Pheasant feather necklace by Studio Botanica
I’ve been completely enamored of Studio Botanica for quite some time and beyond ecstatic to present you with an interview with shop owner Cristy Beck! In Cristy’s shop, you’ll find an abundance of ravishing flower-pressed necklaces, art, scents and much more, all fantastically designed and heavily influenced by nature. Read on to discover a little bit about Cristy and her journey into art, her shop, and her inspirations from nature.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! I’m Cristy and I adore all things botanical. I grew up in a city and I remember always looking for the nature to be found in between the concrete sidewalks and parking lots. Bird watching, building ‘tree forts’ in the bushes lining our fence, and watching the majestic sunflowers and morning glories blossom that my mother grew were some of my favorite things. As I grew up, I felt that I had to go to college, so I did. However, I faced complete failure so I guessed that academia was not for me. Thankfully I did get something out of my time there, my hot husband!
One day once upon a time before we got married, he sat down with me and we made lists of the things that I thought I might want to do with my life. We got out the classifieds and I decided that I wanted to explore the world of floristry. So, I applied and got a job as an assistant and found that I really loved working with flowers. After several years of learning and growing and several moves across the country, we became pregnant with our first child and I became a stay at home mom. I never lost the desire to work in a creative atmosphere though, and so while I was busy in those first few years of raising children I was always looking for a way to eventually get back into school/work/something to fulfill that outlet.
Share a little bit about your shop.
When I first decided to open an Etsy shop, I really had no cohesive format or plan. I liked pressed flowers and thought maybe I could sell cards or artwork. The first shop I had on there was such a huge learning experience and I listed everything from crochet work to photography. It really was a mixed bag of stuff! I then branched out eventually having up to four shops open at once. At that point I decided it was time to make some real decisions as to what I wanted to be my craft and what I wanted to be my hobbies. I settled on the new botanical pressed flower necklaces that I was making. They were my true calling and love. I was scared because there were not hardly any other pressed flower artists on Etsy at that time. But, I decided to stick with that theme and go for it. The same time that I made that decision, we were facing another cross country move, so I closed the old shop and once we became settled in our new home in Kentucky, I opened StudioBotanica. I am so proud of what it has become in less than a year of being open, and it just goes to show that you should always follow your heart when it comes to your art.
Who are some people who have inspired you to become an artist
My sister Laura taught me that it was ok to step out of the traditional box of decorating. That it was ok to be a grown up and not have mass produced artwork on your walls, but rather maybe something you created yourself, or something beloved that a family member or talented friend created for you. One of my favorite wall hangings is an old Amish barn window that my Mom salvaged, restored, and painted and gave to me for Christmas one year.
I have also made so many friends on Etsy, and all of these relationships I cherish and learn from on a daily basis. I can go to twitter and talk to these talented ladies all of the time and I value their expertise and quick wit. The encouragement from them alone has helped me grow tremendously.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Just go for it. If I see something in my head, I have to go down to the studio and try it out as soon as I possibly can. I have finally figured out that life is too short to hem and haw and wait around. I’m not good at planning and doodling, though sometimes that is fun late at night when I am trying to go to sleep (and I do get good ideas that way sometimes!). I mostly just think of something and jump right in feet first using any and all learning experience that I have to hope it comes out the way I imagined it.
Of the things you’ve created so far, what’s one that you’ve been most proud of?
Definitely my pressed flower necklace on handmade paper and resin line of jewelry. I feel that it has such a distinctive and beautiful look to it. I am proud to be able to create unique, one of a kind, nature made preserved beauty that will making memories for years to come. It could be a bridesmaid necklace set, something for the bride herself, or a birthday or anniversary gift. Each and every piece I create is something special to my customer. I thrive on that knowledge and it gives me the enthusiasm to continue doing what I do with Joy in my heart.
Share one of your most-prized nature possessions.
My garden! Everywhere I go, I try to plant not only landscaping plants, but also a kitchen garden that I can harvest from for our family. There is absolutely nothing better than growing your own food and flowers. I make it a point to have small bouquets of seasonal fresh cut flowers in just my bathroom or bedroom once a week or so. It is so luxurious! Even a fresh cut hosta leaf in a vase by the bath makes you feel so alive. I am also teaching myself to can this year for the first time and am finding so much happiness in the knowledge and results of my work that I am learning from that.
What are some things you enjoy about nature?
I enjoy the ebb and flow of nature. Sometimes there is a drought, and that makes you wish for rain. Sometimes there is a flood and that makes you wish for sun. We all crave a balance that is really deep within each of us as we go about our day to day lives either complaining about the weather or rejoicing in it. The beauty lies within using our God given ability to withstand the bad and relish the good. I prefer to try to withstand, relish, and look forward to whatever is coming. And a good run on a cool 70 degree fall morning never hurt anyone, either.