Green living Heirloom Hurricane Lamp

Green Living: Upcycling with Heirloom

Greenmoxie loves supporting artistic endeavors and our monthly featured artist is one of our favorite pieces to write. This month is no exception as we immerse ourselves in the sharing spirit of the folks at Heirloom who care about not only the environment, but also the ethos of the items they create. For all you dumpster diving geniuses out there… shine on you crazy diamonds!

1. Tell us all about yourself and how you started your amazing Heirloom Etsy store.
Heirloom Etsy is an extension of the brick and mortar store “Heirloom,” in Claremont California. Our store was created in the spirit of an old fashioned general mercantile, where people

Green living: Three Lamps from Heirloom

Green living: Three Lamps from Heirloom

would gather around the stove to chit chat while picking up the mail and stocking up on provisions. Of course, the internet has provided a vehicle through which to extend that energy on a global scale.

2. Where do you get your inspirations from? What gave you the idea for your store?
Heirloom was founded with community in mind. We take pride in connecting with the residents of Claremont and taking part in functions that promote and sustain our way of life in Claremont Village.

3. Why do you choose to upcycle used items rather than use new ones?
“Upcycling” is the culmination of two basic principles, creative design and creative commerce. In spirit, people like handcrafted items. But, the bottom line is that we still compete with WalMart pricing. It’s just a fact of life. So, as designers, we ask ourselves how we can develop innovative products while keeping our costs as low as possible. We’re constantly sizing up our investment versus what people would pay.

4. What’s your favorite creation to date?
Our list of favorite creations changes all the time. We never know what we’re going to find in the recycle bins behind the local bars and restaurants. And, we keep perfecting our craft to accommodate the unique bottles we come across. So, there’s always this sense of discovery whenever we dumpster dive – yes, we dumpster dive.

Green living: Heirloom Ruler Lamp

Green living: Heirloom Ruler Lamp

5. Tell us what kind of things people can find in your store.
In our brick and mortar store, people can find the upcycled bottle lamps, upcycled book lights, desk lamps made from folding rulers and gasoline funnels, and a tree on the wall made from recycled architectural cardboard tubes. We sell all of our lamps online and are constantly tossing new ideas around for the next big thing.

6. Do you have upcycling advice for other crafters?
Sometimes we come up short with our hair-brained schemes, but we’re always trying, and that’s the most important thing. If you’re trying to see an idea through but you can’t seem to get reasonably priced materials to make it, or it just takes too long to manufacture, then don’t kid yourself. Toss your idea back into the recycle bin. The beauty is that it’ll churn into something you least expected that could be even more fabulous than the original idea.

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Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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