Sunday, August 16, 2009

Member Interview-Melt Briana

Todays interview is with Brianna of MeltBrianna

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of

The name of my shop was inspired by an amazing band named Melt Banana. I had my Flickr account under the name of Melt Brianna, and I always liked the sound of it; plus the reference always made me smile. :) I've been on Etsy for a couple of years. I had another shop before this one, but I started new with Melt Brianna. It has been a complete pleasure since!

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start
creating them?

I mostly sell reconstructed and one of a kind clothing and accessories from all recycled materials. Sometimes I'll have some original illustrations and prints, and I also sell a bit of screen printed shirts and vintage finds. All in all it's a bit of an eclectic mix, but I like it because it keeps the store unexpected and interesting for me (and hopefully visitors!)

I've been making things with my hands for as long as I can remember. There has always been a stubborn and curious side to me that motivated me to learn how to do things myself. Also, being very frugal helped because I'd turn to d.i.y. to save a buck or two. Honestly though, so many things constantly inspired me and still do inspire me to create the things I do. From promoting sustainability to having a slight thrift store obsession, creating things has always been an outlet that made me equally as happy as riding my bike- and that's REALLY happy! Anytime that I can escape into my mind and come back with a fun creation as a souvenir is my favorite time!

Being able to rely on my own skills and those of community members is such an inspiration in itself. The day where we all make our own things and grow our own food is the best day one can ask for. Being able to be self sustainable and loving in one's community is the ultimate motivation and inspiration to me.

Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

I work in my community to promote more radical ideas and lifestyles. Every Sunday I volunteer with Food Not Bombs, and we make delicious vegan meals for anyone that is hungry. The best part is, for anyone who is not familiar with FNB, all the food we get is the groceries that would otherwise be thrown away. FNB to the rescue! I totally encourage anyone to look for a Food Not Bombs chapter in their area and get involved in some way.

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

Oh man, where to begin. I think my favorite thing about Etsy is the opportunity to find other artists and connect with them. There are so many talented hands on Etsy, and everyday that I visit the site I am blown away by all the creativity. I've made some really good friends off of this site, and it has opened up many doors in terms of things going on in my community that I didn't know where there before. I also really love the clean and simple design of the site; it's so appealing to the eye.. almost calming. I remember the first time I came upon Etsy, I was thinking, "No way! This is too good to be true! Handmade all the time? YES!" It's so cool to just be a part of it on the Etsy site. :)

Do you sell your items outside of etsy, either online or in retail shops?

Aside from Etsy, I've sold my items at different festivals and events in my community. Last weekend I was vending at Clit Fest, a traveling celebration of womyn in the hardcore scene. I've also vended at events organized by the new and awesome crafting group in Orange County called the Handmade Brigade. They are planning a Speakeasy event in September that I'll be participating in.

Have you been featured anywhere?

My Pot Holder Patty top has been featured in the Storque once, and I've been on the front page once. Also, some awesome blogs have been ever so kind to feature me.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

Yeah, I have a lot of plans! First off, I'm working on making more designs in bigger sizes. I constantly have new ideas for designs, and I can't wait until they are executed and put into the shop so I can see how it is welcomed.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?

I love riding my bike with a strong passion. I'll hop on and be gone for the day! I also love organizing in my community and going to events that promote equality and justice. I love cooking! I'm pretty good and baking vegan treats, and I plan to get better at cooking yummy meals for my family, friends, and I. I'm always down for a new recipe. Also, a huge interest of mine is the fine arts. That is what I'm studying and it has been my passion for some time now. Once in a while I post a painting or drawing in my Etsy shop. If you ever want to see my work, I'd love to show it to anyone. I'm shooting for a website in the near future.

Do you have any animal companions?

Yes, my family and I have one lovely cat. I hate to bring this up, but we had another beautiful friend named shadow, but he was hit by a car about a year ago. It was a moment I'd like to forget, but our love for him is still persistent in our memories.

Do you have any websites besides your shop that you would like to tell us

I have a myspace ( that I use to introduce myself to other interested people. I also have a blog that I should update more, but I'm getting better at it, haha. (
Also, my flickr is always there to be friends with anyones eyes (
How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

Hmm, I'd say my favorite vegan things are zines that I'v found at events in my community. People put together really awesome zines about the vegan lifestyle; I love it. I'm planning on getting those up on my blog so everyone has access to the wonderfulness. I've also been a big fan of the post punk kitchen, ( My favorite vegan stores are always on Etsy. The Vegan Etsy team is so awesome and so varied, that I can get so many different things of greatness from team members. Also, there is this wonderful restaurant that I've recently fallen for in Southern California Orange County area. It's called That's Amore, and it's an all vegan friendly italian restaurant. Growing up in a Sicilian family, that kind of place to eat was out of this world for me. If you're in the area, I strongly encourage you to go!

I also think VeganThis.Org is a great site. The information and opportunities to help out animal activist are very important and valuable to have access to.

What are your favorite foods?

Oh dear, lets see. I've recently been drooling over a good vietnamese hot pot. An extra spicy one loaded with rice noodles and veggies galore. mmmm. Really though, I can honestly eat beans and rice everyday. Every rice and bean plant fit to eat and growing from the ground is a friend of mine. I also have a bog sweet tooth, so vegan cupcakes get my every time! On a healthier note, I love the crunchy love I get from a crazy salad adorned with many good and raw plants. Basically, if it's vegan and made with love, I will most definitely have a tough time NOT loving it. Oh food, how I love you.

Is there anything else you would like to add or share?

I love the Vegan Etsy Team!! Vegans have super powers; it's true!

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