shadowempress' Profile

About

Hello! My name is Saija Salminiitty (well, for now!) but here on etsy I am known by "Shadow Empress". Art and crafts have been hobbies of mine since childhood, and that passion has evolved with me through the years to where I am today! I love what I do, and I work darn hard at it. Some of my favorite hobbies include creating new products and art, but I get out of the house too; reading books and magazines, watching movies, going on exploratory visits of different cities, getting outdoors, wandering through art galleries, and going on vintage hunts are just a few of the many things I love to do in life.

I come from a diverse background; my mother is from here in California, while my dad (or "Isi") is from Finland. Due to my dad's work, I ended up growing up all over the globe. In addition to West Coast California and Finland, I have grown up in Tanzania, Japan, and the D.C…

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  • Female
  • Born on February 16
  • Joined June 28, 2010

Favorite materials

vintage materials, found objects, re purposed goods, laquer, paint, unusual things, pearls, studs, spikes, lace, leather, feathers

About

Hello! My name is Saija Salminiitty (well, for now!) but here on etsy I am known by "Shadow Empress". Art and crafts have been hobbies of mine since childhood, and that passion has evolved with me through the years to where I am today! I love what I do, and I work darn hard at it. Some of my favorite hobbies include creating new products and art, but I get out of the house too; reading books and magazines, watching movies, going on exploratory visits of different cities, getting outdoors, wandering through art galleries, and going on vintage hunts are just a few of the many things I love to do in life.

I come from a diverse background; my mother is from here in California, while my dad (or "Isi") is from Finland. Due to my dad's work, I ended up growing up all over the globe. In addition to West Coast California and Finland, I have grown up in Tanzania, Japan, and the D.C. area on the East Coast. Some cultural influences work there way into my artwork, but the largest influence my mixed background has had on me and my work is my love for the eccentric! I don't like to limit my style or creations to just one stereotyped category. I love all things vintage and romantic, but I also love and appreciate those things in life which are dark and edgy too. I strive to create a balance and harmony between what may usually be considered opposites, and love what is usually the unique and creative result!

My shop was inspired by my imagination and desire to bring to life my own unique style that I couldn't find through the mass produced goods of today. I have am working full time as a crafter an artisan, and am slowly making my dream come true! However, I could never have opened shop without the creative people in my life; my good friend Dena, the owner of Jaguar Lipstick, my mama who has been more than supportive of my creative side longer than I can remember, my soon to be husband and all his ideas and encouragement, as well as all my artistic friends.

There are many things in life that I draw my ideas from- the steampunk movement, the 1920's and art deco, antique and vintage items, surrealism, music, the dark and mysterious, childhood memories, and so much more! I keep an extensive amount of sketchbooks where I draw and write down ideas when inspired, as well as vintage and antique finds that I keep around me. Sometimes it is these objects, such as a vintage suitcase and perfume bottles, that give me a particular idea, which eventually leads to what I have here on my etsy store.

I make a wide variety of things, because the DIY lifestyle is something embedded deep down in my personality- if there is something that I can create, I want to give it a try! The focus of my store Shadow Empress is mainly clothing and accessory based. My signature products could be considered to be my custom studded clothing, as well as my hand painted shoes. Art was my first creative passion in life, and I found it to be an incredibly exciting venture to combine that skill with all the fun that comes with fashion and style. I like the idea of my artwork becoming an actual part of the everyday life of others, and not just something to be displayed on a wall.

Not that I feel like artwork is of any less value! It is still a huge passion of mine, and between my style endeavors and art, I rarely end up in a creative rut. My artwork tends to be more dark and surreal, inspired much more from my bizarre imagination. If that piques your interest, please take a look at my art that can be found for sale on my other etsy store, Saija's Shadows.

Whenever possible, I like to do my best to be green and eco-friendly. I love using vintage materials, found items, or re-purposed materials in my work. Sometimes it is these materials on their own which actually inspire the product I create!

My process when creating my goods can vary greatly; sometimes I just get an idea out of the blue and jump right to creating it, sometimes I have an idea that I create in one of my sketchbooks, but can't think of how to execute it until months later. The actual creation process and time it takes to create a project also depends on what I am making. Some items, like my hand painted shoes, require extensive work and have many steps for me to complete before I am satisfied with the end result. My jewelry takes a shorter amount of time to physically create, but the search for ideas and materials for my jewelry is never-ending.

I feel like it is the uniqueness behind my creations that sets my store apart from all others; I love making things which are special and can't be found elsewhere, but are still things that can be a part of regular life. I love making custom creations for my customers, because it takes that experience of personal individuality and somthing being "one-of-a-kind" to the next level. My store reflects my own personal style and the desire I had to find things in life that fit that; now that I am the one in charge of goods, I want to share that with the world!

Part of what fuels me everyday is the personal connections I can make with customers; by having more personal items, I feel like I also know my customers better. Whether it be ideas and requests, personal customer inspirations, or just talking with those share a love for creativity, it is much more rewarding an experience for me. Before my shop here on etsy, I used to work at a retail store as a sales clerk, and the difference in customer interaction is incredibly refreshing. I truly want to make shopping at Shadow Empress the best experience possible, so please don't be shy when contacting me! Because my customers are such a positive influence, I make it my priority to be prompt and provide customer service to the best of my abilities.
CONTACT ME THROUGH:
http://www.etsy.com/convo_new.php?to_username=shadowempress

or my email shadowempress [!at] gmail.com

Interested in seeing or hearing more? Please visit my other various websites!

* www.shadowempress.com

* www.etsy.com/shop/saijasshadows for artwork

* follow the inner gears of my mind and life at www.shadowysaija.wordpress.com

*friend me on facebook at
www.shadowempress.com/shadowysaija

* ... and follow me on my new facebook page!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shadowy-Saija/166185696730719


I am considering running a newsletter too, as my store expands. If this is something you might be interested in, as I could include special deals and discounts to those signed up with the newsletter, I implore you to let me know :) While I won't make a newsletter something that invades your email inbox frequently, I also want to make sure it is something my customers are interested in!

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