Here it is… the very first artist interview on miscellany!
(1) Tell us about yourself: Hello! My name is Kristine Ragus and I am the Owner/Designer of Arrow & Plume. I am based in Revelstoke, British Columbia where I live with my partner Ryan and our fish-loving fur child Kitty. A typical day for me starts with a good espresso, a walk in the fresh air and then taking product photos, creating new jewelry, marketing etc etc. I usually round out my day with a solid yoga practice or beach run. Keeps the mind clear and the body fit!
(2) Tell us about what you create: I create boho inspired and modern jewelry using hand selected gemstones, raw minerals and crystals, recycled chains and vintage/modern metals. I have been doing this on and off for about 14 years as a hobby and then a couple of years ago I took the plunge and decided to make it a brand. I have travelled for most of my life so I take inspiration from a lot of different cultures, textures, colours and experiences and try to infuse my jewelry with these concepts. At the moment I am working full time this summer on Arrow & Plume and then I work part time in the winters and juggle that with other employment.
(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: Arrow & Plume is a recent venture, I recently re-branded my store to reflect more of my ideals, who I am and my ethics/beliefs. I’ve dabbled in a lot of mediums over the years since art school (painting, sculpture, photography) It all started out as a hobby and then when I realized that I was never happy unless I was doing something where I could be creative that’s when I knew it was time to give it a shot. So with a little push and some supplies, my dream started to become reality.
(4) Tell us about your customers: The whole aesthetic of Arrow & Plume is based around a modern bohemian, a wanderlust with a vibrant, carefree spirit. She (or he) is adventurous, modern, laidback and loves the uniqueness of life. You will find this person just as at home in a city as hiking through a mountain pass. It is a brand that blends modern styles with gemstones, raw minerals, chains and unique metal components to create jewelry and accessories that fit into modern scenarios. Arrow & Plume appeals to a lot of people, I aim to target an audience that is looking for a piece of jewelry or accessory that is unique and has been created with ethics and love!
(5) Tell us where we can find your art: You can find me on Etsy, and in store at the Art Gallery of Sudbury, Ontario. I am in the process of opening up another online store on www.storeenvy.com (it will be open soon so keep checking in) and I’m working on getting into some Handmade shows in the near future. I’m not really into writing (nor am I very good at it!) and as I am a very visual person I love pictures, so I am more into Instagram.
(6) Tell us about your support: I have a great support network, I get my 2nd opinions from my partner Ryan and he keeps me positive and celebrates my successes with me. When it gets busier, he helps me out with shipping out packages and spends a lot of time standing in post office lines for me. Executive Director Kitty (when she is awake) keeps us all in line and always reminds us the importance of keeping her food bowl so she can keep working.
(7) Tell us about your favorites: I like to eat and I love to travel so I tend to read a lot of Lonely Planet (or other travel books), Detoxinista for food ideas and recipes for clean eating. I also follow Kino Yoga as I am also an avid Yoga practitioner. I keep tabs on fashion/jewelry trends through Pinterest and follow a handful of independent Canadian fashion retailers (Coal Miners Daughter, Victoire to name a couple). I try to minimize my online reading time to keep me as focused as possible. I have 2 favourite jewelry pieces at the moment, the Rising Sun necklace and the Quartz Moon necklace. I am loving rough minerals, chains and bold brass right now.
(8) Tell us anything else: Arrow & Plume is made in a 100% solar powered studio! I try to use as many ethical and sustainable practices in my work as possible. From recycling metals to eco-friendly packaging. I am originally from Australia and have lived across multiple continents and I am currently based in Revelstoke, Canada. I’m also taking my Yoga teacher training in July, so another job to add to my list! My favourite travel memory from the past couple of years is climbing the Great Wall of China. I love staring at stars in the night, reading, hiking and just generally being outside creating memories. Executive Director Kitty is an adopted senior cat (we adopted her at the age of 13, she is now almost 16 years old). Old kitties deserve homes too! As for business advice, keep working hard, be open to feedback, be fearless, take time for yourself, never say no to free publicity and remember it takes time to build a brand! If you would like to keep up with my adventures, I’m on Instagram and on Facebook.
Quartz Moon necklace ($37.46)