Inspired Designer: Maria Louise High

I had the chance to meet Maria Louise High, local Baltimorean, designer extraordinaire, and owner of Little Blue Studio.  High makes beautiful fabric flower jewelry and accessories, perfect for brides!
I asked her some questions- When and how did you get into making jewelry and accessories?
"I studied painting in school, but with two active boys and living in two different places, I had to switch to a medium that was a little more adaptable to what's going on in my life right now.  I sort of fell into the jewelry on a friend's request, but the background for what I am now doing has really been there lifelong.  My mother loved to work with fabric and I enjoyed watching her.  I also had a lot of access to some of her really incredible jewelry pieces growing up.  My father's uncle was a jeweler/lapidary in Philadelphia.  So those exposures sort of meshed together into what I am doing now."
What items do you offer brides?  "Everything from head to toe!  Appliques , headbands and hairpins, sashes and brooches are most of my custom work. I have also done necklaces and cuffs on occassion." 
So, you do custom work, tell me about that...  "My custom work varies greatly.  Some pieces are what I categorize as made-to-order and just revamped as far as color or size without needing samples.  These are usually completed in about a week.  Full custom work takes longer.  We usually start with discussing colors and I will send samples of fabric and/or beading.  That, plus fabric searching, can add a few weeks to the order."
What is your most popular item/style for brides?  "I am surprised at the number of brides choosing to go with color for their own pieces, even bolder hues.  I think it's fabulous to stretch away from monotone white or ivory.  Brides who come to me are choosing gowns with simpler lines and details so they can finish the look on their own in a very personal way.  Probably my most-wanted bridal pieces are the double-bloom brooch for bridesmaids and hairpins for the bride."
 What do you enjoy most about working with brides?  "The brides who come to me are very knowledgable and easy to work with.  They set the frame for the look they want while giving me reign over the details which makes it really pleasurable to do custom work."
Is there anything else you think my readers should know about you and what you do?  "My pieces can be worn by anyone; only about half of my customers are brides.  The brooches and necklaces are surprisingly unfussy, which enables women to add a feminine touch to casual or professional outfits...not just special occasion ones."
You can find Maria Louise High at her Etsy shop or her facebook page.  She will also be an artist featured at my "Meet the Etsy Artist (a trunk show)"  event on Saturday, April 23, 2 - 5pm at Alexandra Webb.

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