Bunny Paige officially got its start on a sunny day in 2012 in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio but has existed in my daydreams for as long as I can remember.
My obsession started when I was little and my mom gave me a collection of vintage costume jewelry to play dress up with. One day one of my treasured necklaces broke and suddenly I had a pile of beads, rhinestones, and inspiration to work with. From that point on I experimented with hand crafting everything and anything and found that I loved it all.
When I grew up and entered the real world life became a vicious cycle of wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat, leaving very little time or energy for exploring any creative endeavors. What I wanted more than anything was to create a successful business based on my love of hand crafting, but I thought the "new economy" would make this dream an impossible one. By the start of 2009 I had enough of being unhappy and trapped inside a cubicle so I took a drastic step and quit my miserable job when the opportunity to travel across the globe came up, and I haven't looked back since.
I found an incredible amount of inspiration in the street style landscape of Japan and South Korea. Everything was so bright, thriving, and beautifully brazen and unabashed; where everyone used their personal style to fully express themselves in a way that I had never experienced before. There was a real sense that you could be anyone or anything you wanted to be. I came back to the States feeling refreshed, excited, and determined in a way I hadn't felt in years. That is when the idea of Bunny Paige was born.
At first I wasn't sure where to start. I scribbled down idea after idea in countless notebooks but it wasn't until I took a trip to a craft store saw a set of jeweler's pliers that it became obvious that I should start where it all began. I went home and poured out all of my old costume and fashion jewelry I had collected over the years on my coffee table and armed with my pliers and other basic tools I began to rip everything apart.
My first Liberty Spike Headband was made from an old spike cuff bracelet from my high school Goth days and scrap ribbon. My first Doll Eye Ring was made from old vintage store dolls and some of the very rhinestones that had inspired me as a kid. I didn't follow trends or let the current fashion scene influence me and instead used everything I had seen and experienced in my life as my inspiration. I started getting my stuff out there by starting a modest Etsy store that I called Bunny Paige (an amalgamation of two lifelong nicknames) and quickly found that there was a large audience of people who seemed to "get" me, my vision, and my work. This inspired me beyond measure to keep going.
I began to approach local shops and craft shows that fit my strange aesthetic who might want to take a chance on a fledgling artist like myself. Soon Bunny Paige had grown larger than its Cleveland roots finding customers all over the globe from Europe to Australia and even my beloved Japan and South Korea. To my wonderment, I watched as my small business grew into a brand all of its own kind.
In 2013, Bunny Paige got the attention of the Ann Arbor based business Shana Logic with its own cult following of devotees who immediately accepted me into their indie-brand loving hearts. The same year I also got accepted into the prestigious Swarovski Ingredient Branding Program which allows me to use the ‘MADE WITH SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS’ certificate of authenticity in my designs. In 2014 Bunny Paige found a home at the acclaimed 78th Street Studios in the heart of Cleveland's Detroit Shoreway art district and was featured in Rebelicious Magazine - an international alt fashion magazine publication as their "Brand of the Month".
This is a reality that I have dreamt about my entire life making this the most surreal and fantastic journey I've ever had the honor of taking. Thank you to everyone who has made Bunny Paige so successful. I promise it's only going to get bigger, badder, and even more sparkling from here.