Because Mall is a Four Letter Word

Artist Spotlight: Patina South

Tracey Johnson is the wonder woman behind Patina South {and also one of The Handmaidens}. Her one-of-a-kind creations — whether it’s jewelry, accessories, or paintings — are vintage yet modern, and always a little rough around the edges (by design).

When did you realize that you had a creative calling to fulfill? I have always been creative, but my sophomore year in high school I was accidentally placed in AP Art as an elective. When given the option to switch for another chosen elective, I decided to stay. I went on to graduate from ECU School of Art and have worked creatively for Ornamentea for over 9 years.

Do you have a favorite quotation that describes your creative philosophy? Life begins at the end of your comfort zone — Neale Donald Walsch

Where do you go and/or what do you do when you have artist’s block? I usually go to an antique shop, thrift store, or flea market in a small town I am not familiar with, alone. I like to plunder and rummage through dusty boxes and second-hand pretties without conversation or explanation. It relaxes and rejuvenates me at the same time.

How do you plan for the future of your business? A crafty business has an evolution, and I have spent the last year or so finding my place, moving out of my comfort zone, and listening to the advice of others. The vintage and found part of the business grew at a rapid pace in 2012. I am now organizing and participating in pop-up shops all over NC, VA, and SC with handmade and vintage themes. It is as if I could not have dreamed a more perfect, chaotic life!

The Handmade Market is this Saturday, November 10! Stop by The Handmaidens’ area and the Patina South table — whether you’re looking for something vintage, classic, or over-the-top, Tracey’s collection is sure to please!

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