Friday, October 18, 2013

Artist/Vendor Profile: Art and Judy Cortez

Name: Art & Judy Cortez
Company name: Just Chime In
Location: Yacolt, Washington

Your products/projects:
Tableware wind chimes; Spoon bracelets and rings, Tableware necklaces and earrings; Beaded 'finger' bracelets; Beaded hair Accessories; Beaded figurine animals; Beaded car 'mirror mates'; duct tape wallets; Beaded figure pendants (magnets, pins and barrettes combs), Tableware key chains, Beaded rings. We used to make wine cork boards that were very beautiful but didn't market well.

Green "Cred"
Creative reuse, Handmade, Durable, Made in the USA, Recyclable packaging, Recycled content product, Recycled content packaging, Reusable, Reusable packaging, Reused materials, Locally sourced materials, recycled hand made price tags

Why is "green" important to you?
Our planet has way too many thrown away, perfectly good and reusable products! We are always on a "treasure" hunt for more materials that we can repurpose for our crafts. Also, we find that so many people who buy our products feel the same way. Re-use of retail items seems to just increase our passion to make new beautiful products from them, as well as refashioned price tags and reused grocery bags. When possible, we find used jewelry pieces, take them apart and utilize even the findings (clasps, chains).

Your origin story?
We began making wind chimes about 13 years ago in California using a few beads and refashioned silver plated tableware as just a hobby - a few handmade gifts for family and friends. Boldly, we sought out local venues in which to sell them as we built up our inventory - almost all supplies come from second hand stores. Over the years, we perfected our craft, craftsmanship, and designs - making the wind chimes more weather durable and creatively made. It was from patrons asking us if we had: spoon rings, spoon bracelets, and necklaces that spurred us on to develop those items. Also, when the economy became depressed, we began making items that were more affordable.

Your inspiration?
It seems that I am bombarded with inspiration and ideas! The more I pursue new crafts to make, the more ideas just spring up when I'm in the midst of doing anything else throughout the year. Our hobby-business has become my main focus and passion. I love to create new crafts - any idea is worth exploring and trying. My husband, Art and I work very well together - without his engineer skills, much of what we make and sell wouldn't be durable. Recently, I've begun to sketch and will probably start utilizing acrylics more often. One of my recent ideas came from looking at a department store ad and visualizing making my own version of a beaded product.

Your heroes?
My personal hero is Art, my husband, best friend, main cheerleader and support. It seems to be his goal in life to make me happy and my life more comfortable! We have 3 dogs who keep our hearts happy and funny bones well used! Our families are also very important to us.

Favorite celebrities?
Good question: my favorite singer is Josh Groban - he has an amazing voice. If he thought our products were works of art - I think I'd feel so very honored. Our goal is to sell as many of our products to local folks - to see their faces light up when they look at them, is very satisfying. More and more, people are beginning to appreciate the true value of finding treasures amongst the glut of NEW products at retail prices. Who doesn't like a treasure hunt?

Anything else?
Hey, most of us local craft vendors truly love our crafts. Creativity is in all of us and it becomes our artistic passion when visited often! If profit is the main goal, then one should look for a job instead.

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