|Photo Credit: Ken Hudak|
Lots of Detroiters have been starting their own companies and finding ways to make money without working for the man. Instead of going through the painful process of trying to open up a storefront they choose to sell these wares at our local art fairs and small shops around the city that let artists sell on consignment. Some of these small companies have done so well that they have been able to expand their game and sell online to markets all over the world. Over the last few years we have fell in love with lots of local companies, including Spazz Happy Design, Pixey Meat Jewelry and Glass Action!.
This time around we wanted to tell you about a cute little company called Crafty Darling Detroit. Designer Sophia Fenby is a local artist and model who lives, works, and plays in the Detroit area. She has stunning red hair and some creepy design skills, so naturally we fell in love. We asked her a few questions to learn a little more about the woman behind the designs. She is not only talented and crafty, but she is also a positive person who is a great representation of the goodness that this city has to to offer. Check out what she had to say and visit her online or at one of the upcoming local events that she mentions below.
HID- When and why did you start your company Crafty Darling Detroit?
Sophia Fenby- "Before Crafty Darling, I was part of a handmade duo that sold together at festivals and online as Delphine Handmade. My good friend and amazing artist Kim Noble and I embarked on the venture together, not long after finishing high school. It was a wonderful adventure, learning experience, and jumping off point. A few years later, my creative direction took a more independent feel as it grew, and we parted. Crafty Darling Detroit began about two and a half years ago as my rebranding of my solo craft and art work."
HID- You mentioned you art has been featured in galleries and shows. Tell us about some of the past shows that you have done.
Sophia Fenby- "I've participated in gallery shows scattered across the country, with a large number of them being in the Detroit area, naturally. In recent years, I regularly participate in shows at the fantastic Tangent Gallery (Detroit). I've had one solo exhibition at Nola's Underground in Ann Arbor, with another to come near the end of the summer."
HID- You consider yourself to be a feminist. What does feminism mean to you?
Sophia Fenby- "Absolutely. Identifying as a feminist has been a huge positive in my life, and something that I know comes out in whatever creative venture I'm working on. I stand behind the idea that femininity isn't anti-feminist. You can be feminine and a feminist! Feminists do not have to burn their bra and hate men – it seems silly to state, but I've found that this stereotype is still a common misconception when anyone hears 'feminist' today. This is a key reason younger generations especially hesitate to identify them as a feminist, because of these non-universal extremes that are associated with it. It's an unfortunate truth that I want to work to help change. Feminists can wear makeup, shave their legs, love men, and love other women. We're women who embrace our femalehood and will stand up for equality."
HID- How did you learn to make one of a kind handmade jewelry?
Sophia Fenby- "I just kind of started making it..no one taught me, no classes, no tutorials. I wanted to do it, and I figured it out. Since I began making jewelry, I've expanded on what I make considerably. To be fair, it took a while of figuring out and being the only one who wore it. I worked with it until it came together to make something that was unique, ranging from cute, to creepy, to elegant, to retro."
Sophia Fenby- "Is 'everything' too cliché of an answer? Probably. The weird, wonderful, grotesque, unpredictable world in itself never ceases to inspire, for better or worse. I have an amazing other half for the last seven years who is wonderfully inspiring. Powerful, creative, talented women have always been another huge inspiration for me. Women I grew up around, women I know today, and women who create the music and films that are deeply inspiring. And, of course, the great one – David Bowie."
HID- Do you ever sell your merchandise at any of the local festivals?
Sophia Fenby- "Definitely! I typically sell at Dally in the Alley (Detroit), and will be there this year. In addition to participating in their gallery exhibitions, I'll be part of the artist bazaar at Corpus Illuminata, an annual anatomy and oddity themed show at the Tangent Gallery. The DIY Street Fair in Fendale is another favorite to sell at, but unfortunately it's not happening this year. These great festivals (such as the People's Arts Festival at the Russell Industrial Center, for example) keep fading out or getting put on the back burner, and it's really unfortunate."
HID- Describe Detroit in your own words.
Sophia Fenby- "Those who look into Detroit from the outside and see barely more than a sea of abandoned structures with danger around every corner – I feel sorry they're missing out, but really, it's their loss. Outshining the ruins that lie throughout the city is an undeniable electricity. Detroit is alive with culture, art, music, and the best people you'll ever meet."
HID- You are a working model in Detroit, can you tell us how you got into that business and why you choose to work here as opposed to New York or L.A.?
Sophia Fenby- "Someone who was a big mistake overall got me into a designer friend's runway show. From there, I began making connections and shooting. Most of my time modeling thus far, I've been freelance (ie, no agency representation). I don't look like a typical, cookie cutter Michigan agency model (but that was totally fine with me). However, after an editorial publication I was in came out, I got a call from my agency with interest in signing me. I'm nonexclusive with them, which means I'm still free to book myself as well. Everyone knows what's going on in L.A. And New York City. Everyone knows that's where the uber hip, famous go. Detroit is this diamond in the rough that has so many amazing people and opportunities, and it's not overrated and overly saturated. Not to say that both of them aren't amazing in their own right, and I wouldn't love to spend more time there."
HID- One last off topic question-How long have you had your stunning red hair? Where do you get it done?
Sophia Fenby- "About five years. I settled on it after going through black, platinum, brown, and a rainbow of colors. I either do it myself, or go to Jeannie at the Studio for Hair in Farmington Hills. She's absolutely amazing, especially with color work, and I can't recommend her enough."
You can find Crafty Darling’s merchandise on Etsy here.
If you're looking to book a stunning redheaded model in the Detroit area, contact Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org.