Billie Claire and Her Kickass Prints, Cards, and Graphics
When I decided to open up a store, it was going to be just a jewelry store to showcase my work. Then the thought of being a jewelry-making-machine to keep the shelves full made me have mini panic attacks. I've been there before, and as soon as I had to make jewelry I knew I wouldn't want to anymore. Perhaps I have ODD, I dunno.
I started to explore ideas for the store with my daughter, Sophie, and we narrowed down three different types of product we wanted to feature - jewelry (obvi); gems because I fell in love with them because of jewelry making; and rage.
People sometimes think rage is a bad thing. I've been told that rage is unhealthy, that I should be funneling my energy into "positive feelings" so I could lead a happy life. This always confuses me because I love my rage and it drives me. If it were to ever leave, I'm not sure how effectively I'd tackle my goals. Despite the fact that I didn't ask these men (yes it was always men) their opinions about my rage, nor was I seeking advice, it has been given over and over and over. Also, I live a pretty freaking happy life with all of my rage, thank you very much.
Because I felt very misunderstood in regards to my rage, I thought that finding products to fit this part of my brand would be tricky. Turns out it wasn't that hard. It was very much I'll know it when I see it and I saw it within minutes of using a few keywords. I stumbled upon Billie Claire very quickly. I don't want to speak for this wonderful designer, but I suspect she must have some of the daily rage I feel as they are all over her product. Maybe she calls it something else, but to me it's the same thing.
Her product was the first that I put in my shopping cart. As I anxiously awaited for funding for my first purchases, I found myself going back to her store to add more things to my cart. I still haven't purchased everything from her that I want (being patient as my business grows is very hard for me as I want all the beautiful things) but I'll be adding more over time. When I finally was able to hit the "process payment" button, I felt a thrill from being able to buy from other women-owned businesses. In fact, I've become somewhat addicted and would love to have less of my jewelry over time and more product from these amazing businesses. But again, time.
Here is the first print I put into my cart. I don't think I really need to say much more about it other than it encapsulates the root of my rage. I love everything about it: the colors, the simplicity, the way she photographed it, the frame she chose to highlight it. I knew this was a driven woman who knows how to run a business. I sold most of my stock. It's time to re-order.
I also carry some of her cards in my store. My customers are drawn to them and they take them time taking them in.
Here are two of my favorites: You're A Fucking Goddess and FUCK THIS SHIT.
Here's a little info about Billie Claire. I hope you enjoy her work as much as I do!
About Billie Claire
Billie Claire is an illustrator and digital artist, specializing in hand lettering, ink drawings, and graphic design. Her designs range from sweet to salty - well, the saltier the better, in her opinion. She loves making people laugh from the unexpected, and enjoys pairing elegant florals with profanity and sass. Claire (named after her Great Aunt Billie Claire), is originally from northern New Mexico, where she grew up building forts and catching lizards instead of being aware of the MTV magic happening on cable, so please pardon her for her extreme lack of pop culture knowledge. (But she knows a whole lot about native New Mexican plant species and how to get pine sap off your hands. FOR THE WIN.) After going to school in New Orleans and falling madly in love with that city, she spent a decade in Austin, Texas, which is where Billie Claire Handmade was born. She spent the next few years selling at Eastern Market every weekend in Washington, DC, and is now setting up her studio in her new little home in Richmond, Virginia.
I'd love to hear from more of you about your rage and how it drives you. What are some of your outlets? Do you rage knit? Rage write? Please, share your rage stories!