Beautiful things are headed to Grand Park for our LA Holiday Fair this weekend! What specifically? Well, for starters, Cindy Hsu Zell of WKND LA will be bringing some serious style and we cannot wait to scoop some of these pieces up!
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
Back when I was working a full-time job, making art was something I only had time and energy to do on weekends. WKNDLA was named after my favorite time and place, the only time I had to work on my own pieces. In March of this year I decided that I needed to give my ideas a chance and gave myself permission to pursue them full-time! My name is a constant reminder of how I got started and where I come from.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
I’ve been making things my entire life and it seemed really obvious now that this is the path I would end up on. In college though I wasn’t convinced that I could make a living making art and tried a lot of other fields before I realized there’s really nothing else I’d rather do. I ended up majoring in fine arts and animation at USC and interned at Anthropologie my senior year. When I left four years later I was a senior display coordinator at the Santa Monica store. I love playing with different materials and working there taught me useful skills that I can’t live without today such as woodworking and time management, and some other fun techniques I may never use again, such as weaving large baskets with garden hose (:
What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
I think a lot of the character of my work comes from the fact that I am obsessed with the materials I use and love to figure out how things are made. For my large-scale pieces I walk and spin all of the rope I use from thread that I paint and combine with other colors. My wooden beads are shaped individually on a stationary disc sander, and my brass shapes are bent, cut, and soldered by hand. I take a lot of pride in my process, and love the organic result that comes from everything having that touch of hand involved.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
I think the things I’ve sacrificed the most are emotional. It can get really lonely running a business on my own, and I could literally go days without seeing anyone else if I don’t leave my studio to run errands or make plans to spend time with others. I also worry about money a lot more now and wish it wasn’t so important sometimes. I think these things will get easier as time goes on, but I don’t have a single regret and love doing what I do!
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
My proudest moment was seeing my wall hangings on the Anthropologie website and in the fall home catalog this year! It was truly surreal to see my life with the company come full circle in the best way possible after all these years!
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
Say no to the opportunities you don’t 100% believe in, it’s okay to turn people down if you know it’s not a good fit. Take notes on everything you make! Even if it’s a one-time custom piece for a client, you never know if they’ll want you to make it for them again. Be fair to yourself when pricing your items and remember that you need to make a profit at the wholesale level too.