The Makery has gone through some big changes in the past few weeks, with sisters coming, going, moving and shaking. We have spent the past month or two putting together our website with an awesome developer and entrepreneur, Whitney of Freshly Given (you have to check out her amazing blog). From the first day we met her, we were in love with her jewelry designs, her style, and her optimistic energy. When we realized there was more work to be done than just the three sisters could handle, there was no question who we wanted to call!
So, we’re excited to say Whitney has joined the Makery team. And, guess what? She’s one of three sisters too.
Whitney, Nicole, and Karla
Whitney says, “When I first heard about The Makery, I said to myself ‘I’d love to work with those sisters.’ When asked to come on board, it was a near out-of-body experience. I’ll put it this way, working with the sisters doesn’t feel like work at all.”
We feel the same way!
We interviewed Whitney on her life as an artist and a sister:
1. Could you tell us a little about yourself and your life as an artist? How did you come to create Freshly Given?
I have always been a Math/Science type of girl. I leaned more towards chemistry in school and crafts at home. I really liked repurposing things but just couldn’t figure out how it ‘fit’ in life. So naturally I entered Duke with the idea that I would continue on a technical track with hopes of landing a great paying job. I successfully completed my undergrad with a B.S. (no pun intended) in Computer Science then a year or two of odd jobs, and finally I decided enough was enough. My husband sat me down and challenged me to type out my sincerest interests in under 60 seconds. And WHOA, everything pointed to Art, Design, Fashion, and Creative Problem-solving. I started a blog the same week and named it Freshly Given.
2. We have our own experience, but what has it been like for you to be a sister? What was life like growing up together?
I have many sisters, no boys in my house except for my dad. He WAS ‘The Man’. We all get along so well it’s probably weird for others. Just watching us, one would think we interact like over-active adults getting back in touch with childhood.
Having sisters has allowed me the freedom to create. My sister Karla always knew she was an artist and stuck with her vision. She is one of the most successful and thriving people I know. Hands down. Though younger than me I look up to her. There’s a lot to be said of a 20 some thing whos purpose and passion go hand in hand PLUS she isn’t afraid to say it. My older sister, Nicole, has big ideas and knows no bounds. I’m like that too, and I love that we can both chat about the places we are going to go in this big world. She’s also so well in touch with people and their needs. So growing up I always knew she’d help me with no questions asked. I admire that in her.
My sisters balance me well; we can always get together and have a good time. Where ever we are there’s a party. No invite necessary.
3. Has your sister had any part in your artistic life – as a collaborator, feedback-giver, or inspiration?
Both of my sisters have played a role, sometimes unsolicited, but that’s what sisters are for. Nicole is the oldest and wiser about making decisions. Her perspective is so valuable in that she helps me to focus. Plus she’ll be the first to tell me when somethings ugly. And I need that. Karla, on the other hand, has been in the creative world for some time, she helps to flush out my inspiration from an idea to reality. We get a bit hyper about good design, often throwing around “that’s dope!.”
4. If you could work with your sister on a fantasy project, what would it be?
To design a line of funky album covers and a collection of high-waisted pencil skirts. My goodness, that would be niiiice!
5. With your sisters help, where do you see Freshly Given going from here?
Freshly Given has the potential to be a breakout line of accessories for the smart woman. I’m a nerd and I like to see other nerdy conscience women dress well. With the help of my sisters I plan to create another collection and presenting it to more buyers along the east coast. This is beyond an arts and crafts project. I am concentrating on making Freshly Given great and sharing my love for creativity with all who will listen.
This is the first in a series of posts on artists and sisters! Check back for interview with Oami Powers.