Something New & Different Interview
Folks, it really is an honor to partner with such amazing businesses and sponsors. Once again, our wonderful friends over at Bunny Paige are the presenting sponsors of our fabulously silly little show, and we couldn't be more grateful. Here is a little insight into their awesome business, and what makes owner/designer Lauren Tatum tick:
Providing the "Ultimate in Sparkle" since 2012, Bunny Paige blossomed from playing dress up with vintage costume jewelry, and experimenting with hand crafting new and unique designs from broken pieces of necklaces. Years later, an opportunity to travel to the other side of the world refreshed and inspired Bunny Paige creator and designer, Lauren Tatum; she quit her day job and explored her passion, developing her own business and brand around her love for hand crafting. Since 2012, Lauren has literally poured her heart into her brand, and in 2013, Bunny Paige was accepted into the prestigious Swarovski Ingredient Branding Program. Featured in magazines around the world, worn on red carpets and in New York fashion shows, and based right here, in Cleveland, OH, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lauren Tatum of Bunny Paige to learn more about her passion, inspiration, and business:
Q: You have a new home base at 78th Street Studios! It's an absolutely gorgeous space. Tell us a little bit about your partnership with 78th Street, and your plans for the future there.
A: 78th Street Studios is the largest art and design complex in Northeast Ohio. Every third Friday of the month they hold an art walk where dozens of galleries open their doors to the public under one giant roof. I attended my first art walk 7 years ago and was determined to have my own space there one day. In 2016 I accomplished that goal which was a pretty magical moment. In the near future I would love to expand to a bigger space within the building and have a whole design and photography studio attached to my showroom.
Q: Speaking of partnerships, you've worked with some incredible photographers, magazines, and brand ambassadors; Bunny Paige is truly becoming in a global brand! How have your partnerships influenced your business and design?
A: Getting to work with friends that have such immense passion, drive, and vision is one of the coolest things about running my own business. For example, most of Bunny Paige’s most iconic model shots were taken by fellow Something New & Different sponsor Sainteven Photography and feature the exquisite burlesque superstar Eliza Sidecar! Working with fellow makers, performers, and business owners is how I’ve gotten to know and love the local Something New and Different cast and why I’m so proud to be the presenting sponsor of a production that I wholeheartedly believe in.
Q: Speaking of design :) In addition to your iconic spikes and hearts, I'm seeing some new designs on bunnypaige.com! Lots of geometric shapes, and chokers! What influences your new designs; what can we expect next?
A: I’m really excited to start working more with natural materials like glass, wood, and gemstones. I’m also going to start using new techniques that I’ve been experimenting with like metalsmithing and electroplating. I want to expand my Bunny Paige beauty line, home decor selections, and resin art which is currently offered in small batch collections at my gallery at 78th Street Studios. Jewelry and accessories is where I started but I envision Bunny Paige to be an entire lifestyle brand.
Q: In addition to some new pieces, I'm seeing some new materials being used in new and unique ways...velvet, enamel, vintage stones, gem stones...I'm curious, do you always know what you want to create, or is there a level of experimentation in your work?
A: It’s all a giant experiment! Sometimes I go into my work room with a solid idea of what I want to design but there’s always something that gets reworked and altered in the end. Very little turns out exactly the way it looked in my sketchpad but there’s a sense of freedom in that. Even my iconic Spiked Hearts are an evolution and have gone through over a dozen little changes over the years. Constant growth is what keeps things exciting.
Q: Let's talk personal style. I've always admired your style...To me, it's such a lovely blend of goth, grunge, and girly, and I really dig it. Where does your personal style come from, and to what degree does it guide your Bunny Paige design?
A: Aww, thank you so much!! ❤ I grew up in the 90s and was majorly influenced by the glory days of the grunge and goth alternative fashion scene but I'm also enamored by the classic vintage fashion from the 40s-60s that lined the walls of my mom’s closet when I was a little girl playing dress up. I’m constantly asking myself “What would Lucy Ricardo wear in 1995?”
Q: You did so much in 2016, from New York Fashion Week to a new studio space to supporting and sponsoring multiple events and programs in and around Cleveland...What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of this past year?
A: Having my work shown on a runway at New York Fashion Week and opening my own gallery were definitely high points but I don’t think I could single anything out because it was all so incredible. Running my own creative business has been my dream since I was an 8 year old girl selling handmade friendship bracelets to my friends and family so every day of Bunny Paige success is a like living a dream.
Q: And what is on the horizon for Bunny Paige in 2017?
A: Well, we’re headed back to New York Fashion Week the day after the upcoming Something New and Different Show so we’re definitely not slowing down in 2017! Bunny Paige has grown into a force to be reckoned with and I don't see that slowing down any time soon. I’m going to keep building my brand and continue to offer products that make people feel beautiful, confident, and powerful. In the end, I want to build an empire.
Q: Finally, how can everybody stay in touch and up to date with all things Bunny Paige?
A: Catch me every month at the 78th Street Studios Third Friday art walk form 5-9pm in gallery 25. You can explore my entire collection and see the work of 60+ other local artists who all open their doors to the public for one magical night a month.
Stay in touch by following me online! I’m super active on social media so follow, like, share, and don’t forget to tag #BunnyPaige
☆ Website: www.bunnypaige.com
☆ Instagram: bunny_paige
☆ Facebook: BunnyPaigeDesign
☆ Snapchat: Bunny.Paige
☆ Twitter: TheBunnyPaige