I started making wings when I was 15. I went to a performing arts high school in Milwaukee which fed the flame for not only my creativity, but also my expression of rebellion. I can see you scratching your head at the connection.
My school had strict regulations for dress code. Skirts had to reach a certain length, shoulder straps had to be a certain width. Anything on your head was subject to scrutiny. No midriff, no bare backs, no offensive tees (and that’s a very subjective phrase).
However, there was nothing in the codes saying fairy wings were prohibited. So, on several occasions, I wore my handmade wings to school. That was my rebellion.
I did that a lot – rebelled through logical stand points. I did nothing “wrong” per say, just pushed the envelope for what was “acceptable.” My rebellion was backed up by carefully researched facts and plotted arguments. I can do this because… That is incorrect because…
And that is how my venture into fairy costumes came about.
Fast forward to college; I started exploring different methods beyond the nylon-coat hanger style and people started showing an interest in pairs for themselves. I opened up shop, figuratively. Most of what I did was by word of mouth. I kept sketchbooks close by for ideas throughout the day. My early work was interesting, vague, and some of it a little sloppy.
Two years later, I started doing shows and travelling with the shop. It’s a hard gig to have because there is so much stress involved in travelling, maintaining expenses, and staying ahead of the trend.
That brings me to the nature of this post. The trend has passed me by. I wish I could blame something in particular (**couch**DisneyFairies**cough**) but that’s not quite right. The fairy market has been stretched thin, and it has been a hard realization for me to make this year. Really, I noticed it happening two years ago, but hoped that if I found a way to produce better quality items at a better price, I could stay in the game. What I have been hearing a lot of lately is “She already has three pairs of fairy wings” and “Honey, you already have five tutus at home. You don’t need another one.”
What does that mean for me? Well, the fairy wing business is essentially shutting down. I will not be “mass producing” my items. I will still take custom orders, and the higher quality, one-of-a-kind items will still be in production – but the small, inexpensive, child-oriented wings are out. Also, I will not be selling at live venues. Everything from now on will be virtual markets (i.e. ETSY) and consignment.
That being said, I have a load of wings that I would like to move out of the house, and I’m willing to part with them at a pretty sweet deal to you guys. Use this code WINGS2012 at checkout to get 50% any pair of wings in the shop, with the exception of made-to-order items. I think there’s only one of those. And wings will be uploaded as I have time, so keep checking back to see if there is anything new listed.
So, what happens to Little Green Pixie?
I will still do face painting and private/corporate gigs. The wings and tutus will do one live show a year (Custer Street).
I am going to focus on the design aspect of the business. There are so many designs stuck in my head that I simply haven’t had time to put to paper. I really want to put them all out in the world for you. I am working on a book (or two, or three…and maybe a small ebook somewhere in there, too).
Also, since I began teaching aerial, my perspective has changed. It is so much fun and I love helping others share my passions. The girls I teach are so excited about what they are learning, and that excitement and sense of possibility is infectious. I have been looking at outlets for doing this more in-depth – intensive training and extra programs and whatnot. The circus outlets in my life have been a prevalent source of inspiration for my knitwear designs, so I want to keep the two linked as much as possible.
This is a rather bittersweet post to mark my second blogversary. It has been a fairly interesting and difficult year. We are signing our lease for year three, and have begun serious discussion for what happens after that. What are our plans for next summer? I’m tossing around the ideas of different cities and looking into better programs and venues for my creative talents. Odin is looking at his own future prospects and we are actively trying to bring our goals in line with each other.
In the end, I have a good feeling about this new path. I think it will prove itself in the long run.