Interview with Martha Jackson: Artist and Owner of Restored by Design

Olivia reporting from Providence here! Winter Moon is excited to feature Designer and Jewelry Maker, Martha Jackson CEO of Restored by Design.

I had the opportunity to visit Martha’s studio and boutique tucked away in Providence’s charming East Side.

Name:

Martha

Age:

I am currently 58 years young, but don’t feel this age at all!

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how would you describe your style?

My style is bohemian with a feminine twist, modern yet romantic with a hint of vintage. I sometimes say eclectic.

what inspired you to make Jewelry and Clothing?

I have always wanted to design and create “the whole picture”. I studied Goldsmithing and Textiles in college at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. I remember being interviewed at that time and saying “I want to design the whole outfit, the complete look”. I think and see the whole thing. My notebooks are filled with sketches of pieces of clothing- the details. I have always been inspired by fashion as a whole – the trends, color, pattern, textures. I mix these in apparel and in jewelry.

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Us gals here at winter moon live our lives by inspiration, tell us, who or what inspires you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from nature, flowers, an amazing flower print, an innovative garment from current fashion designers such as Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, or seeing a beautiful piece from the past for example the 1920’s dresses worn by my neighbor, a beautiful book, rustic “stuff”, and fashion magazines with lots of visuals! Also, Anthropologie always inspires me when I go in to their stores.

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where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m originally from Toronto, Canada and Ottawa is where I call home. I now reside in a paradise place called Narragansett.

when do you feel the most creative?

When I feel most creative is a tough one! I am quite disciplined about organizing my time because I now have my business to manage. When I designate time and mission to create a piece, it usually flows into a collection of more pieces because ideas will materialize based on the parts and materials I am working with. One idea will grow to 10 and then it’s hard to stop. The best is to start my day knowing what I want to accomplish, sometimes I will sketch at night when it’s just me and the quiet moments.

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what made you decide to open your boutique here in Providence?

I decided to open my boutique because it has always been my dream and I decided to make it come true! I wanted to share my style, get it out into the world beyond the internet, and have a visually inspiring experience for my customers. Jewelry and fashion is something you have to touch and feel. I hesitated for a while, because Providence is a small audience, but I decided to go for it as my base and continue to reach into NYC, and other large cities.

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when did you start making Jewelry and Clothing?

I have been sewing since I can remember! I started creating my clothes when I was 11. That’s when I learned how to sew and was off and running! I started making jewelry when I began my studies in Goldsmithing in my second semester (1972) in college. Another arena that I just got lost in. I have enjoyed a very successful career in the fashion jewelry business, starting as designer, moving into fashion director and design director.

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I see that you describe your clothing as “Eco-Fashion”,  describe to our readers what that means?

Eco fashion means design with a conscience, a purpose to reduce waste (by using up what gets “thrown away”) and reduce the abuse to our natural resources. It helps build a sustainable future and bring business back to America. I wanted to do my part and take responsibility in the way I knew I could. I believe that creating by hand and preserving our hand skills will instill value and understanding into our precious resources we often take for granted.

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what is one thing you can’t leave your house without?

Cannot leave the house without dressing well. It used to be without makeup, now it’s without the right coordinated accessories – shoes, jewelry, scarves – even when I walk the dog. How crazy!

when do you feel your best?

I feel my best when I am creating- it’s magical place. Which has now been extended into my Retail Studio and after a good sleep (which I often don’t get).

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what is the best place you’ve ever traveled to?

Best place….. this is also a tough one! Paris is very high on the list!  Prague & I love to vacation on the French side in Saint Martin.

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any words of advice to artists trying to start a business?

My advice is to not place your expectations too high for things to come together right away, be able to manage your confidence vs. your frustrations, know your style, strengths and weaknesses, be open to new experiences and to feel your joy. Have a good business foundation, and stay organized.

Restored by Design

Martha thank you for sharing your creative space, lovely boutique, words of wisdom, and honesty with us!

We hope you’re able to visit this lovely place and enjoy it as much as I did!

**For those of you who cannot make it into her store, Martha has an online boutique where you can purchase as well.**

www.RestoredByDesign.com/collections

xo,

Olivia

photography// writing // editing: by Olivia

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