Saturday, December 6, 2008

Seller Spotlight: Ellen Edward | The Fashion Dungjen

"Creating art is important to me because I really feel that being an artist is cliche. Anyone can draw or say they are an 'artist.' The difference, for me, between an artist and someone who does art is the passion, the hidden meaning behind the art. My art feels like I am giving a piece of me away to go out in the world and inspire someone."
-Rebecca Ellen Kofron

I thought being the oldest of four children was rough, but I can only imagine how crazy it must have been to be the second of 12 children.

Rebecca Kofron doesn’t even have to imagine, she lived it.

Rebecca – or Ellen Edward if you’re poking around – is a Chicago native but has been living in Cincinnati since she was 12-years-old.

Ellen Edward is a far cry from Rebecca Kofron. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out how I could rearrange the letters of her name to get her Etsy shop. Of course, it’s a little less complex and a little more sentimental than that.

Rebecca’s middle name, Ellen, is her grandmother’s first name. Edward happens to be her brother’s middle name – he is also the brains behind the Etsy shop – and Edward is her grandfather’s first name. (It’s all clear to me now!)

Ellen Edward just opened in November and already their business venture has been successful. They’ve already been contacted by a boutique in Petaluma, Calif., Oh La Loft. Their “Bang Bang Necklaces” are going to be sold on the other side of the country.

What’s so great about Rebecca’s designs is their unique, fun, youthful aesthetic.

“I design things I wish that I could buy in a store,” Rebecca said. “I see the ideas in my mind but not on the shelves. My art is unique and I paint my alter egos in acrylic. It took me a few years to realize what each new character in my painting stood for. The art I create are literally my babies; pieces of me that will go on forever, speaking who I am to others for all time.”

Now 27, Rebecca says she finally knows what she wants to be when she grows up: an artist. Having such a large family means she has a lot of support for her craft and she always has.

“My father once told me a story about how he knew I was an artist,” Rebecca said. “He said he asked me to take out the trash and I was too busy telling him about the colors and shapes that were in the garbage.”

Aside from her family, Rebecca’s art teachers also played a significant role in her decision to stick to her guns and continue to create … Perhaps even beyond what they thought she was capable of.

“I’ve actually had a teacher tell me that I followed the criteria but they did not like my style,” she said. “I was given a D+ for the project; that only made me more ambitious to succeed.”

Her jewelry is not carried in any local stores … Yet. However, 11 of her paintings are being showcased in downtown Cincinnati at Divine Moments of Truth Gallery. She also has an art show in March at the Mac Worthington Gallery in Columbus.

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