March 27, 2013

Spotlight: Gabriella Murray

Is it my birthday yet? Because my jewelery box and I want
everything from this store.

If she could, Gabriella Murray would say her favorite color is rainbow. "But that's a definite violation of the Favorite Color Question Rules," she acknowledged. "If I had to pick one though, it is, without a doubt, pink. I'm a Pink Lady to my core." And after surfing through her store and blog, it's clear the jewelry she makes is coated in the same vibrant colors as her bubbly personality. Wedged in between the slew of pinks, yellows and blues are images of iconic faces we've all grown to love and recognize: the cast of Freaks and Geeks and Daria, as well as musicians like Kurt Cobain and Grimes, all framed in metals and pastel that would brighten up any wrists, ears or collarbones. Bank accounts beware!

Gabriella originally hails from England, but has re-located to the Gold Coast of Australia, where she runs the Etsy shop Pixie and Pixier from her awesomely-decorated bedroom. Aside from jewelry, she also designs clothing, makes zines, and has recently created a 10-step series on how to successfully run your own Etsy shop for her blog. Oh, and she also does DIYs. We're pretty sure anything that takes an inherent amount of creativity, patience and quirk, Gabriella does. She took a second from her busy life (she's also writing her honors thesis on speciesism - yes, that's a thing) to answer a few questions about her lovely shop:     

THE LE SIGH: A lot of your accessories and clothing feature really iconic faces or recognizable characters from pop culture. How do you decide who gets depicted in your work?

Gabriella Murray: There's no real strategic system to this; I just make things with people and characters that I love. I mostly just make things that I know I'd love if I saw anywhere else and hope that other people might like it too. The way you look says a lot about you and with a Bill Haverchuck necklace, it's going to explicitly say that you think Freaks and Geeks is the business. If I ever saw someone making a statement like that, I'd immediately be their best friend.

TLS: Who's your current favorite figure in pop culture?

GM: I'm really not sure. I think pop culture has changed a lot. People used to idolize celebrities and, although that still happsn today, I feel like society's more interested in the demise of celebrity. All these reality t.v. shows have made it impossible not to see all the flaws whereas before these figures were iconic and untouchable. But still, I'd probably have to say Michael Jackson and David Bowie, even though they're not really current at all.

TLS: What was the inspiration for your shop name, "Pixie and Pixier"?

GM: In a panic to come up with a name before the webpage expired, I decided on Pixie after my dog. She was a Jack Russell and we named her Pixie because as a puppy she was super tiny and cute (as most puppies are) but then she grew up to be some kind of a demon dog, albeit a very cute one. So now she's an icon for me so I remember to be cute but also a bit loud and odd. But then somebody already had the name Pixie so I decided to hastily add "and Pixier" as a homage to my favorite movie, Dumb and Dumber. Now my shop's about being cute, mean and dumb, I guess.

TLS: Ok, this is going to sound hopelessly creepy, but I noticed from the picture you take of your outfits that you have a really cool bedroom! What kinds of things do you have hung up on your walls and what dictates what gets put up?

GM: Thank you! That's the best compliment ever for me because I'm so obsessed with how people keep their bedrooms. It's definitely like a sneaky little peek into their minds. I have drawings, pictures of people I admire and photos I've cut out of magazines. I hang a lot of jewelry up too because it's too special to me to just put in boxes. I change it all around a fair bit so, I guess instead of having moodboards, I just use my whole room to pin up where my head's at.

TLS: You have such an incredible (and diverse!) amount accessories and clothing on your Etsy shop. How much time on average would you say you spend a day on making these awesome pieces? Do you ever see Pixie and Pixier becoming its own actual store?

GM: I could easily spend all day doing it but during semesters I try and limit myself and schedule time to just sit down and make everything. I probably spend about three hours a day doing everything but during holidays I will not stop all day. Sitting in my room making things and watching 90s movies is my happy place. As a kid, I always dreamed about owning my own shop. I'd love to sell all these special things and bake cakes and all my staff would wear cat ears! That would be amazing though; but I'm really happy with where it is now and with my shop fantasies.

TLS: How often do you wear the things you make?

GM: Everyday! So much of my wardrobe is things I've made. I just can't help it. My favorite so far has to be the Barbie hands and Barbie shoes necklace. They're just really weird but at the same time, girly and cute.

TLS: Think back to your wee days of craft making – what were some of the first things you started making that you did or didn't really get into?

GM: The first thing I can remember making was a weird bag out of the butt part of a pair of jeans. I covered it in all these patches and badges and thought it was the coolest thing to ever exist. It was pretty awful. I'd probably still wear it now though, so we'll just say it was successful.

Check out her store here.

Written by Molly Morris