07 May 2012

A Portrait of the Artist: LilahVintage



Today, in A Portrait of the Artist series, I would like you to meet Amanda from LilahVinatge - a multi-talented artist, combining a wide range of passions in her lovely jewelry shop. Amanda's grandmother left her a jewelry legacy and out of love to her grandmother and vintage, she learned how to turn vintage materials into stylish minimalistic necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Her etsy shop carries the name of her lovely dog Lilah and a portion of the proceeds from LilahVintage is donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society dedicated in fighting blood cancers.

But Amanda is also traveling the world, working on feature films, such as “Speedracer,” “Contraband,” “Ghost Ship” and “The Guardian.” She clearly is a person to learn from and a very inspirational one as well. Her passion in combining vintage and new, the fusing of motion pictures and still graceful jewelry, her social stand, helping the fight against blood cancers are all traits that I deeply admire in her and feel proud to be able to meet you with her.  

Amanda and her fiancé Gary, with their two dogs Lilah and Annie

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your love story with jewelry.
LilahVintage is a marrying of vintage material and modern design.  I collect quality broken vintage jewelry and take them apart to create simple elegant designs for everyday wear. Occasionally I include vintage pieces that are beautiful just as they are. 

If you told me a few years ago, I would be designing jewelry I would have laughed. It all started with my grandmother, Louella, who was a spit-fire and lived a long fantastic life where you dressed up to get on an airplane. A bit ago, I inherited all of her jewelry but much of it was broken and I didn’t want to throw it out. I deiced to take classes on beading and chain work learning how to reuse the pieces. I love both the art of jewelry making and creating modern gems from beautiful old finds.  I'm hooked!

You turn vintage materials cultivated from years of estate sales, thrift stores and flea markets into graceful modern jewelry. Can you describe to us your creative process?
I gravitate towards the clean lines of mid century designers like Neutra, Eames and Eichler where every element has a purpose. I've always been interested in architecture and design. It turned out to be an easy transition taking that aesthetic into the jewelry world.

Sea of Love - gold chain necklace and Amazonite


How long have you been designing jewelry before you opened an etsy store?
I opened the shop selling just vintage items - I didn't think my jewelry was good enough to sell.  I was giving jewelry to friends and family.  Finally a costume designer on a movie bought about 10 items to use on the actresses and convinced me I should market them. 

Tell us more about film making. how do you combine both passions? Do your transfer inspiration from one venue to the other?
They are two completely different set of challenges, creative thinking and skills! 

On movies, I turn on my left brain creating ways to make the the flow of immense amount of crew, equipment, vendors and cast needed on a daily basis seamless.  Its a constant game of tetris. 

Then I come home and switch to my right brain getting inspiration from random places - like a bougainvillea or pottery designs. I am addicted to Danish furniture blogs.

I have no idea why I can do both - maybe that's why my jewelry tends toward simple streamlined design.

Mixed metal earrings
We can see you with your dog on your etsy profile picture and you have named your shop after her. You must have a very warm relationshp. Share with us one trait you have learned from your dog that helps you with your jewelry business.
Lilah is exuberant about everything - she can take joy in going for a walk around the block.  I strive towards her bliss in work and life.

Where do you see yourself creatively in 5 years?
I should have a better plan other than continuing to enjoy creating new designs.  Jewelry is be very personal to a woman - it can completely change not just your outfit but her mood.  I hope in 5 years I have bettered outfits and uplifted moods all over the world.

What is your favorite item by another etsy seller?
I love bookhouathome.  Her purses and scarves are both chic and cozy. 


Connect with Amanda here: Shop | Facebook | Twitter