Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Feature - Hollywood Hillbilly

I'm having so much fun searching out shops that use recycled/upcycled materials! Found another amazing shop if I do say so myself - and I do :)
Hollywood Hillbilly has the most wonderful jewelry and bookmarks made from buttons, paper and beads that she has collected over the years.

*Where are you from? Tell us a bit about yourself.
My original stomping ground is the Northeast, New England mostly. But since college I’ve lived in London England as a professional chef, Zimbabwe Africa for six years as a missionary and ostrich farmer, Phoenix Arizona, North Carolina and now San Antonio Texas. I’ve been married to a terrific guy for 24 years. He's my best bud and adventure partner. We have had a blast traveling around the world together meeting great people and collecting cool stuff. And after all these years, we had our first child 19 months ago…he is the coolest little kid I’ve ever met. He is my biggest and best adventure yet.

*How did you decide on your shop name? Why did you start your business?
Hollywood Hillbilly describes me in a nut shell. A little glam and a little spam. Plus it is a fun spin on my name “Holly”. I love the glitzy, glamorous things in life but I also love the well worn, down to earth everyday things that make the world go round. They are two sides of the same coin.
I started my business because… as I mentioned before, I am now a stay at home mom and loving it. I also had a huge stash of beads and buttons and paper and stuff. You know what I’m talking about I’m sure, all you pack rats out there. So, starting this business was a great fit for my life style and a way to put this fun stuff to use.

* What got you started in recycling?
Recycling is my mantra. I have been recycling since I was a little kid digging thru the trash trying to find cool things to make Barbie furniture and accessories out of. Back then my stash consisted of paper towel rolls, egg cartons, milk cartons, fabric scraps and glitter. My Mother nicknamed me the “garbage grub” endearing term for sure. Leaving home at 17 for college and life, my limited budget dictated my wardrobe and it was of coarse all thrift store upcycles. My husband and I looked forward to big trash removal day so we could get some “new” furniture for our house “curb side”. I learned how to upholster and refinish furniture to give new life to our found objects. Moving to Zimbabwe opened my eyes to a whole other level of recycling. Zimbabweans throw very little away. Everything has value. We reused paper towels, tin cans,toilet paper rolls and clothes. Nothing goes to waste.

*If you had time to learn any other craft/art - what would it be?
I would love to learn how to paint with watercolor well.

*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
My supply addiction is fueled by free stuff. Once people get wind that you are a pack rat they like to get rid of their stuff by giving it to you. And I, of coarse, cannot say no. I do however have a rule about keeping it organized, it has to be by colour. I get so much inspiration when I see a whole collection of things all in the same colour family. There is something about looking at things arranged into groups of beautiful colour that makes me happy; and the things go from being stuff to being “treasure”. I think if I had to pick a favorite though, it would be natural colours that are also textural...shells, wood, stone etc.

*What motivates or inspires you to create? Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
I take my inspiration from colour as well as design and functionality. I love to mix the African treasures with western and vintage things to give my work a vintage melting pot eclectic feel, if there is such a thing. The three pieces I enjoyed making the most were…Bing cherry blossom button necklace, Steampunk pink button necklace and Chocolate brown button nest necklace all because of the mix of objects and their colour.

*What is your favorite shop that uses recycled materials, and/or your favorite blog about recycling?


  1. Wow, what an incredible shop and what a story she has. Talk about world traveler. I will definitely be stopping by to check out her store.

  2. Fantastic interview and fabulous jewelry! Another awesome find, Audrey! :)

  3. So cool! I'm defintely hearting her on Etsy! I'm following you :o) You can find me at:

    Hope to hear from you!

  4. Love this shop !!! Great find Audrey : ) !!!

  5. P.S......the bowls are plastic and $21.00 for the set ! The silver cups are stainless and 1.99 !! If it breaks I don';t buy it - too many "hazards" my house !!!

  6. Very cool shop. I like her vintage yo you necklaces. so cute.

  7. This is so amazing! America is SO full of many great artists :D I love you, Americans!!

    Have a great weekend, Audrey!
    Your european portuguese friend,

  8. What fantastic style she's got! Just love her items!

  9. Those are unbelievably creative!!


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