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Erin from Etsy: New Orleans Trip (Pt 2)

Sep 14, 2007

by ErinHaldrup

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Four years ago, I spent a year in New Orleans.  This past February, since I had begun working at Etsy, I decided to try to meet all the Etsy sellers of New Orleans, and see how they were spending their Mardis Gras. It was great to be back there to see how the city was doing. I hadn’t been back there since Katrina, and now, just after the anniversary of the storm, I’ve revisited some of my New Orleans video footage. I’ll be sharing those here on The Storque as a series. Here is Part 1 and below you’ll find Part 2.

Watch the Video

 I was in touch via email with Monique Leon from gurlygirl.etsy.com before my trip, but she missed our first face-to-face meet-up at the coffee shop. Later that night, at a circus-themed party, she overheard me talking about Etsy and we found each other! Luckily I had my video camera and I interviewed her right on the spot.

The next day I went to visit her at her home studio in the Bywater neighborhood, which is adjacent to the 9th Ward. In fact, Bywater used to be called the Upper 9th Ward until residents decided it needed a more specific name. They borrowed the telephone company’s designation, Bywater (by-the-water), and it has been known that way since the 1940s. It’s a special neighborhood situated right on the curve of the river between the Marigny and the Industrial Canal. The houses are all charming and close together. Stepping out onto the porch in the Bywater guarantees conversation with neighbors.  When Monique came out to say hello to me, she saw several people she knew walking by, and they stopped to talk.    We all shared a laugh about the skywriting overhead that protested the fact that people were having too much fun in the  French Quarter! 

The first thing I noticed about Monique’s home was the color. The outside of the house is painted bright lavender. People in New Orleans love to paint their houses in bright colors (not unlike Burano, one of the islands of Venice). A hot orange house with bright blue trim won’t turn a head. It just complements the turquoise house next door, whose bushes and trees are strewn with glittering beads, built up from past years’ Mardi Gras.

Monique’s home is a shotgun and it’s set up with her studio in the front room. Her jeweler’s bench takes up the majority of the space and her polishing station is nearby. She has all of the tools a professional jeweler needs and the enviroment of her studio is cheerful and inspiring!  There was a striking hot pink Georgian era wig on the wall.  Her television was gilded in gold from a previous experement just to see how it might look.  Pretty amazing, it turns out!  Her closet was stuffed with costumes.  All the boas and sequins mixed unassumingly with her everyday clothes.

You’ll find that her jewelery has a similar character to her home.  Superb, traditional craftsmanship meets the whimsy of a costume ball, like in these “stearling heart fluff earrings”

I bought this ring from Monique — and would you believe it,  I ran in to a guy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last week wearing the same ring!  I think gurlygirl is catching on….. 

