"MOST PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD DON'T HAVE MUCH, AND THOSE OF US WHO ARE IN THE POSITION TO GIVE BACK SHOULD DO SO AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, NOW MORE THAN EVER."
Renata Stone is a babe of many trades, excelling in her Fiber Art aka Knottery Art, photography, fashion styling, floral arrangements, interior design, graphic design, coding and more. On top of everything else, she also finds time to give back and donate to organizations that she's passionate about.
>> PROCEEDS FROM THE TWO MACRAME PIECES BELOW, i & ii, WERE DONATED TO THE IRC (INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE) <<
SOUL SHAPERS: Can you share a bit about your business?
RENATA: Hrm, where to start! I basically have like 800 jobs lol. By day, I'm an analyst for American Express, but in my spare time I do photography and fiber art. Photography was something I started doing with my hubs as a joint hobby that developed into a nice little paid gig over time. As for the fiber art, I got into it when I we bought our first home because I needed to decorate, but we were on a pretty tight budget. From there it was word of mouth that eventually grew into this side hustle I have today and I'm so grateful for it all. What I love most about the fibert medium is that it challenges me — it’s fun to see how I can take the same knots and tones and make something different. I love playing with texture and figuring out new ways to mix weaving and macrame together.
SS: You live in Salt Lake City, but you're also tuned in to the San Diego creative scene— what's your favorite part of working with so many creatives?
RENATA: Staying inspired and staying hungry are the reasons I LOVE LOVE LOVE collaborating and working with other creatives. It's also fun to use their energy as a launching pad for your own creative process. I feel that surrounding yourself with other creatives only pushes you to do better and be better.
"WHEN YOUR DAY IS VARIED, YOU HARDLY EVER GET INTO MAJOR CREATIVE RUTS."
SS: How do you stay inspired every day, even when you don't feel like working?
RENATA: I really need to take breaks in order to stay inspired. I think this is why I have so many jobs and hobbies. When your day is varied, you hardly ever get into major creative ruts. When I am not feeling like making fiber art, I'll switch over to photo editing. If I'm not feeling that, I'll switch over to learning a new programming language. It's a giant circle haha. I also love to go outside. I live on a mountain and I'm walking distance from super beautiful hikes, so whenever I’m feeling kinda meh, I take a walk into the woods. Nothing stokes me out more than seeing how imperfectly perfect the world is.
SS: You have so many talents— your macrame is beautiful, you tackle floral arranging and styling, and you're an incredible photographer, is there anything you don't rock?
RENATA: HA!!!! I LOVE that illusion...it’s probably because I strategically don’t post about the things I suck at. Okay, it’s a two-way tie: woodworking and sewing are my arch nemeses (that’s a word yah?). When I first started dating my husband, I decided to make him an actual full-sized arcade for his birthday... one skill saw and two years later he had a rachet-looking but working arcade. And sewing... I can’t even wind a bobbin correctly. I got so frustrated I made my friend finish my first project, which was very humbling.
"KINDNESS, LOVE, AND EMPATHY MAKE US ALL BETTER HUMANS."
SS: Is there any aspect of your business you'd like to develop that you haven't been able to yet?
RENATA: There are a few things I'd love to be able to do with my business. First, I'd really like to do more charity work and fundraising for causes I love and believe in, which is why I love collaborating with companies like Soul Shapers! That's actually how my fiber art thing turned into a business in the first place. I made a dozen pieces to sell and raise money for a local Salt Lake charity called The Road Home. After that fundraiser pop-up, I started getting inquiries on Instagram and it's been a wrap ever since.
Most people in this world don't have much, and those of us who are in the position to give back should do so as much as possible, now more than ever. Kindness, love, and empathy make us all better humans.
Secondly, I would love to collaborate with a hotel to provide a collection of work for their rooms. It would be so amazing to do a really large volume of work that is coordinated but not matchy. I'd be super up to that challenge and feel like that would be the ultimate pinnacle of success for my business.
"IT'S LIKE EVERYTHING I'M EXCITED TO BE INVOLVED IN AS A CREATIVE AND A REALLY FOCUSED WAY TO HELP GIVE BACK."
SS: Your business has grown quite a bit in the past year, especially on instagram. Do you feel there is a responsibility to those who have a voice on social media to get involved with social issues?
RENATA: That's actually a really tough question and feel it's very personal to each person or business. I am honestly more comfortable working for charities and causes behind-the-scenes or through avenues like Soul Shapers. I like to keep a healthy separation between my social media and my personal politics. It's not that I'm afraid to confront social problems head on, it's that I don't feel my social media platform is the right place for that. This is why I'm so stoked on Soul Shapers. It's like everything I'm excited to be involved in as a creative and a really focused way to help and give back.