I'm wearing a Forever 21 top, Forever 21 skirt, belt from Harajuku Japan, Target stockings, Forever 21 shoes, Venus in Chains headdress, Lellabean slave bracelet, and random rings.
PLUS INTERVIEW WITH VICTORIA FROM VENUS IN CHAINS
Tell me about Venus in Chains!
While I probably put in enough hours a week for it to be a full time job, I guess I’d have to say Venus in Chains is still a hobby business. I still have a “day job” doing Human Resources, which I actually really enjoy, and I like the contrast between that nice, structured job, and the chaos that is trying to run my own business. I’ve been on Etsy (www.venusinchains.etsy.com) about two years now, but I’ve been making jewelry for about 20 years and selling it for about 10. I love Etsy and the community it provides, but I am looking forward to launching my own website, www.venusinchains.com, in the next couple of months.
Describe your creative process!
I usually just get an idea for something stuck in my head, and I’ll mull it over for days or weeks. Then, I’ll try to sketch it in preparation for the actual construction, but since I can’t draw at all, sketching has always been a challenge for me. The drawing always looks like a scribbled bunch of circles with some notes next to it. It mostly just helps me to remember what kind of components I used for a piece. The real design process usually comes with trial and error in building a chain maille pattern or transferring that to a finished piece. I tend to put something together, look at it, try it on, and then make tiny adjustments to make it just right (e.g., 20 gauge vs. 22 gauge rings or 6mm crystals vs. 4 mm crystals). I find it’s those little things that really make all the difference in creating a design that is beautiful AND wearable. I’m going through that process right now, trying to make some funky Swarovski crystal shoulder jewelry. It’s a slow process, but it’s a rewarding one when I know I got the piece just right.
What are some of your inspirations?
I think inspiration is a very synergist process that you cannot control. For example, I’ll see a color combination somewhere and a picture of stylized period dress from the Victorian era somewhere else and it just all rolls around in my head until that “aha” moment where I think of something I need to make. I don’t really feel it’s a process I have control over. While there are certainly things I can do to feel more inspired, such as going to museums or listening to music, I never really set down and say to myself “I’m going to create a new design today.” It just happens on its own, but I’ve always believed the best creations happen sort of organically like that. So, that works for me, as long as the ideas keep coming J
How did you start designing circlets and headdresses? Why do you focus on these accessories?
I think the circlets and headdresses really stem from the fact that I attended way too many renaissance festivals and other fandom-related events as a child. I grew up watching people make chain maille and include circlets or headdresses in their costumes. So, I always really enjoyed those as accessories, so much so that I started creating my own when I was about 12 years old. While I don’t attend as many renaissance festivals and conventions as I used to, I still love circlets and headdresses. There is something so elegant and feminine about them. They really make you feel special when you need something a little extra to go with a special occasion outfit. Part of the fun of being an independent, small designer is that I can create things that are unique and may not have mass market appeal, but are just right for a select few saavy fashionistas.
How did you come up with the name Venus in Chains?
The name was actually inspired by a fictional band in one of my favorite movies, Velvet Goldmine. The band was called The Venus in Furs, after a Velvet Underground song of the same name. That song was named for a 19th century novel. I did not know all that at the time; I just liked the sound of the name, Venus in Furs. Since I don’t do any designs involving fur, I changed it to Venus in Chains. That really resonated with me, because the goddess Venus is the epitome of femininity and beauty, while I have always associated chains, especially chain maille, with strength and power. Since I always try to create designs that balance femininity with strength, that moniker really seemed to fit for me.