Tell us a bit about yourself.
When I’m not being Queen, I go by Claire and live in a cozy house in Columbus, Ohio with my husband and mad pack of critters. We have too much fun which leaves little time for all the home improvement projects I scheme up.
What first made you want to become an artist and/or crafter?
Without art, life would be so dull. As Neil Gaiman says, "The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before." I'm a lifetime crafter. Ever since I can remember, I've been busily and enthusiastically participating in my mother's crafting schemes.
What are your favorite products to make?
Accessories. I love the idea of someone wearing my stuff out in public and brightening the day up.
Where does your shop name come from?
A Decemberists song. Its perfectly irreverant
What inspires you?
Sunshine, good music, unexpected turns of phrases, carefree folks, genius friends, pretty colors, graffiti, just about anything really.
How do you describe your design style?
The more color, the better! Neutrals may be more sophisticated, but I like the exuberance of the bright.
What are your business goals and vision?
To have fun and make a few things that never were before. I have a job in the nonprofit world so this shop is more too make money to spend on the wide range of etsy items I can't seem to do without.
What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I love the hairpins cause they make it so easy to add fun and whimsy to an outfit. I also adore the felt bouquets cause I really adore fresh flowers but can’t afford to have them throughout the house all the time. They are a great way to keep my favorite vases out and a bit of color here and there.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I’m a complete book worm. I have to have three going at once and a mountain of books by my bedside so I can start a new one as soon as I finish the one in my hands. I’m a mean baker and a very curious girl. My real job is fundraising for a charity that feeds people in need. It's wonderfully rewarding. I get to be the bridge between those who want to help and those who need it.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A quilt my mum made me when I turned 16. Its all kinds of beautiful golds, midnight blues, and tans with stars throughout. Its getting a bit shabby around the edges now, but I really adore it and refuse to stop using it. If the house was burning down and all my loved ones and critters were already safe, I’d be grabbing that quilt on my way out.
In ten years I'd like to be...
Just as happy as I am now.
And cause I cannot resist adding a bit of whimsy to end this, can I also share a much-loved poem?
CASSEL ROAD by Sandra Maddux-Creech
the rabbits actually danced
on their hind legs
in the smoky moonlight
all about the black fields
and gray gravel road
staring us down
in the trail of our headlights
How dare we come there?
we drove backward
for two miles
To see more of Bandit Queen's fun, flirty felt creations, visit her Etsy shop here.