Aquamarine ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
Aquamarine ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
MLeonStudio
$145.00 USD
Wrought IRON Steel  Bracelet
Wrought IRON Steel Bracelet
MLeonStudio
$48.00 USD
Quartz Nugget keychain medium style
Quartz Nugget keychain medium style
MLeonStudio
$32.00 USD
Wide field earrings sterling
Wide field earrings sterling
MLeonStudio
$45.00 USD
Viking bracelet  Brass & Sterling wearable two ways weave /woven pattern
Viking bracelet Brass & Sterling wearable two ways weave /woven pattern
MLeonStudio
$138.00 USD
Hand hammered sparkly Sterling Silver bracelet cuff
Hand hammered sparkly Sterling Silver bracelet cuff
MLeonStudio
$148.00 USD
SALE STERLING BirchBark Pattern cuff bracelet
SALE STERLING BirchBark Pattern cuff bracelet
MLeonStudio
$115.00 USD
Victorian Mother of pearl necklace Vintage fan blades with inlaid Sterling silver on ball chain
Victorian Mother of pearl necklace Vintage fan blades with inlaid Sterling silver on ball chain
MLeonStudio
$40.00 USD
Victorian Mother of pearl necklace Vintage fan blades with inlaid Sterling silver on glass chain
Victorian Mother of pearl necklace Vintage fan blades with inlaid Sterling silver on glass chain
MLeonStudio
$125.00 USD
Perfect pink red Ruby ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
Perfect pink red Ruby ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
MLeonStudio
$190.00 USD
Fire Opal ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
Fire Opal ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
MLeonStudio
$185.00 USD
Victorian Mother of pearl necklace Vintage fan blades with inlaid Sterling silver on ball chain
Victorian Mother of pearl necklace Vintage fan blades with inlaid Sterling silver on ball chain
MLeonStudio
$40.00 USD
10 Solid  Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blanks for jewelry making Also offer brass
10 Solid Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blanks for jewelry making Also offer brass
MLeonStudio
$225.00 USD
1 Solid  Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blank for jewelry making
1 Solid Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blank for jewelry making
MLeonStudio
$28.00 USD
Viking bracelet  Brass & Sterling wearable two ways  diamond pattern
Viking bracelet Brass & Sterling wearable two ways diamond pattern
MLeonStudio
$140.00 USD
5 Solid  Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blanks for jewelry making
5 Solid Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blanks for jewelry making
MLeonStudio
$120.00 USD
Ocean bracelet  Brass & Sterling wearable two ways  Wave pattern
Ocean bracelet Brass & Sterling wearable two ways Wave pattern
MLeonStudio
$140.00 USD
Element band Sterling
Element band Sterling
MLeonStudio
$62.00 USD
Ocean bracelet  Brass & Sterling wearable two ways Large Wave pattern
Ocean bracelet Brass & Sterling wearable two ways Large Wave pattern
MLeonStudio
$145.00 USD
Salt and pepper Druzy Sterling silver hair spear comb
Salt and pepper Druzy Sterling silver hair spear comb
MLeonStudio
$182.00 USD
Swimming in the deep blue charm necklace
Swimming in the deep blue charm necklace
MLeonStudio
$45.00 USD
Just Right Wish Bean
Just Right Wish Bean
MLeonStudio
$65.00 USD
Sterling silver curlyQ spiral ring adjustable size
Sterling silver curlyQ spiral ring adjustable size
MLeonStudio
$40.00 USD
15 Solid  Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blanks for jewelry making Also offer brass
15 Solid Sterling Silver single disc cuff bracelet blanks for jewelry making Also offer brass
MLeonStudio
$315.00 USD
Petite Daisy  necklace
Petite Daisy necklace
MLeonStudio
$52.00 USD
Bronze Maple  seed helicopter pod cuff links
Bronze Maple seed helicopter pod cuff links
MLeonStudio
$64.00 USD
15 solid  Sterling Silver  cuffs for jewelry making double pad
15 solid Sterling Silver cuffs for jewelry making double pad
MLeonStudio
$330.00 USD
PERFECT BOOKMARK  in Copper
PERFECT BOOKMARK in Copper
MLeonStudio
$34.00 USD
Sweet Blossom and leaves Hair Comb
Sweet Blossom and leaves Hair Comb
MLeonStudio
$278.00 USD
Honey bee honey comb charm
Honey bee honey comb charm
MLeonStudio
$47.00 USD
Sailboat boat sculpture, miniature sterling boat
Sailboat boat sculpture, miniature sterling boat
MLeonStudio
$110.00 USD
Sailboat boat sculpture, miniature sterling boat
Sailboat boat sculpture, miniature sterling boat
MLeonStudio
$110.00 USD
Hammered sterling  silver and turquoise pendant on chain
Hammered sterling silver and turquoise pendant on chain
MLeonStudio
$145.00 USD
Sapphire ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
Sapphire ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
MLeonStudio
$185.00 USD
London Blue Topaz ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
London Blue Topaz ring 18kt and sterling stackable ring
MLeonStudio
$205.00 USD
Drusy Triangles Earrings
Drusy Triangles Earrings
MLeonStudio
$110.00 USD
Prehnite bead necklace, new jade necklace Phrenite
Prehnite bead necklace, new jade necklace Phrenite
MLeonStudio
$100.00 USD
Mega watt Sparkle ring
Mega watt Sparkle ring
MLeonStudio
$89.00 USD
Chiseled stone texture  Wedding band  size 6.75  Solid sterling silver  hammered pattern ring
Chiseled stone texture Wedding band size 6.75 Solid sterling silver hammered pattern ring
MLeonStudio
$58.00 USD
Japanese Maple  seed pod Oxidized sterling silver fairy wing earrings
Japanese Maple seed pod Oxidized sterling silver fairy wing earrings
MLeonStudio
$62.00 USD
Extra thick Wrought IRON Steel  Bracelet
Extra thick Wrought IRON Steel Bracelet
MLeonStudio
$120.00 USD
2 solid  Sterling Silver  cuffs for jewelry making double pad
2 solid Sterling Silver cuffs for jewelry making double pad
MLeonStudio
$58.00 USD
1 Puff pillow pearl on sterling chain
1 Puff pillow pearl on sterling chain
MLeonStudio
$38.00 USD
Queen Anne's lace pair of hair combs bridal
Queen Anne's lace pair of hair combs bridal
MLeonStudio
$188.00 USD
Fleur D  Lis shield post style earrings
Fleur D Lis shield post style earrings
MLeonStudio
$90.00 USD
One of kind Sterling , Stone hair comb
One of kind Sterling , Stone hair comb
MLeonStudio
$180.00 USD
Chunk Quartz Keychain Giant
Chunk Quartz Keychain Giant
MLeonStudio
$30.00 USD
New Orleans love charm on chain
New Orleans love charm on chain
MLeonStudio
$55.00 USD
The Snow Bride Necklace
The Snow Bride Necklace
Sold
Fleur De Lis Cuff Links
Fleur De Lis Cuff Links
Sold

7 comments

  • dismantled

    dismantled said 12 years ago

    Costumes are so important here in NOLA! I often wonder what I would do with all of my wigs and corsets and costume stuff if I ever move someplace else. I'd have to visit home often to be able to put it to good use!

  • Helene2611

    Helene2611 said 12 years ago

    I think Erin seems very connected with the New Orleans culture and she gives a detailed history of all of the jewelry pieces that she's discovered, which is helpful when investing in original pieces.

  • Chillionaire Admin

    Chillionaire said 12 years ago

    I can't wait to go to New Orleans! Thanks for a great video series :)

  • Dillinger

    Dillinger said 12 years ago

    Wow what a crazy party!

  • waltersbeads

    waltersbeads said 11 years ago

    unusual and interesting items

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