An interview with recycled crafter Steph from OverIt!
Can you tell us a little about who you are?
I sure can, my name is Steph. I am a hyperactive recycling nut who has an addiction to coloured scraps. I am also artistic director of kids eco label MooBear Designs (Over It!’s big brother you could say) and founder of not for profit organisation The TreeHouse. Throw in my wonderful husband who enables my recycling adventures along with a sprinkling of my 3 children and you pretty much have me!
Can you tell us about your products?
I’ll often buy some of the most obscure mediums to work with like discarded vinyl for instance, and have it sitting on my desk for weeks until an idea finds me and they are turned into earrings, rings and brooches. Sometimes it’s a combination of unrelated materials sitting together while other times it’s just an idea, like my felt eye patches to add to my children’s dress up collection.
I have created denim clutches and baby bibs, zipper headbands, brooches and hair ties. Bed sheet satchels with seat belt straps, men’s tie shoulder bags and my favourite Over It! ever was making a pocket pal from 4 zippers for my son to keep his cars in. There is something for everyone with Over It!
How do you incorporate recycled material into your products?
I work with scraps, off cuts and remnants. Other materials like silk screen paint, cottons, buttons and paper are sourced from treasure shops, garage sales and an extensive collection of friends who off load their bags of excess goods in my direction. I think the first Over It! products were earrings made from ice-cream containers which were a great conversation starter. No one ever believed they use to be ice-cream containers. Since then I have used a variety of ‘unusable’ materials successfully and with a lot of fun.
I see the potential in materials which would other wise go to land fill. Someone asked me why I keep teeny tiny scraps of useless fabric and I pointed out that when building a house you wouldn’t throw away the left over useless bricks. You would keep them and build a BBQ, save them for a friend, sell them or give them away. That’s how I am with the materials I work with. The best part is I have a very dedicated circle of friends who also up cycle, recycle and refashion so If I come across something I know they can use I’ll send it off in their direction and visa versa and so the circle of recycling continues.
Over It! has a mind of it’s own so you never really know what to expect. I can assure you though that it will always be colourful and fun. I do have a few ideas brewing in mind, one of which involve shoes. But I don’t want to give too much away.