So I'm always happy and grateful when I get to meet a great (and talented!) person to gush about. Without further ado, please meet April Stanley Njari of April Mist:
How did you come into crafting?
I grew up with Mrs. DIY herself, my crafty mom was never afraid to tackle any crafting challenge, from paper plate skeletons and Rainbow Brite costumes for Halloween, to making my wedding veil. That maker mentality stuck and creating continues to be a big part of my life today. I’ve been dabbling in a variety of arts and crafts from tie dye, pottery, sewing, floral designing, and knitting but it seems my most recent obsession making handmade paper beads has stuck.
What inspired you to use magazine paper as your medium to create your beads?
I started AprilMist in June after being inspired while stuck at London’s Heathrow airport for 12 hours (ugh). While flipping through fancy European fashion magazines, I realized the paper thickness, color quality, and designs were amazing! How could anyone discard this beautiful work of art after reading it? So, I started creating paper beads from the pages. Imagine how exciting it is to see paper (that would have been discarded) transform into intricately detailed beads! The process of cutting strips, wrapping them into the shape of a bead, and coating them with sealer is tedious, but stress relieving and mind numbing, I love it!
I've seen you work, and I'm in awe with how intricate your beadwork is.
Using my handmade paper beads, I create fun and sassy jewelry designs; my most recent trend has been creating cone and disk shaped beads and challenging myself to make the smallest bead possible (about 1/8 inch thick, so far).
Now that you're creating raving fans (I'm one! And did I tell you guys that she just opened her Etsy shop a month ago and she's already had over ten sales? As fellow Esty shop-owners know, that is a hella-impressive start!), where can we find you around DC?
After opening my shop, I met Vanessa at Ballston Arts & Crafts Market and got involved in Crafty Drinks. Through it I have received a TON of awesome advice and support from fantastic fellow DC crafters (thanks, guys!). In fact, at Vanessa’s encouragement I’ll be debuting my handmade paper bead fashions at the new Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring on October 3rd. Hope to see you there!
Thank you, April!