger audience. I'm really honored to be a part of such a proactive, supportive team, and look forward to future Trashion projects!

Thanks to the Etsy Labs for acknowledging the burgeoning Trashion movement and giving us the space to promote our cause, and thanks to my fellow team members for doing such a great job of getting the word out!

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