Cara Gibbons-Neff and Liz Cowee are the Co-Owners of Paper Rock Scissors Shop, where they offer a space full of unusual goods from Maryland. Cara and Liz met serendipitously, and then realised their mutual passion for design and independent artists. So they then quickly established their firm to support local talent and artisans. They have a very similar approach to design, so offer their customers a hand-picked and curated selection of crafts and goods. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Cara Gibbons-Neff and Liz Cowee.
Image Credit: 1) Ohhio (Etsy) 2) Fantastic Frank 3) Hauswitch 4) Knot Wedding Magazine 5) Small Ant Workshop
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
CARA: We are a modern, handmade store and workshop, focusing entirely on small, independent studios and designers. LIZ: Our style is eclectic, mixing and matching old and new, East and West, luxe and humble, showy and quiet.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
CARA: Just being in the shop, surrounded by so many unique colors and textiles and objects, makes it easy to begin any project. But having such a creative partner and friend to talk things out and experiment with.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
CARA: We are fortunate enough to be consistently working with new and emerging artists who we often get to watch grow to enormous degrees in a short period of time. Some of them even get their start outside of their own studios through us. And being artists and designers ourselves, we have the utmost respect for each and every one of these potters, painters, crafters, designers, jewelers.
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
CARA: Emotions, colors, shiny objects, animals. But I'm also a master procrastinator. Sitting down at my table is the only way to start- or to finish- a project. LIZ: I have to set aside sacred time every day to be creative-to sit and make sense of the constant ebb and flow of ideas and processes in my mind. Inspiration comes through color, the vibrancy and diversity of the natural world.
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
CARA: Starting PRS was the result of a major transition in my life combined with the universe putting Liz and me together. We started the workshop as a place to both support independent studios. My advice is to truly, deeply, trust your talents. LIZ: Everything always works out the way it is supposed to. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn how to do something differently...better the next time. We take so much pride in how far we have come with little or no idea how to run a retail business.