Photo by Jessica Marquez
There’s nothing like giving or receiving a handwritten letter or card, and Your Secret Admiral’s cards will take make your messages even more special. Each card, hand-crafted by founder Julie Schneider, offers a distinctive dose of whimsy and intricacy that you won’t find anywhere else. Each creation is a beautifully nostalgic treasure in itself, and we are so honored to feature Your Secret Admiral as one of our vendors at this December’s BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular & Food Fair!
Read on to learn more about the story behind Your Secret Admiral…
Tell us about yourself!
I’m Julie Schneider, a.k.a. Your Secret Admiral, a Brooklyn-based artist, writer, maker, craft teacher, and amateur arm wrestler hailing from Nashville. I have a line of cards and paper goods, make paper cut art, and I’m always juggling many projects.
How did you get started?
I’ve really been making stuff as long as I can remember. Even as a tiny kid I was always knotting up friendship bracelets, weaving sweet bookmarks on my bead loom, crafting eye-catching signs for lucrative summer lemonade stands, or dreaming up Shrinky Dink jewelry designs for my first brand, Julie’s Jewels (circa age eleven). I have followed this love of creating and entrepreneurship ever since.
What’s inspiring you right now?
I recently returned from an amazing trip to New Zealand and Australia, so that is a big source of inspiration for me right now. Part of my trip included an art residency at a space in Auckland called Alphabet City. Drawing inspiration from the name and spirit of the space, my residency project focused on making an A to Z series of paper cut pieces. It’s a lighthearted series that focuses on a theme of eyes, glasses and vision, paired with an old school office supplies color scheme and some visual puns, all cut from paper.*
So, I’m drawing a lot of my current inspiration from my travels and residency research, including wacky eyeball facts and eyewear history, typography, slang, wombats, flat whites, Frankie Magazine, Craft Victoria (craft gallery and shop in Melbourne), Find & Keep by Beci Orpin, airplanes, long meandering walks, wombat sightings, and fun times with old friends.
Any advice for those starting out in the handmade industry?
• Make a product you love and that will shine through.
• Make a plan.
• Sharpen your business skills.
• Recognize the power of stellar product photography.
• Find your people. Joining a small business organization or an Etsy Team is a great way to find a community of small creative business owners for support and encouragement. Chances are someone has encountered the same question you’re having and is willing to share their knowledge and learning, and you might just find some friends or a mentor.
• Keep growing and evolving your product line.
• Keep having fun!
What are you most looking forward to at the BUST Magazine Craftacular and Food Fair this year?
I always love putting a real face to sellers I know from Etsy, and seeing their wares in person. So, I’m looking forward to that!
If you love Julie’s work as much as we do, you’ll flip for her Festive Felt Chain Garland workshop at the BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular & Food Fair.
Drawing inspiration from the traditional holiday paper craft, Julie will teach you how to make cheery and colorful holiday decorations in high-quality wool felt that can be reused from year to year (or kept up all year round).
This workshop is open to all ages (though crafters 10 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).
Check out the amazing wares of over 250 handmade, vintage, and fancy-food vendors at the BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular & Food Fair.
It’s all taking place on Saturday, December 14th and Sunday, December 15th at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, at 6th Ave.) in N.Y.C. The Craftacular will run from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM both days.