Make Pie Not War: jewels for the radical lady
California-based Alana Little started Make Pie Not War in 2007 after cutting loose from the corporate world. She began working raw materials into adorable pieces that allows the customer to express themselves with delicacy. Her new collection will hit the Internet in late February 2014 and we can’t wait!
What’s the story behind your brand name?
Make Pie Not War came from going to festivals with my husband, and his t-shirt line, Ephraim Clothing. We saw these horrendous shirts with cheesy sayings on them. One night we were coming up with our own nightmare shirt sayings, and Make Pie Not War came out of my mouth (in lieu of Make Love Not War).
Please tell me about the creative process that went into your current collection. What techniques were used?
This collection is special to me because it’s the first one where I really got into my gold-smithing techniques that I started over a year ago. It’s kind of a smorgasbord of ideas from working with customers, needs that I have seen in my customers and things that really just come from my own wants! This collection uses all my tools like polisher, drill press, torch, jeweller’s saw, etc!
Do you have a team working with you to help manage the brand?
Are the designs all your own or are there multiple designers? Do any designs come from outside of the brand?
I am the one and only! I am a one-woman show. From concept to shipping, everything comes from my hands.
How would you describe your personality, and is this reflected in your work?
My personality is pretty crazy, I guess. That’s what I hear anyway! I think that shows in the diversity of my products from Braille to triangles to constellations to initials.
What is your one fashion vice?
Hats. Oh Lord, don’t let me stop in a millinery shop.
Which of your current designs is your favourite?
My favourite design right now is my constellation vacation ring. It gets worn a lot! It’s so simple and modern, yet makes a statement.
Have you ever produced bespoke items for Etsy customers?
What are a few of your likes and dislikes in terms of design and style aesthetic?
I love how denim and jeans are constantly being redesigned and how they really affect fashion as a whole. I love seeing how fashion has progressed and digressed over the ages. I am not a huge fan of brand rip-offs or items that have vulgarity in them. I think fashion should be edgy and free, but I feel like you shouldn’t piggyback on others or make people feel violated by your expression.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
What is your favourite era for design and why?
My favourite that I gravitate towards is the roaring 20s. I love the art deco, the freedom and the glamour. I feel like I would have been right at home during that time.
What is your favourite aspect of your job? Are there any negatives?
My favourite part of my job is that I can be at home with my little babes and my mutant Chihuahuas, stay in my pyjamas and make money. My least favourite part is that you have to deal with difficult people because it’s all on you.
Would you say your work is directed at a particular trend or group of people?
I definitely appeal to those who tend to be more minimalistic. However, I design my pieces to be layered, so you really can wear it simple or layer these babies on. I will say though that my line has an appeal for almost everyone from kid to grandmother.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I have had so many wonderful things happen with Make Pie Not War, but my absolute favourite was being the featured seller during Black Friday.
Which of your products is most popular amongst customers?
Right now, my ampersand bracelets are like hot cakes. I can’t make them fast enough.
Have you any plans for the future? When can we expect your next collection and where do you hope to be in five years?
Things are so crazy right now that it’s hard to plan for the future, but I would like to keep growing. I have two helpers right now, and I love providing jobs. It gets lonely in the workshop! In five years, I hope that I am just designing and am able to have more free time.
For further information on the collections, visit the Make Pie Not War website.