We had the good fortune of connecting with Janine Schafer and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Janine, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My artistic career kind of found me. I went to school for Criminal Justice and for my Paralegal certificate, but after working in the field I wasn’t entirely happy. I always tried different crafts but did not succeed at them. So much, that I used to tell people that I wasn’t artistic. My mom Joanne Brunetti retired to Florida and tried to start a jewelry business with a friend but when things didn’t work out, she came home with a lot of supplies and insisted we do something with them. I resisted. But after going to craft fairs and seeing the kinds of items that were out there, I was intrigued. One, a Día De Los Muertos themed fair, was so inspiring that I decided I wanted to be part of it the following year.
I began by making beaded spiders. I also took a class at a local bead shop and started wire wrapping. After going to lots of craft fairs and festivals, I had seen all sort of art and beautiful jewelry. However, it wasn’t the style I wanted to create. I love skulls and wanted to incorporate them into my wire wrapping. With encouragement from my friends, I started creating more. I started attending fairs and festivals as a vendor and the response from customers was amazing.
As it turns out I am artistic, I just needed to find my calling.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I like to create wearable art by incorporating and repurposing items that you would not necessarily look at and think, that’s beautiful. I am most excited about the beauty I am creating and how my business and skills are constantly changing and evolving. It’s not been easy to change careers and learn to have confidence in creating a new business. But the very positive feedback I have received from customers and potential customers while showcasing my wares has been so reassuring. I’m proud of who I’ve become and the journey I’ve taken.

As for my brand, it’s all about creating something different and unique and challenging what people can consider as jewelry.

My spent bullet shell collection is a great simple, classic, everyday item. The wire wrapped stones and fossils are great dress-up pieces. The bone and stones are high fashion, edgy, statement pieces sure to spark conversation. I’ve always been attracted to skulls and my jewelry is about embracing the beauty of nature.
Stones and fossils are a passion of mine and I hand pick every single stone that I work with. Each piece is one of a kind. Even if the design is a recreation, it will always be different. The wire wrapping that I prefer is a simple classic design to highlight their natural beauty.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Seeing as I only moved here two and a half years ago from Colorado, I’ve had many friends come visit. I take them to Old Town Spring, as I love all the fun shops and we usually have lunch at Corkscrew BBQ. We also take a day trip to Galveston to enjoy the great architecture, eclectic shops and of course the beach. Seeing as I live in the Woodlands on the drive to Galveston, a stop at Buc-ee’s is a MUST. Everyone has to have the Buc-ee’s experience! The Museum of Nature and Science is great as the curation is wonderful. I would love to explore all the museums in and around Houston. Another one of my favorite places to take people is Deacon Baldy’s as we don’t really have food truck parks in Colorado. I’ve enjoyed exploring my new home with friends that come to visit.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family and friends have been so supportive and encouraging. I have some of the most amazing people in my life. I also have great support and feedback from my customers. 4 People stand out the most.
My mom Joanne Brunetti, my business partner pushed me to start the business. She has been with me every step of the way. From shopping for materials, to talking through creating new ideas, to helping me gain new skills. She’s helped me to embrace my unique sense of what can be beautiful.
My husband Nathan Schafer has encouraged me to pursue what makes me happy and has financially supported us as we took on this new venture. He also loves my designs and is insanely proud of every accomplishment I have made.
My best friend Annie MacMackin is a very magnetic person with an amazing fashion sense. She has been instrumental with her encouragement. From loving my pieces at the very beginning, which gave me the courage to continue, to helping me create my logo and setting up my online presence.
My sister-in-law Jeneviere Brunetti for her love of dead things has opened my eyes to the beauty of the dead. She has made such an impact in inspiring me to create my bone collection.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whimsyskull/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhimsySkull

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