Meet-A-Maker ~  April 2015

Cadyn Speziale

Craft: fibers-based beadwork accessories
Day Job: owner of Gathered
Lives In: Blue Mountain in Front Royal, Virginia

Hi there! It's me, Cadyn, owner of gathered. For this April's Meet-A-Maker, and in honor of my *Two-Year Anniversary of opening gathered*, I decided maybe I should tell you a little about my journey. The following is from an interview I did with Sarah Morgan of Hart's Desire Photography last year. Click HERE to see the original interview and all her lovely photos.
~ And scroll down to the bottom for info on signing up for my Bead Embroidery Workshop! ~

Q:   Tell us about yourself and your creative journey up to this point in your life.
A:   I was definitely raised in a creative home: both of my parents are professors at the Savannah College of Art & Design, so my sister Isadora and I grew up with ever-changing walls displaying photographs and paintings by them and their friends. I remember when I was little my mom made me a huge board covered in felt with little felt cut-outs of her own designs that I played with, sticking them onto the board, creating scenes for hours– which is probably where my love for felt and color began. My dad, a landscape photographer, instilled in me a deep appreciation for Nature and seeing things through an observer’s eye. I went to a handful of “art day camps” as a kid and sought out art classes in school, which all led to the obvious choice of going to the college I practically grew up with (SCAD). I'm very lucky to have always been encouraged to explore my creativity.

    I got my BFA in Fiber Arts in 2005, but my passion for bead embroidery goes back even further. As a child, the local artisan bead shop was like a candy store for me. I'd make my own jewelry and wear it proudly to school, my classmates calling me a hippie. (Come to think of it, maybe that was because of my long hair and early declaration of vegetarianism...) In 2002, I weaseled my way into 'Beaded Surfaces', an advanced elective class (thanks to the professor being a longtime family friend), despite the fact I hadn't even taken any of the prerequisites. I got an amazing opportunity to create a beadwork jewelry line for designer Trina Turk’s Spring Fashion show after graduating; I interned with Working Class Studio where one of my designs was picked up and printed on journals sold at Barnes & Noble; then I attempted the near-impossible: making a living solely off my own beadwork. That lasted about a year, haha… While I worked in various food and retail environments to make ends meet (ranging from a small fashion boutique to the natural/alternative health industry), I think I was carrying a seed with me: the idea to open my own shop, selling my work and, more importantly, supporting other local talent.
Q:   Walk us through your creative process. What inspires you?
A:   Oh my gosh, it may be easier to say what DOESN'T inspire me. But, in a nutshell, I’m excited by Nature: the plant and animal worlds; mycology; geology; the land, the sea, the stars; the chemistry of change. I extract designs from either photographs I’ve taken or a culmination of imagery I’ve come across while researching words like “rust” or “constellation.” My sense of color comes from my Color Theorist mom, and my patience for beading comes from my Zen Buddhist dad. My gravitation toward thinking outside the box is energized by my Philosopher sister. My partner, Drew’s, artwork and dedication inspires me– we both tend toward extremely time-intensive processes illustrating abstract ideas. Sometimes I feel like I’m just this sponge-vehicle for other creative energies around me.

Q:   You opened your shop, gathered, two years ago {April 20, 2013}. Tell us about the shop. What made you take the leap to open it?
A:   I’m not sure what ultimately made me decide “This is it, it’s time.” I had taken a break from selling my work for a few years and it was suddenly just necessary to embrace the creative process again. I spent a year doing a self-imposed project of creating one piece of bead work a week, and before I knew it one piece wasn’t enough. I was making two pieces a week (each bracelet involves roughly 6-7 hours of beading, then an additional hour for finishing), on top of still working 30-35 hours a week at the natural foods store. Finally my partner Drew and I decided, after many conversations, breakdowns (on my end), and number-crunching that if I didn’t try this idea of a shop now, I would never do it. We don’t have children yet, so the financial risk seemed worth it. Plus, we grow and forage a lot of our own food, so eating well is a low-cost luxury that Drew makes sure is a priority for us. My mother-in-law Ann lives in Front Royal, so she and her partner David have also been a tremendous help through the whole process.  To test out my idea, I hosted the first incarnation of gathered as an Open Studio sale at our home in December of 2012.

Q:   While you aren't running the shop, or designing and creating jewelry, what could we find you doing?
A:   Eating chocolate! Drew and I also run a raw herbal chocolate business called Immortal Mountain from our inspected home kitchen ( & We sell it online as well as at GatheredBetter Thymes Natural FoodsHappy Creek Coffee & TeaHeritage Hollow Farm StoreFor Goodness Sake, & Natural Mercantile. I also do what I can to help Drew with our forage garden (mainly assisting with harvesting, drying, and preserving), and I LOVE hiking. Good thing we live in the mountains...

Q:   What are your future goals?
A:   I plan on taking Gathered as far as I can, at the very least to a point where it is sustaining us as a family. I’ve already had such a positive, welcoming response from locals and travelers alike that I am so grateful for. I’m excited to say that I’ve gone from supporting about ten artists in the beginning to more than one-hundred now, the vast majority of which are local, or at least Virginian, makers. Drew and I are also discussing expanding Immortal Mountain to include herbal tinctures from our land, as well as dried herbs and plant starts (all of which will be available at gathered in the future…) And I’m of course going to continue with my beadwork. I don’t think it’s possible for me to have just one single focus in life. There’s too much to explore!

What:   ~Meet-A-Maker~
        Bead Embroidery Workshop *
Date:       Monday, April 20
When:     5-7 pm
Cost:        $ 20.00 ($10 deposit required)
Where:     gathered
413 East Main Street
Front Royal, VA 22630

(across from the Visitor Center)

Learn the basics of bead embroidery!
All supplies (and refreshments) will be provided, just bring your imagination. You will complete the first stages of one wearable accessory, leaving it safe at gathered in its final stage overnight, to finish and shape under weights. Your completed piece will be ready to pick up and show off to your friends by the weekend! Space is limited, and reservations are required. Email with 'Beading Workshop RSVP' in your subject line, and drop off your $10 deposit by Thursday, April 16th. Let's bead!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.