Meet Jacqueline of Local Color Creations on Etsy
A little about yourself
My name is Jacqueline “not Jackie” Crowther.* I’ve lived in or around Atlanta most of my life, but I was born in Chicago, which will always be home. Growing up with a heightened sense of place, I’ve noticed that where I’m from has been the most fundamental factor in shaping my behavior, mood and how I see the world. I owe a large part of my affable but direct personality to the city of broad shoulders, which is why I’m not ashamed of my own. However, as I’ve gotten older, each new place I’ve called home has also shaped where I’m coming from; adding new perspective and an impetus for engaging with the world. Even the places I’ve simply passed through have left an impression; inciting a curiosity that a degree in Urban Policy, Planning and Economic Development couldn’t sate.
What is your craft story?
In the years after graduating, I became increasingly disenchanted with the career I worked for in college. As a result, I found myself spending more and more of my free time revisiting the creative habits of my childhood and adolescence. I come from a family full of creatively resourceful women, who nurtured in my youth an admiration for handmade goods, a can-do attitude, and a tireless work ethic. My grandmother, Josephine, taught me what DIY was before I ever knew there was a word for it. She made extra money for her large family in Natchez, Mississippi as a seamstress. For decades, she made elegant and colorful garments for the women in her community when she wasn’t cooking, tending to her seven children, or working in her garden or at the pecan factory.
As a child, I couldn’t have been more awestruck by my grandmother’s seemingly superhuman abilities. Thankfully, she passed down her skills to my mother. As a Girl Scout troop leader, she was my own personal Martha Stewart, and was happy to enable my habit of spending endless hours (and dollars) at the local crafts and hobby stores.
My mother also shared with me her love for color. In clothing, accessories and art I’ve always channeled my emotions through the varied shades and hues of the visual spectrum. No matter the medium, I’ve always sought ways to strike balance in combining colors, texture, and other design elements. I relish in finding harmony where others see only chaos. So while facing a future of draining and disillusioning ladder-climbing, I clung to color more than ever. I also found myself longing for the freedom and connection to my work that “Grandma Josie” showed me was possible.
How did you come to be on Etsy, do you sell anywhere else or would you like to?
My upbringing planted a seed for my creative drive, but for years I left it unattended, and convinced myself that I wasn’t a creative person. A couple of years ago, however, as I poured tons of energy into decorating my house, I realized that color has been my constant creative outlet. My home has always been a colorful oasis where I retreat from the day. And in public, I’d often get stopped by strangers compelled to compliment not just my clothes, but the colors I wore like armor. My bracelets were my signature, and I started making my own just to suit my wardrobe needs. As I peeked into the handmade rabbit hole, Etsy gave me the little push needed to expedite my descent. In the community, I found inspiration and empowerment. I hadn’t always thought there was a place for me on Etsy, but my inability to find the colors and textures I craved on the massive site lit a fire in me to fill the void. I had a naggingly clear vision of what was possible and every reason to leave the job that was turning me into someone I didn’t want to be.
Etsy has served me well by providing a thriving and supportive community to facilitate my development as a jewelry designer and seller. That said, I am currently looking at opportunities to expand my reach elsewhere – both online and in brick-and-mortar establishments.
What inspires you and your work?
I require almost constant inspiration to function, which I get from glorious uses of colors and space. Cities and other dynamic places with colorful people are what I find most inspiring. I think our geography can bring out the best (or worst) in us, as a great place invites us to open ourselves to new adventures and experiences. With my jewelry, I aim to elicit the same thirst for life, along with the confidence to confront the world fearlessly. To put it more simply, I want Local Color Creations to transport you to your happy place, so that you are in touch with your boldest and best self wherever you go.
What makes your work special and different from others?
While I love trendy looks and appreciate all types of jewelry, I want Local Color Creations to be THE destination for those who define their own style, and don’t always need expensive gems and precious metals to feel adorned. Local Color is made for those with a broad world view and a strong sense of self – women who aren’t afraid of standing out in a crowd. I take pride in making jewelry that is distinct and distinguished by its unconventional use of color, materials and techniques.
My designs borrow from timeless and widespread practices, near and distant cultures, and the universal language of color to create pieces that comfort and spark curiosity. From the appropriation of ancient basket-making techniques to the authentic African block prints made using processes developed in Indonesia --every piece has a story informed by generations of cultures and traditions being shared. When accessorizing with Local Color’s unique items, those stories become a part of your own personal mythology.
What do you know now that you wish you knew earlier (in relation to your business)
What I most looked forward to when deciding to grow my own business was finally feeling like I had some control over the work I would be doing. What I didn’t realize was just how much I needed people in undertaking this endeavor, and I wish I didn’t waste so much time trying to make things happen in a vacuum.
Where can we support you?