Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Artist Interview: Bonga-Chop Designs

Bonga-Chop Designs 

Star Trek Wallet

What type of work do you sell on Etsy?
I make one of a kind clothing and accessories from recycled vintage materials. I use anything from curtains, tablecloths, and tea towels; but my favorite textiles are children's bedsheets from the 1980s and before.

Describe your creative process.
I always start with the fabric and decide what style of dress will best feature the print. I also do custom orders in which case the customers dictates my choices. I love the entire process of sewing an item and enjoy making every dress. Each one is different and I find it exciting to give the fabric new life and a new purpose. 

How has living in New Orleans inspired you?
Snow White Pinup Dre
I would never have learned to make clothing if I hadn't moved to New Orleans. I came here 6 years ago and my first job was working in a dress shop on Magazine Street. I met Mark and Heather, of Unique Products, and was inspired by the lamps and clocks they make from discarded Mardi Gras beads. They have both shown me how to be a successful artist and have inspired me to take chances in my art and to use recycled fabrics whenever possible.   
Star Wars Baby Dress
The open mindedness of the people in New Orleans is also inspiring. They love art and creativeness. It is easy to create in a city that embraces art in any medium.

Do you have any new projects or products on the horizon?
Always. I have recently begun sewing full time and have taken on orders for custom wedding dresses. I am currently working on dresses for 4 local ladies and am excited by these opportunities. I am also constantly making new patterns and have recently begun to make children's clothing as well.

Where can we find your products in the New Orleans area, besides online?
I sell my women's clothing and accessories at 2038 Magazine Street and I also sell my children's clothing at Zuka Baby, 2124 Magazine Street. I would like to expand to sell my items somewhere in the French Quarter and Uptown but as of yet have been too busy to do so.

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