The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on Etsy.com.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Artist Profile - Bella Starr

Today we're welcoming to the blog the lovely Michelle of Bella Starr and her wonderful hats. 

Newsboy Cap -Black &Grey Jacquard  Vintage Wool -with Flower
Newsboy Cap

The story behind the name "Bella Starr”

In 2002, when I formed my company I was looking for a name that had meaning to my life. When I was a little girl my dad sang the song “Michelle” by the Beatles to me. He would always sing the line,” Michelle my belle.” so I decided to add “Bella” with the meaning being beautiful in french. I was also named after the song by my parents loving the Beatles.

I needed more depth to my company name and really thought about my life. In 1998, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer and I have had several reoccurrences of cancer in recent years. I loved looking at the stars at night on long road trips in the desert and would look at the stars to wish the cancer away. I reach for the stars with anything in life and never give up that easily with anything. I put the two together and came up with Bella Starr. The two together "Beautiful Star" was the perfect name.

Beret Hat- Grey Eyelet Lace with Bow
Beret Hat

How would you describe your style? 
Old Hollywood would perfectly describe my style and design sense. I love Greta Garbo, Clara Bow, Joan Crawford, Faye Dunaway fashion styles and many more.

Beret Hat- Black & White Striped Knit with Black Bow
Black & White Beret

When did you learn to do what you do? 
My mom was a fashion designer and taught me to sew when I was 8 years old. I taught myself to design hats and later went to Orange Coast College and took some courses in Millinery and Costume Design. I also have a fashion design degree from completing the program at OCC.

What are your favorite pieces to make? 
I really love creating my Beret Hats and they are my most popular items I sell.

What inspires you? 
I love looking at old hollywood photos, architecture, old vintage apparel, textiles and I really love Biba from London.

SALE Wide Brim Hat-Hot Pink Cotton- Scarf
Wide Brim Hat

How do you stay motivated during slow times? 
I never have a slow moment as I have two school aged kids that keep me busy. I’ve also worked as Director at a fashion college for over 13 years and recently went part time to pursue my line of hats. I love using Pinterest to search for new inspirations and look at the trend forecasting services when I have extra time.

Where would you like your shop to be 5 years from now? 
In 5 years I really hope to grow my own website with more traffic and sales. I also really want to focus on my wholesale business and start designing apparel.

How do you spend your time when you're not creating? 
Going to Disneyland with my family where you never grow up.

Cloche Hat- Brown Linen- Leather band- Asymmetrical Brim
Cloche Hat

What does your work space look like? 
My studio is in my house and usually it’s flipped upside down creating new designs. I collect vintage fabric as well as new and have run out of room to store all of the fabric. I have shelves stacked by color and textures to find fabric. I like using plastic bins to store my supplies. I have a wall I post up my design inspirations story board. To keep the rest of my fabric organized I have a professional cutting table.

What is your favorite thing to have for breakfast? 
I’m not a very big breakfast person and usually eat a slice of toast with coffee.

Where else can we find your work?  Are you doing any craft fairs this year? 
I really don’t do much craft shows and have focused on larger fashion trade shows for the wholesale market. I’ve shown my line at Magic in Las Vegas for the past 3 shows and will show again in August.

Where can we learn more about you?  
You can see more of my work at www.bellastarr.com,http://www.pinterest.com/mvanhamer/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bellastarrhats. I currently don’t have a blog with not having enough time in the day to write. I’m hoping to hire someone in the future to handle my social media

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