Where do you find inspiration in Milwaukee?
I think one of the biggest inspirations for me has always been Lake Michigan. In the early days, it was the subject of photos I sold, and in the present it's more about everything that comes to mind in the nautical and historical sense of it all, if that makes sense. Too elaborate a little bit - I started out in the fall of 2009 while I was pregnant with my son, as a photography shop - I was known as Blue Balloon back then. I was stocked full of dreamy photos and stationery of Lake Michigan and landscapes, then I began dabbling in photo jewelry, which eventually evolved into what it is today. We live a few blocks away in Bay View, so the lake sometimes feels like a second home - we visit some point of it's shores nearly every day. I really began feeling a disconnect between the name Blue Balloon and the pieces in my shop over the past year and a half. It began bothering me enough that I finally took the big step and began rebranding as Rose & Anchor a few months ago. It's a name I'm really happy with, and was inspired in part by that beautiful body of water to our east. All that remains of the earlier days as Blue Balloon are a few photo lockets featuring Lake Michigan - they will remain in the shop always for sentimental reasons, and because of their popularity. In a way, they are like my shop's anchor. Which didn't really occur to me until writing it down just now...
How would you describe your style?
I think nostalgic, rustic, and feminine are the big ones that come immediately for me. I use a lot of old stock, or vintage findings whenever I can. Also a lot of earthy stones that I like to mix with brass. If something is made of newish materials, I try and still give it that old feel. I've also heard modern, earthy, minimal, simple, and romantic from other. I'd agree I'm a mix of all of the above.
What are you currently digging?
Recently I've been really enjoying everything my Vancouver pal and jewelry designer, Sarah, has been creating for her shop, Camp + Quarry. Also, fellow Milwaukeean, Little Ocean - I am in love with everything she makes, but especially her baby and kiddo designs. Other favorites lately include the handmade wooden sunglasses from Tumbleweeds, beautiful crocheted doily blankets from Goodknits, and Bookhou - I've got one of her waxed canvas bags, but she keeps putting out new designs and I've been admiring them all from afar. I could probably go on forever on this, because there is so much to love in the creative and handmade world, so I'll leave it at that for now. Thanks so much for including me in your series!