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Meet Shelby Stinson

by Olivia Bratcher October 26, 2017

Shelby is a local artist from New Orleans who is bringing back the 1970's macrame trend with her own unique touch. From handmade wall hangings, to lanterns, to plant holders - her creative designs are impossible not to love.



Tell us about your studio space

"I recently converted our dining room into my studio space. It has a ton of windows so it gets a lot of natural light and I able to put some house plants on the window sills. There’s just something about being surrounded by natural light and greenery while you’re creating that breathes life into you I think. My husband built me a large farmhouse table, so that’s perfect for me to just spread out and put my work all over. It’s a disaster most of the time. Also with Instagram being the main place where I showcase my work now-a-days, it’s important for me to get a quality shot of not only the final product, but the process too. The natural light in my studio really allows me to do that."

What inspires or motivates you to create?

"I think I’ve always had a little bit of a creative side to me, and now that I’ve discovered macramé, I’m just so passionate about it. I wake up in the mornings and that’s the first thing I want to do. It doesn’t really take much to get me inspired to do it. It’s just this natural passion that I have now. If I am ever feeling a lull in my creativity, I can just turn to the incredibly inspiring community of fiber artists that I’ve been able to connect with on Instagram. They’re all so passionate and hardworking. I think seeing other artists so passionate about the work they’re putting out – it just automatically inspires you."

What kind of music do you listen to when you create?

"I tend to do a lot of my work late at night, so as far as music goes, I just like listening to anything that’s going to keep me energized. It doesn’t necessarily have to have lyrics, just anything upbeat. I really love anything New Orleans jazzy or funky. That’s always fun to listen to."

What's the first piece you ever sold?

"I’ll never forget it – The sale happened through Etsy in the middle of the night while I was sleeping, so the “cha-ching” alert from my Etsy app woke me up. The piece was a large wall hanging and sold to a man in Indiana. I just remember that moment being so surreal. That someone would spend their money to buy something I made with my hands. It was just a really spectacular feeling."


How does living in New Orleans inspire your work?

"It’s hard to be in New Orleans and not feel inspired, living or visiting. There’s just so many creative people here embracing all different types of art forms. People here don’t follow any rules. They march to the beat of their own drum and they wear costume just because its Wednesday. It’s just a very eclectic and inspiring atmosphere to be in."

What's your favorite piece that you've made?

"My favorite piece was a large wall hanging that I designed to go above the mimosa bar at my sisters baby shower this past April. It took me about two weeks to create and I had a local florist add beautiful eucalyptus and peach and blue florals along the top and cascading down each side. It was beautiful and served as the perfect backdrop for photos. It was absolutely the most sentimental piece I’ve ever made."

Tell me about your style and the themes that you pursue.

"Macramé is most known for its popularity in the 70s when it was made out of rough material like jute. I’m really enjoying being part of its revival. I would say that my designs compared to the 70s are more whimsical, feminine and softer. I stick to a neutral color palette and incorporate metals like copper and gold. I really enjoy making functional home décor pieces – things like table runners and plant hangers. I’m really excited about a winter collection I have in the works which will put a modern twist on traditional holiday décor items."

What do you love most about being an artist?

"The thing I love most about being an artist is having an outlet for self-expression. It can be really exhilarating to pour my heart into something, put it out in the world and receive positive feedback on it."

Do you have any advice for aspiring artist?

"I think my advice would be to stay true to yourself and have confidence in your work. I remember in the beginning I was so intimidated to share my work on social media not knowing what people’s reaction would be, but what I’ve learned is that it’s really important for me to design pieces that I really love and not be included by what other artists are doing, or what I think people want me to create. If I focus on designs that I truly love and would display in my home, that’s where I find my passion and can truly express myself."



 Photos by Julia Shoots

Video by Olivia Bratcher

Olivia Bratcher
Olivia Bratcher


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