I'm so so so very excited about this month's featured sponsor, Zoe from Pretty Zoo! Not only is her blog chock full of inspiring bits and bobs, but her new jewelry venture is absolutely stunning. It doesn't hurt that she's a total babe and sweetheart either! Zoe is here to answer a few quick questions for all of you Honeybees and she's going to share a super rad giveaway at the bottom, too! Be sure to click through and see just how adorable and talented she is for yourself, and then enter to win! xo
You're quite the world traveler, are you not? What's it like to move internationally?
It's amazing!! Moving with my boyfriend from New Zealand to Germany was a huge and slightly scary step, but an awesome challenge! We learnt some German, travelled around Europe a bit, and experienced living with a completely different language and culture. We lived there for almost a year, then moved to London a couple of months ago which was so exciting, and I'm absolutely loving it here!
Pretty Zoo is the name of your blog and new jewelry line. How did the name come about?
I'm not 100% sure!! I love animals and pretty things, so I think I just combined the two! I also like how it kinda references my name with the letter Z, and the idea of my blog and shop as a collection of pretty things in a place people can visit (like a zoo!) II'm a bit torn about zoo's; I love them, but I hate the enclosures.
How did you decide you wanted to get into making jewelry?
I've wanted to make jewellery for a while now, and have had little ideas brewing in my head. Then when I was in Germany working as a design freelancer, I'd find myself with spare time so I decided it was now or never! I did alot of planning and developing, and finally launched my shop in September after we had moved to London.
Your pieces are undeniably gorgeous, and incredibly unique! Where did the inspiration for your work come from?
Aww! Thankyou! The inspiration for my jewellery came from my love for the Old World, vintage ephemera, botany, natural history, and explorers! I'm obsessed with the idea of cabinets of curiosities and adventurers setting off on long expeditions and discoveries, so my jewellery has a strong antique/explorer influence.
You're also a graphic designer and illustrator! How fun! Have you always been an incredibly creative (and talented!) gal?
I love making things! I'm project obsessed, and I can't stick to just one or two creative outlets! I was pretty arty growing up, and ever since I could I've studied art, drawing, design, photography and other creative subjects. I always wanted to have a creative career- I went through phases of wanting to be an Art Teacher, Tattooist, Architect, Artist, Fashion Designer, Interior Designer, Photographer... they all seem so fun! :)
What's a typical day like in the life of Zoe?
My typical day has recently changed dramatically!! For the past year it was pretty much just working on freelance design and illustration work, designing blogs and print work for Freckled Nest, developing my jewellery, blogging on Pretty Zoo and dreaming up creative projects. But, as of last week, I am employed full-time! And I mean FULL time! My days currently look a bit like this: Up at 6.30am, on the bus at 7.30am, two train changes and then I'm at work a little after 8.30am. I work with an amazing team of really passionate, hard-working and incredibly lovely and fun people, designing prints and garments for leading high street retailers like Topshop and ASOS. (It's a dream come true!!!) Lunch is had at my desk, and I leave sometime between 6.30 and 8.30pm. I'm usually home after an hour, then I have some dinner with the boy while we chat about our days. Then at about 9.30pm I'm onto my computer again to catch up on emails, and most importantly, do design work and emails for my Freckled Nest clients. I try and get to bed by midnight, then it's up again early in the morning!
Who are some people that inspire you on a daily basis?
I'm most inspired by people who are passionate about what they do, or what they're working towards. I'm inspired by Leigh-Ann and Kyla of Freckled Nest, they've built an amazing little design company and are incredibly smart and talented. Also Elsie of Red Velvet who seems to be living the dream! I love Bri from Design Love Fest too, she's a great designer and a stylish, smart lady! And I really admire Kaelah for making her Honeybean dream come true! I'm so happy for her :)
Let's daydream for a minute. If you could write your life story, where would you write yourself 5 years from now? 10? 20?
Five years from now, I'd maybe still be living in London, designing up a storm and having adventures! After ten years, I would've travelled around the UK and Europe, as well as a road trip around the States, a visit to Canada, and would possibly be back in New Zealand, either creating for kick-ass clients or having my own shop! Or both! And after twenty? I've never thought about that, but there'd probably be some babies along the way by then, eeek I can't think that far into the future!! ;)
Where else can the lovely Honeybees find you online?
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Do you just love her yet? Right?! So in honor of this super rad feature, Zoe is giving away an original pattern illustration, set under glass in a hand-stained wooden frame! It's 100% one of a kind as it features the original drawing. Swoon! And here is how you can enter to win:
Visit Zoe's shop, Pretty Zoe (Here's the Etsy version, too), and tell me your very favorite piece in her shop! Then just leave a comment below (with your email spelled out!).
For extra entries, do the following and leave a separate comment for each!
+ Follow Zoe's blog
+ Follow Zoe on Twitter
+ Tweet/Tumblr about the giveaway and include a link (tag @kaelahbee and @zoeweir)
+ Blog about the giveaway and include a link
That's 5 ways to win! A winner will be drawn next Thursday!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥The winner of the group giveaway last week was: Comment #24 Mih.aela!
If you're interested in being the Featured Sponsor of January (or any month in 2012!), shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Sponsor page for more info! Book by the end of the month to get $30 off!