A Little Backstory

Are you ready for a story?

Picture it: Sicily, 1938…no, just kidding. I’m not Sophia Petrillo. More like, picture it: small, rural town, late 80s, refinished basement with rad wood paneling. I was 8-ish, and I had a few things going on in my life at that time. A massive Barbie land, with homemade furniture and creative living areas (I used shell-shaped catering trays as makeshift Barbie hot tubs, for example), a separate area with a chalkboard and a school desk where I forced my brother to be an unwitting student in my pretend school with real dittoes from my teachers (remember dittoes?), and a little desk with an Excel spreadsheet for my business, “The House of Haircuts,” where I recorded my appointments for hairdos.

I had my grandfather’s carousel stamp holder with his business stamps in it for stamping paperwork, a Rolodex with fake contact info in it, and some old scratch paper and pens from a vintage box lot that my parents won at Hunter’s Sale Barn. Even at that young age I was immersed in vintage office supplies.

I also had a shoe box of beads and embroidery floss that belonged to my mom, augmented by beads and other treasures that she won, at you guessed it, Hunter’s Sale Barn. I had the best time making jewelry, running a business, creating a Barbie haven, and teaching school.

So, how does that story look now, you ask? I make jewelry, run a jewelry business, create a haven in my own house, and teach others at my government contracting job. Yes, I’m skipping A LOT of stuff in the middle, but you’re asking the girl who looks up the movie plot on Wikipedia while watching said movie to be sure she can handle the ending. All that stuff I left out will have to be a slowly unfolding mystery as you get to know me.

Because you are observant, I’m sure you noticed that a divine thread woven into this story is that vintage goods and materials sparked my imagination to create something new in all these areas. I was a kid, not yet having lost any of the creative genius we are all given, and I loved to design with new and old materials and themes. To me, there was no difference between utilizing an old item of great design and procuring new materials; they all had the same potential and merit. In fact, most of my toys were secondhand or passed down from my older sisters or cousins.

To this day, even if I don't have vintage materials with which to create, I am still inspired by and determined to echo the design themes and styles from the decades that influenced me in my youth: the 1920s-1960s. My memory is etched with memories of good design from bygone eras, and it guides my work at the jewelry bench for Cicada Design.

Vintage revival: it is the heartbeat of Cicada Design.

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