We are thrilled to have Suzanne Glazier to talk with us today! Suzanne owns Pennywise Arts which primarily focuses on micro beads and their branded adhesive, O'So Sticky tape.
She was featured on HGTV's "Crafters Coast To Coast" in 2005 and Pennywise Arts has been spotlighted in Vamp Stamp News magazine three times.
Please join us as we learn a bit more about Suzanne, her art and her company!
Q: Suzanne, what drew you into the crafting world?
A: I started stamping LONG before stamping was "cool". I bought my first rubber stamp at the age of 16. (And I still have it!) I didn't get "serious" about stamping until after my son Jordan was born - when I went to my first in-home demo. (Jordan is now 20 and has become quite the artist himself!) My wallet has never forgiven the lady that hosted that party - but I love her dearly . Stamping is MUCH cheaper and way more fun than therapy - that's for sure!
Q: How and when did Pennywise Arts come into being?
A: Pennywise Arts made an explosive entrance into the arts industry in March of 2003 . It wasn't exactly an intentional beginning, I really didn't set out to be in the bead business at all! In late 2002, I saw the neatest project! It was a Bic pen that had been stamped on and had tiny clear beads over it! I HAD to learn how to make that myself so the quest began! I found the beads (called micro beads) at a craft store and was appalled at how expensive they were. I showed them to my husband Brian and he went on a quest of his own. A few days later he came home with a 50 pound bag of clear micro beads and asked with a grin: "Will this be enough for your project"? Well, it certainly was! In fact, I had about 49 pounds LEFT - even after giving a bunch away to friends!!
Next, I went to work trying to figure out what to do with ALL those beads! On a whim, I listed them on eBay (isn't that what you do with anything you don't know what to do with?) And, literally overnight, we were in the bead "biz"! Since that fateful pen project, we have added our own line of tape products as well as many more colors and sizes of micro beads. In my wildest dreams I never would have guessed that Pennywise Arts would become a worldwide business. Since Brian and I don't have children together we lovingly consider Pennywise to be our "first born".
Q: Do you teach beading techniques?
A: Teaching is my passion! I love sharing what I've learned with others and seeing where their creativity goes with it. There is nothing more rewarding than to get pictures or mail from a student weeks after a class showing what they made with what I taught them. I teach in local stores and have many free project tutorials from various artists available on the Pennywise Arts website.
Q: You have a lot of wonderful micro beads available in your store. What is it about beads that you love?
A: I love how totally versatile and adaptable micro beads are. Adding our beads to any project just steps it up a notch. Micro beads are sparkly and unique to so many people that artwork including them really stands out.
Q: What types of projects are possible with microbeads?
A: Any project that anyone does from stamping to scrapping to altering to mixed media can benefit from a touch of micro beads.
Shaker cards are my favorite bead focused project because they are interactive art. Fun to make, fun to receive and fun to play with.
Q: You have some beautiful vintage collage sheets. How do you decide what goes into a collection?
A: We've networked with Michele Aiello-Zendejas of Swingshift Designs to bring high quality collage images to our customers. Michele uses many open source photos, restoring, altering and embellishing them until they are perfect. Michele takes great pride in her work and we take great pride in her!
Q: Pennywise Arts has an Annual Retreat each year. What can you tell our readers about the next event?
A: Next Spring, Pennywise Arts will be 9 years old! Every year we have celebrated our birthday with a ladies weekend-long crafting retreat. Everyone brings a project to share and we craft the weekend away being pampered and catered to. It's the highlight of my year to be there. Women come in from all over the country for it! This business has brought so many amazing people into my life and spending a weekend with some of them is a wonderful way to feel connected, inspired and rejuvenated! April 2012 will be our "Flights of Fancy" retreat. I plan to get blue hair feathers to wear for it!
Q: What is your favorite part of being part of the stamping community?
A: Without a doubt its the camaraderie, the close knit feeling of community. I work alone from home so any time I can connect with someone via email, Facebook messages or face-to-face it really brightens my day. Everyone I've met is so supportive, kind and validating. Many of my customers have become my closest friends. It just doesn't get any better than that!
We would like to thank Suzanne for spending time with us and for her generous sponsorship of our December Challenges!
If you would like to find out more about the products and tutorials available at Pennywise Arts, please check out their website or their blog.