Vancouver Designer Spotlight: Love Ugly Bunny
Sarah Jane Sichello is the artist behind the light-hearted jewellery known as Love Ugly Bunny. Her wildly successful handmade jewellery will be returning to 2015’s Circle Craft Christmas Market from November 11th – 15th, 2015
Working mainly with wood, each Love Ugly Bunny piece is hand sketched and designed on wood then laser-cut and hand glued before it is sealed, painted and varnished. Her craft is a labour of love inspired by what Sarah calls the urban and retro Canadian explorer.
Each of her pieces can be taken from an afternoon hike in the park to a dinner date in a restaurant. Love Ugly Bunny can be found across Canada and the United States in over 50 stores, 6 of these stores are in Vancouver.
Here’s what Sarah shared with Modern Mix Vancouver about the inspiration behind her brand and her journey into a full-time jewellery business.
Tell us the story behind the Love Ugly Bunny?
The name Ugly Bunny is inspired by a fable that I wrote years ago about a young, lonely bunny that thought it needed to change who she was in order to be liked. In the end, the change made the bunny even lonelier and unhappy because it changed so much that it didn’t even recognize who she had become. The moral of the story is to be comfortable with who you are and to trust that being different is not a bad thing. It’s the differences that make you, you! And that’s like our handmade accessories, although each item may look the same, it’s the slight differences that make it the most unique and special.
Love Ugly Bunny started as my side project while attending the Material Arts and Design program at the Ontario College of Art and Design. At that time my work was textile and sculptural based, now my focus has shifted to jewelry design. We use a laser-cutting technique to transform original sketches and designs onto wood and other materials. Our goal is to provide handmade and originally designed jewelry pieces that are affordable and can be enjoyed by everyone.
What is your creative inspiration for your jewellery?
The majority of my inspiration comes from living in BC and being surrounded by the mountains and the beautiful Canadian landscape.
What is a major contributing factor to your success?
I never gave up and keep moving forward. When I first started Love Ugly Bunny I was working a full time job and spent my evenings and weekends on my jewellry business. There were many times I wanted to quit because of the stress and late nights, but through the years I’ve been able to make Love Ugly Bunny my full time focus.
What is one piece of advice you would give jewellery crafters just starting out?
Network and get yourself out there and meet people in the arts community. I feel really lucky that I have the opportunity to travel and participate in shows across Canada, including the Circle Craft Christmas Market. It has been a great way to connect with other artists.
What can fans of your jewellery expect to see in your future collections?
Up to now our material of choice is wood but we plan to expand our line and incorporate custom metal pieces in the near future.
Words to live by?
Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be kind.
To shop Love Ugly Bunny visit her Etsy Shop online, or meet Sarah in person from November 11 to 15, 2015 at Circle Craft Christmas Market.
By: Audrey Joy Kwan, MMV Contributor