Big news! In support of the Shop Small® movement, we’re excited to announce that the next round of our Meet the Maker series will be presented by American Express. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring eight incredible businesses right here on Brit + Co. First up? Jen Murse of SF-based plastique*. She makes laser cut acrylic and enamel jewelry… and we are BIG fans. We’ve been hooked since we first laid on this hashtag necklace. #obsessed!
And guess what? Jen will be joining us at Re:Make on September 13th. Read on as Jen fills us in on her making process, her sources of inspiration, and more!
First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a graphic designer obsessed with colors, geometry, miniature toys, artisanal coffee and the San-X character Rilakkuma. I grew up in San Francisco and after living in Los Angeles for over 13 years, I finally made my way back to the Bay Area. I’m kind of a workaholic and I’m definitely OCD (as I find a lot of designers to be). I love grid systems and organization.
Why did you decide to start plastique*?
I had been working as an interactive graphic designer for a number of years and I was tired of all my work living in a virtual space. I wanted to create tangible objects so I started laser cutting jewelry as a hobby. plastique* as a brand, happened as a result of my hobby going viral via various websites and blogs.
In five words or less, tell us why you love to make.
Making just makes sense.
What does the making process look like for you?
Sometimes I sit down and formally sketch. Sometimes I doodle an idea with my finger on my phone. Sometimes I just go straight to the computer and open Illustrator. It all depends. I go back and forth a lot between pen and paper and the computer. Once my designs are close to finished, I laser cut samples in various colors and sizes. Then, I cut more, add all the jewelry parts needed and the pieces come to life!
We LOVE your laser cut designs! Where do you get your inspiration?
I love geometry and math. I actually wanted to major in math at one point but realized I would never have a fun job as a result of that! My love of numbers and shapes stuck with me and comes through in my design work. I love clean lines and minimal design. I also love color. Bold color. I get a lot of inspiration from just walking around. There’s a lot to see if you wander the streets, whether it’s in your own neighborhood or across the world.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Keep at it. It’s not always easy or glamorous, but it’s always worth it.
What other creative hobbies do you have?
I like to dabble in baking because I have a sweet tooth.
Tell us how technology has changed and supported what you do.
Technology is changing constantly and it’s exciting to see how it continues to help shape what I am able to do. It’s all about adapting and growing as technology changes. Most of my jewelry is laser cut, so without the technology of laser cutting machines I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. And now with social media, I have been able to get my jewelry in front of many more faces than I ever could have in the past.
What’s up next for you?
I have always loved stationery and have been rather obsessed with it since childhood. Back to school shopping was the best thing about the end of summer. A few months ago, I launched a sister brand to plastique* called Paper Trail. It’s a collection of modern stationery goods. I have been working very hard to get that underway and now I plan to bring both brands to craft shows this summer.
Have you fallen in love with Jen yet? Then don’t forget! She’ll be joining us at Re:Make in SF on September 13th. Stop by to snag a few (or more) of her rad pieces!
This series is a collaboration with American Express. Visit the Shop Small® website to learn about how you can take part in Shop Small, a movement to celebrate small business.