[INTERVIEW] Spotlight on FoxyFunk
Finding fun geek jewelry at an affordable price sometimes feels like the search for the Holy Grail especially when you’re looking for something a little more unique than a Batman necklace. I was super psyched to discover Meredith Funk’s Etsy shop FoxyFunk last fall when someone on Twitter shared her Rebel Starbird necklace. Ever since then, I’ve been a huge fan of her store and it’s the first place I check when I want a new geeky necklace. In fact, you’ve probably seen her work as an accessory in one of my Star Wars outfit of the day posts over the last month.
That’s why I’m really excited that she was willing to stop by and chat a little about her store, her process, and geeky things in general!
Bria (White Hot Room): Hi Meredith! Welcome and thanks so much for agreeing to chat with me today! To start us off, how did you first get involved in fandom?
Meredith (FoxyFunk): I had always been a bit of a “nerd”. In high school nerds weren’t quite as cool as they are now. I even arranged my schedule so I could play video games in the middle of my school day. A few years out of high school, I moved to Denver where I met some really amazing wonderful people that introduced me to Conventions! I had finally found what I never knew I was looking for – unconditional acceptance. Ever since then, my inner nerd has flourished and has no signs of stopping!
WHR: When did you first get into crafting/jewelry making?
Meredith: Long ago in my rambunctious youth, I would be dropped off at the mall and left there for hours with my best friend. We would combine our measly chore earnings and join financial powers to buy amazing jewelry making kits at the toy store. At least, we thought they were amazing… It had always just been something I was capable of doing, I had no idea that it would become anything more.
WHR: What made you decide to open your Etsy shop?
Meredith: After I discovered laser power, some of my first items weren’t jewelry. I only had a few things listed: a Mandalorian Mythosaur coaster set, some Star Wars inspired Magnets and a few other little odds and ends. I was dabbling with jewelry during this time, but was mainly using wood. Once I got my hands on some colorful acrylic and bought our own laser machine, it all skyrocketed from there! I put some Triforce earrings and Sharknado earrings in my Etsy store and they sold well enough to inspire me to let make it grow and grow!
WHR: Most of your pieces are done with a laser, right? How does someone even get started with that? Or do that at all?
Meredith: By pure and amazing chance. My husband is a prop maker and had joined a DIY Makerspace that his friend recommended. It was a workshop full of all sorts of tools, gadgets, classes, and goodies. There was a laser there that he would use to make Jedi Holocrons. Just for fun, he made me some Triforce pendants that I turned into earrings. That is how it all started. Everyone wanted a pair, and then production began. We got our own laser the night before we found out the makerspace was going to close. It was divine how perfect the timing was.
A laser printer is essentially just like any other printer. It hooks up to a computer and we “print” our designs through it. I use CorelDraw to create my designs, which I taught myself to use through awesome and free online tutorials. Using a laser isn’t difficult and I have seen a fair amount of them pop up at libraries and other DIY makerspaces. These are great places to be taught the process and are sometimes even free!
WHR: How does that process differ when you’re creating something like your layer/multi-colored X-men necklaces as opposed to the Imperial cog? Or something detailed like the Loki helmet?
Meredith: You will often catch me staring at a wall so hard, you’d think I was trying to push it over with sheer willpower (though that is just me in my imagination land.) Sometimes I know how to build something from the start. Others give me troubles. The Imperial Cog was actually a tricky design despite being one color/layer. The first one was too fragile, then too thick, then too something else and so on. Most designs go through a prototype phase. Step one is to design, step two is to laser out a prototype, then step three is to refine, alter, fix, scrap, start over, undo, redo, take out, add to, switch this, delete that and so on. I am so happy when it turns out the 1st or second time. That is rare and cherished.
WHR: Do you have a favorite medium to work with?
Meredith: Acrylic is awesome and super versatile. It’s pretty much just a type of plastic and comes in many forms. My favorite thing to do is save up my scrap pieces to make one-of-a-kind earrings or rings and necklaces. I usually stick them onto gears and such, I’m a secret steampunk lover. Should anyone see me at a convention around Colorado, you will find one of these original pieces that sneak in scraps from my New Order necklace, Hawkeye necklace, Triforces, you name it. Reusing and recycling as much as possible is a high priority for my business. I recently started screen printing as well, which has opened up a whole new can of worms! Screen printing is a bunch of fun, but acrylic is my #1.
WHR: What inspires you to make a new design?
Meredith: I’m inspired by the entire world! Lately, I have been obsessed with movie previews. When The Force Awakens trailer came out, I made a New Order pendant necklace. When the Superman v Batman trailer came out, I made complimenting necklaces and keychains. Same thing with Mad Max and I’m working some Suicide Squad items presently. This is happening more and more. I just get so excited about something, I have to start production right away. Customers also inspire me constantly with suggestions and requests. They spawn a fair amount of my cosplay specific items and I love to be a part of adding that special touch to a costume.
WHR: Is there a design that you reeeeally want to make but haven’t figured out the logistics of quite yet?
Meredith: Oh goodness yes! R2-D2. That sucker has been rolling and beeping around in my head for months. I’m not sure whether R2 will be in whole, or just his ‘head’ or what. I do know it will be layered, involve mirrored acrylic and be a necklace… One day R2… One day… (Shakes fist in the air) I think I am really close, I just want it to be perfect. I’m sure that one will have a long prototype stage, but will be worth it!
WHR: What about any projects that you’ll be releasing soon?
Meredith: Right now I will be releasing some Tree Spirit Earrings from Princess Mononoke, a new and improved Wonder Woman necklace, and some Mandalorian Mythosaur Skull earrings and necklaces. I’ve been trying to make at least one item for each of the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy and am getting close! There’s a bunch more in the works, I try to release them as soon as they are perfected!
WHR: What’s your dream goal for FoxyFunk?
Meredith: My immediate goals is to hopefully shed my day job and go full force with FoxyFunk. Once I am able to do that (soon I sure hope!!) I plan on listing at least 3 new items a week, increase my screen printing designs to the max, and become your one stop shop for all your fandom needs! I’d like to be at more conventions here in Colorado, and eventually branch out into other states. The “Con” life is the life for me!
WHR: On a completely different note… how excited are you for new Star Wars movies?
Meredith: I am CRAZY excited! My husband is a professional costumer (match made in heaven!) and our son is a Star Wars trivia master at age 7! We don’t know yet if we will be dressing up, but surely we will each have at least one of our large collection of lightsabers. I’ve always wanted to make a Twi’lek costume, but have a Sith costume as backup. There was a hashtag promo that was #TheForceAges which was to take a picture of yourself 1 year before the release to see how much you’ve changed. You can find me holding up my holocron pendant necklace! We are less than 6 months away… I hope I don’t explode before then!
Me too! It’s going to be a loooong five months.
Thanks again to Meredith for chatting with us! As a special bonus for White Hot Room readers, you can use the coupon code NiceToMeetU for 15% off your FoxyFunk purchase! Be sure to go give her a follow over on Facebook and check out her Etsy shop often to see what cool new designs she’s got up. I can’t wait to see the eventual Artoo design.