Just wait to you meet the lovely woman in today's hot seat! Actually, you may know her already, or at least her textile jewelry. She's Maria of the fantasic shop, kjoo, on etsy. Maria's creations always grab my eye whenever I see them in treasuries, gift guides, or the front page. And is it any wonder? GORGEOUS! So, imagine my delight when Maria agreed to have a little "chat" and answer my nosey questions.
Thanks for joining me today, Maria. Let's start with the simple stuff. Tell us a little about you and your family.
My name is Maria João Ribeiro, I live in Palmela, Portugal in a 100 years old house, with my husband my cats rita and artur and the newest member of the family eva (the dog).
Tell us a little bit about how you got started. What made you start your craft? Can you remember the first piece of jewelry you made? Did you have any formal training?
I like to create "things" with my hands since I remember. In about tree years ago when finished my degree in Graphic Design was looking for something to do professionally along with some commissioned works on the graphic design area. I came across the handmade felt in the hut up website and thought this was the perfect material for me. I always loved fabrics and textiles in general, but my approach to this medium was always more like a sculptor then a fashion designer, so the results was not as satisfactory as I expected. With the artesian felt is totally different. After the basics skills have been learned the fun of creating with total freedom begin. The crochet came as a complement to felt, my grandmother tough me the basic skills when I was a child and I rediscover it to join it with felt 3 years ago. Ever since its been a continuously learning and experimenting different combinations. This was the first bracelet I made in felt.
What material or equipment would you be lost without?
My wools threads and crochet hook. I carry some always around.
Night owl or early bird? At what time of the day (or night) are you most creative?
I am more creative at night. Usually in the morning I am good executing things that I have organized late the day after. My creativity becomes more alive while the hours of the day pass by...
How did you come up with the name of your business?
The name kjoo (pronounced as "Key Djoo") was born accidentally.When testing some type lettering for a graphic design work. I typed some random letters and realize that I like the "shapes" of letters together, google it, and did not find anything about this word -kjoo-. So though it was a good name, small and pretty. I have been told that it means -today- in Japanese but still not sure.
Do you buy handmade? If so, what are the top three items on your wish list right now?
Yes. At the moment, there are some renovations going on in my house, so there are an extensive list of illustrations to color up the walls.
I will to buy an original illustration from Jenny I am planning on ordering a pastel portrait of me and my husband, to hang in my living room.
Something like this. (...oh, I LOVE that!)
One or two illustrations from Matte Stephens, I just didn´t figure it out which ones I am going to purchase, since I love most of them.
and finally I need a ring from Colleen Baran. (that's beautiful!)
I'd love to hear a little about you as a child. When you were younger, who did you dream of being?
I dreamt of being a Fashion designer, painter, illustrator, sculptor, or something related with creating things, with my hands. Not so often, a story tailor, scientist, astronaut.
What do you love to do when your not working on your business?
I love to travel, and do it as much as I can. Long walks with my husband and eva, petting my 2 cats...
I've noticed that many creative-types love learning new skills. Is there a new craft would you love to learn?
There are several new crafts I would like to learn, but in a short time period I would like to learn how to knit properly.
And finally, when you head out the door, what do you take with you? Name five things in your handbag.
Apart from the keys and the wallet:
crochet hook and thread
Maria, thanks again for joining me today. I just loved reading more about you and how you do what you do!