*How did you get into jewelry design?
I was always supported creatively as a kid by my punk rock artist mom. She was (and still may be) one of the most creative people I know. She would make jewelry out of scrap metal she would find on the street. I've always made jewelry & accessories for myself. After being a professional hair stylist from age 18 through 27 I was ready for a change of pace. The universe just steered me in the right direction.
* A large number of your designs are based on the concept of "memento mori" - could you explain what this means?
My Taxidermy Couture™ line is where you'll find all the -Memento mori which in latin means "Remember you must one day die". It names a genre of artistic creations that vary widely from one another, but which all share the same purpose, to remind people of their own mortality and the punishment they will receive if they transgress the rules of their religion. A phrase that has had a tradition in art that dates back to antiquity. I personally am not trying to remind people of their punishment when they die. In fact, I don't believe in organized religion at all. I went to catholic school from kindergarten to 7th grade. I was forced to go to church every Sunday until I left home at age 17. Upside- churches have amazing art. It had an effect on me as far as what I like esthetically. I took that initial inspiration and gave it a modern twist with mediums such as Animal bones/skulls, teeth & up-cycled vintage fur. At first my work was very Victorian/goth, but as the past 2 years have progressed I have moved into a more modern and simple yet still bold esthetic.
*When you are in design mode, what inspires you?
I work from home so I'm always in design mode. I find life distracting so I tend to listen to music loudly... that's always inspiring. The music I listen to definitely effects how & what I design. Last year I watched all of the Ancient Alien series on netflix and it changed my life! I am so interested in the universe & all its secrets. The pyramids still can't really be explained. It inspired me to use mediums such as brass triangles and raw crystals. Anything can inspire me & it often does.
* Can you briefly describe your design/creation process?
I tend to hunt for the materials first... I'm like a squirrel collecting nuts for the winter! I Love hunting for the right pieces, which is hard to explain because I usually don't design anything until I'm surrounded by objects and I just see it. Sometimes I'll have something for a year before I use it... but eventually everything finds its home. It doesn't end there either, my husband and I are photographers so after designing a piece I get to shoot it & set the mood. I put all of myself into everything I do, and I think that shows in my online store.
*Do you stay cognizant of current trends when designing your jewelry?
I suppose subconsciously I must. Living in San Francisco I'm surrounded by different styles & Hip people. I know what I like & what I'm not feeling. I have always been someone that wants to personalize popular styles that are overdone and make them fresher, more me. Putting my own spin on everything, while stumbling onto original ideas are what make me a designer.
*What was the first piece that you ever created?
Ever? I could never remember that! But I made this rabbit foot & Shark tooth necklace for my husband (we had just started dating at the time) for his birthday & he flipped over it. He really encouraged me to try and sell my jewelry to the public. The first piece I ever sold was an alligator tooth necklace. I wrapped the tooth in a filigree brass stamping & filled the hollow tooth with swarovski crystal rhinestones. It sold the first day I listed it for sale!
*Do you have plans to expand your current product line? (tshirts, etc)
As a matter of fact my husband JD and I are working on a Tshirt line called Modern Regalia. Screen printing is my new favorite thing to do.
*Celebrities seem to have a major influence on fashion these days. Who are some celebs with great style in your opinion? And/Or If you could style one celebrity with your designs who would it be?
I don't follow to many Actors (unless they are in character in a film or TV show) but from what I know they all have stylists anyway. I guess if I liked a celebrities style I would look into who styled them & follow their stylist instead. Now musicians, that's another story. I Love Allison Mossharts style, I'd love to see her in some of my work. Karen O is another fav. I don't really listen to any of Lady Gagas music, but I'd love to be on her styling team.
*How often do you introduce new designs into your collection?
Often. I think I added 20 new designs this month alone. It all depends on my mood. 14 of those where OOAK (one of a kind) 11 of them Taxidermy based. I've been making a lot more non taxidermy jewelry these days too, I don't believe in limiting myself as an artist. I make a new piece every time one pops into my head. I can't not make jewelry at this point, I'm addicted. Its my full time job, its what I do.
*How would you describe your personal style?
Rock n Roll, Neo Punk, Hippie Gypsy... with touches of Goth/Vamp? I have my pin-up girl days too. I Love fashion. I love trying new things, and incorporating old favorites with new favorites. I love mismatching pieces that just work together. I guess you could say "Hipster"- it wouldn't offend me at all. Its so funny how offended hipsters get being called out. There is no real solid definition of what a hipster is to my knowledge, but in my mind its a person who is hip and willing to take fashion risks to express themselves, right? Whats so offensive about that? It's everyday modern hipsters in major cities that decide whats "in style" anyway. Most big designers these days just jump on the coattails of today's youth and jack up the price. My personal style is an extension of myself. It's Marya Zoya.
* How do you acquire the animal bones that you use in your designs?
I only use materials from animals that have died of natural causes, found in the wild.
*What is your all time favorite piece so far that you've created?
Oh that's an impossible question to answer! I love them all. But living in California, I am very attached to all of my antler smoking pipe necklaces I've made. Great for afternoons in the park with friends. I guess that's the hippie in me coming out. But I wear my Solid brass 2" spike with raw crystal necklace almost everyday.
*Describe your typical customer/the girl that you are designing for.
Well because of my De Frisco Regalia Facebook page I get to see a lot of the girls who order from me online... I'd have to say most are tattooed babes! Its also a great feeling when I have brides buy hair pieces for there weddings, its the ultimate compliment. I design for myself ALWAYS and because my personal style is so all over the place, so are my ladies. My girls are edgy, badass and everything in between. I love my customers!