Dismembered Barbies, Pop Culture, and Cats : an Interview with Gabriella

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Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview I did with Gabriella of  Pixie and Pixier, who is possibly one of my new favorite people. I found her blog when one of the Headmistresses of The Blogcademy retweeted her 1-month video recap, fell instantly in love, read nearly every page of her blog, and was itching to get to know her better. In the very short time we've known each other, I can tell you that she is a brilliant, creative, inspiring girl and a giant ray of sunshine on my twitter and instagram feeds.

Hey Gabriella! Would you mind introducing yourself and what you do?I’m a vegan cat lady who is obsessed with the internet and making things. I run an online shop, where I sell the clothing, jewellery, zines, and art that I make. I blog and make videos. Mostly, I’m just trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do.

I follow you on Instagram and have been following your travel to Hong Kong. What’s been your favorite experience thus far?Instagram BFFs! Hong Kong was insane. Going to Disneyland on Christmas day was a total game-changer and I now feel like I have to go for every holiday. Travelling is the greatest thing to do and is always full of amazing surreal experiences and also just really nice casual moments where life is just good. My favourites would have to be seeing a wild leopard mere metres away last year in South Africa, meeting one of my heroes, Kanye West, in an airport, and just walking around Venice Beach and feeling completely at home.

Any advice for crafty fashionistas who are traveling?Always keep your eyes open. Take photos. Be an awkward and embarrassing tourist. This applies to travelling the world or just going around your local neighbourhood. There is so much goodness and inspiration to see if we just bother to look. Oh, and always bring safety pins because no matter what you will lose a button or break a zip at some point.

You’ve also recently started a YouTube channel, right? How has that experience been for you, darling?Soooo weird! I wanted to do it for a while and eventually just made myself get over all the strangeness. It’s really fun though and feels special to connect with people on a different level. My channel is still pretty much in it’s foetal stage right now but it’s nice to try something totally new.

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I’ve perused your Etsy shop (and tbh I want E V E R Y T H I N G) but my favorite item is your Barbie hand necklace. Which got me thinking, after lusting over it, how did you get into making jewelry? Especially cutting up Barbies and adorning their limbs as jewels.Thank you! I wear my Barbie necklace almost everyday and I can’t even tell you how many horrified looks I get or how petrified it makes small children! Which is what everyone wants in jewellery, right? I’ve been making stuff for about as long as I can remember. Since being about 10 I’ve been into the punk scene and obsessed with DIY, expressionism, and how people present themselves. I just really like the idea of wearing something that somebody has sat down and created with their hands. I couldn’t get what I wanted from the shops so I just made it myself. As for the Barbies, I had so many as a child and then I grew up and didn’t want to get rid of them so I just re-purposed them. What’s crazy is that I never cut one of my Barbie’s hair as a kid and now I have a box of their dismembered bodies under my bed!

A lot of what you sell in your store is pop culture based. How has pop culture affected your life, other than providing you an income?I live and breathe pop culture! Andy Warhol is my favourite artist and I’m obsessed with movies. I watch at least one movie everyday and it’s usually one of about 50 that are on repeat. A lot of what people are is the things that they like. When people tell you what movies or musicians they like you get an idea about who they are. When you look back at the phases of your life, a lot of it can be defined by what you were into at that point. Pop culture is powerful and fun, totally personal but also connecting. I think wearing a piece of jewellery with your favourite movie on let’s people know a little bit about who you are. And if someone sees you wearing Pretty in Pink earrings and they love the movie too, you can become instant BFFs!

How has life been since you left your day job? Also, kudos to supporting yourself doing what you love!!Well it’s only been a few weeks and most of it has been a holiday blur but I’m loving waking up and deciding how I want to spend my day. I’ve know for so long that I don’t want to work for someone else so I’m determined to make it work. Next year, next month, even next week, I might have another job but I know that the end goal is to work for myself.

Gabriella, I am smitten with all of your outfits! How did you discover your style? It’s so unique and colorful and, most importantly, fun.Why, thank you! I’m not sure I’ve discovered my style just yet. Sometimes I feel like I’m just fluttering around with no idea what I want to dress like but I think that’s the fun of it. It’s totally ok to dress like a different person every day of the week. For me, it’s important for something to feel special. I like to wear things that make me feel happy, powerful, and comfortable (both physically and psychologically) and that might put a smile on someone else’s face, too! It’s an overused cliché but just wear what you want. We’re all gonna die one day so I’ll wear this bright pink fur jacket to the grocery store if I want!

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Who are some of your largest inspirations in life? Role models, dream makers, people who make your soul sing.Oh, so many people! Michael Jackson, Frida Kahlo, Amy Winehouse, Kanye West, Gala Darling, Mindy Kaling, Tavi Gevinson, David Bowie, the designers at Romance Was Born and Di$count, Jim Carey, Seth Rogen, Chris Farley, Steve Martin. So many people that I could probably never list them all!

You can only read one book, watch one movie, one television show, and listen to one album for the next year. What would they be?Ok. Book? I’d have to pick Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity because I could never choose just one non-fiction and it about where my head is at right now. For the movie, Dumb & Dumber because it’s my favourite movie ever (and part of my shop namesake!) but the sequel is coming out this year so I don’t know if that would make it better or worse! The album would be Kanye’s College Dropout it is perfect and always relevant. Kanye has a bad rep and people always get confused when they realise how much I love him but this album is a masterpiece and it was his first one!

Herein I invite you to give any last words, advice, etc you’d like! If you need a question, here’s one instead: What would you say to someone who needs the last little push to follow their passion in life?For this I will say my 2014 resolution and ultimate goal/motto/drive in life – just do what you want. We can get so swept up in what others expect of us and what we expect of ourselves but you’re never going to get another chance to follow your dreams. Give yourself a chance, follow your passion, and do what you want. That’s all you ever need to know.

You can connect with Gabriella on her blog / etsy / instagram / bloglovin / pinterest / facebook / twitter / youtube

What I'm Building in 2014

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I would say that I don't read Alexandra's blog religiously, but that would be a lie. It's somewhere that I find love, compassion, and inspiration in every page, that I can return to again and again and find something else that makes me excited to be pursuing things that I love. When she posted her plan for 2014, with her answers and a template for others to fill in their own answers, I decided to post it here for a few reasons. They include holding myself accountable, having a record of it that I can look back on in a year and see how I did, and to set my intention into the universe. So without further ado...

In 2014, I am building …

An online space where being creative and multi-faceted is celebrated and the magic of everything is tangible.

This building — my body of work — will include a few very helpful offerings for the world, including …

  • Letter of the Month Club (inspiration and love via snail mail)
  • Movie and book recommendations every month -- things that have changed my life, my mind, and that I carry around in my heart
  • Posting recipes, knitting projects, about what magic means to me in my every day life, and more

In order to build what I want to build, I’ll need to release / remove a few things from my world, including …

  • Trying to please everyone by writing content that is too vague and noncommittal
  • Expectations of perfection when it comes to Spikes and Stardust
  • Going against my instincts

Because what I really want to be known for is …

  • Being honest, open, and growing
  • Doing everything with love and intention
  • Giving other twenty-somethings who feel like they need to pick one direction and disregard everything else they love to pursue the one thing a reminder that they can do everything they are passionate about without feeling guilty or burning out

When things start to feel overwhelming, I will keep it simple by reminding myself that my job is simply to …

Exist. To leave the things I touch and the spaces I inhabit a little bit more pink and glittery and full of love.

And by this time next year, I will be SO proud to have completed ONE big thing, which is …

Living and going to school in a foreign country for FOUR MONTHS!

And THAT is my plan for 2014.