An Interivew with Elle Boudreau Designs…

1) What is it that you make? Why? How Did you get Started doing it?

“I make jewelry out of upcycled beads. They’re kind of Frankenstein pieces: I take apart old jewelry to create new, unique pieces. And I’m just now starting to look for sustainably sourced sterling silver to use in my work. (I use only new headpins, earwires, etc., because I think it would be a little yucky to stick a piece of metal inside your ear that has been around for fifty-plus years!) I started making jewelry when I was fourteen when I got a weekend job at a clay and bead shop around the corner from my house in Vermont. Soon I was running the shop on my own, making custom orders and teaching other people how to make their own jewelry. I loved it! It has stuck with me ever since. But only recently did I decide to “make money” by selling my work.

Why use recycled/upcycled materials? Well, the obvious reason is that I wish to minimize impact on our environment. We have so much material available to reuse, why not take advantage of it? But actually, the more compelling reason for me to make new jewelry out of old jewelry has to do with themes of heritage, history, and the excitement of giving new life to old objects. Every bead has a story. (Corny, I know, but true!) When I use beads from several different necklaces to make, say, a pair of earrings, I’m combining the stories from different people’s lives. Who wore that necklace? What memories did they create while wearing it? Why did they get it in the first place – a gift? Found on the street? And why did they get rid of it? Death? Got bored? It went out of fashion? Plus, it’s fun to convert what are often ugly jewelry items into new, beautiful pieces. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found a necklace at a thrift store, picked it up and thought, “Ooo! Those little brown beads between the blue ones are gorgeous!” Another person might look at the same necklace and think, “Gosh, what a hideous blue necklace.”

2) What is it that drives you to create? Have you always been an artist/crafter?

“I’ve been involved in makery of some sort ever since I can remember. It takes different forms – I used to make clothes for my dolls; I trained in classical piano for twelve years; I used to create elaborate homes and villages for fairies in the woods outside my house; and I also spent several years thinking I wanted to be a photographer. Currently I’m obsessed with knitting. It always changes. The act of creation never gets boring, no matter what medium you’re working with.”

3) What are your plans for your etsy business-and what do you hope it will do for you in 2011?

“My plans for my Etsy business are to actually make it a business, with a capital B. My theme word is: LEGITIMATE. My main priority right now is increasing my inventory, so that I can put items into some of the local boutiques I’ve been invited to display work in. I just got my first business cards in the mail last week, so that’s a step in the right direction! I also currently have a blog at that I update almost daily. Getting involved in the Etsy and blog communities has be incredibly inspiring. I feel so lucky to be in contact with so many talented and creative people!”

‘elleboudreau’ by nomadcraftsetc


















Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.


One response to “An Interivew with Elle Boudreau Designs…

  1. Pingback: Milk, please. No sugar. | thesoftspace

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