Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Asterlea Earrings, Modern design straight from the animals
We were pretty busy while at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Sadly the first two days we were busy trying to keep our tarps tied down and our merchandise dry (not to mention keep ourselves warm, it was only +11 and raining!) but Sunday showed us a beautiful blue sky and warm sunny weather, so we were busy with happy Folk Fest shoppers. I always manage to fit in a bit of time for shopping though, it's impossible to resist.
As you may guess, a lot of the wares at Folk Fest are geared towards a much more earthy customer than we cater to at HQ. Although beautifully handcrafted, tie dyed heart tees and drums are not really what our customer is after. Modern, stylish, handmade accessories on the other hand...
I stumbled upon the Asterlea booth on Saturday while trying to take a walk to keep warm, and although the booth was almost empty at the time, I knew that if the sun came out and people got into a happy shopping mood this booth would be seriously packed. And come the sunny sunday, it definitely was.
Asterlea jewelry is handmade from REAL recycled butterfly wings and feathers from around the world. Now you may be thinking "OK, that's really shitty, killing butterflies to make earrings", so hear me out. Butterflies have a super short lifespan, and many also migrate en masse seasonally to find their final restig ground/mate/etc. This jewelry supports the people who farm and collect the butterflies, allowing them to preserve the rainforest where they live and subsequently die. This type of butterfly farming and collecting have no effect on wild populations, but have a very positive effect on rainforest preservation, and provides income for the local people.
Asterlea jewelry is designed by Wendy Mackie, who I was lucky enough to meet in her booth and talk a little about the materials used and the process. Each earring is arranged and cut by hand, using either wings alone, or a combination of wings and feathers, and then encased in a hard resin to protect the delicate wings. I found the graphic, bold patterns of the wings to be incredibly modern looking, and when encased in the glossy resin the look is sleek, and soooo not "oh look, butterfly earrings, how girly/cute"
Each pair of earrings is going to run you the fair price of $40. Not bad for a TRULY one of a kind item, designed by our good friend "nature" and brought to you by Asterlea.