I have to admit that I’m a junkie for vintage clothes and thrift store finds. It’s something so unique about wearing clothes that you know many people won’t have (unless their in their 50’s and 60’s) and you can remix to make them look fresh and up to date. When searching online for some new inspiration, I came across Lady Dutchess Estasha Goodwin from www.LaBellaVidastyle.com  and her Etsy shop, La Bella Vida Vintage at http://www.etsy.com/shop/LadyDutchess0313?ref=pr_shop .

I was totally excited to feature her work for you to love as well. She’s creative but her energy is even more captivating based on the following interview.

Labellavida featured on GaptoothDiva.comDiva of all things divine, crafty in chaos, and self-proclaimed fashion fiend, Estasha Goodwin is a creative chameleon who loves to share her passion for the arts in everything she does. From an early age, her mother introduced her to a wide range of creative mediums such as painting, mosaics, and sketching. She taught her about many iconic artists such as Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Keith Haring who continue to be inspirations to her today.

At the age of 17, Estasha embarked on her first business adventure as co-owner and artist at a small airbrush shop in Tampa, FL called Air Fx. It was here that she discovered a love for combining art and fashion through customizing t-shirts, hats, and shoes. When she relocated to Atlanta, GA, a few years later she decided to take her love fashion and art one-step further by pursuing jobs as a wardrobe stylist for local photographers and designers. Now located in San Francisco, Estasha continues to work as a wardrobe stylist, creates jewelry, customizes clothes, and has created a lifestyle blog called www.LaBellaVidaSTYLE.com.

Labellavida featured on GaptoothDiva.comWhen asked why she does what she does, Estasha says, “Simply put I just love to make beautiful things. Whether it is through the pieces of jewelry I create, or styling photo shoots, or painting. I just love to reflect the beauty I see everyday around me. I feel the most like myself when I’m creating and to me there’s no greater high.

I asked Estasha what inspired her to start her business and what inspires each design …

she stated, “La Bella Vida started by pure chance. I’ve always been crafty and loved to make things. Growing up we didn’t have much money so at an early age I customized my own clothes and shoes. I started out just making things for myself, which grew into making things for my friends, and eventually their friends and it just continued to grow.

Labellavida featured on GaptoothDiva.comMy design process is random at best. I’d have to say at first my biggest inspiration were luxury items I couldn’t afford. I would see a necklace that cost $10,000 and say to myself “I could make that for $10!” Nowadays I’m inspired by San Francisco and all of the diverse eclectic people here.”

So, what message does she want people to gain from La Bella Vida?

Labellavida featured on GaptoothDiva.comShe answered, “La Bella Vida translates into “The Beautiful Life” and at La Bella Vida Vintage and LaBellaVidaSTYLE.com we promote that by combing fashion and philanthropy. By encouraging self-love and the love of your fellow man though personal style and positive living we express our fashion philosophy, which is when you look good, you feel good; when you feel good, you live good. We believe that people who feel good about themselves are generally happier and have a strong ability to affect the people around them in a positive way as well…Living La Bella Vida.”

Being creative and being an adult in this world, we all face obstacles everyday. We asked Estasha were there any obstacles she had to overcome to get where she is today and how did she overcome them…

Her answer: “One of the biggest obstacles I’ve encountered on this journey is one I continue to face to this day which is finding a balance between my creative life and my personal obligations to provide for myself and my family. I’m not in a position to live completely off my art and I still have to work a REAL job to pay the bills. Sometimes I joke and say I work at my job only to pay for my career but in reality, that’s exactly what it feels like. I realized for me to feel sane being in an office is not for me so now I am currently working nights at a casino which allows me to not only have all day to blog or create but also lets me use my finance skills in a much more fun and relaxed atmosphere.”

What are some of the greatest moments about what she does? Any lessons learned.

“There are so many! After weeks of research, preparation, and legwork devoted to styling a photo shoot and finally all of the other members of the creative team (photographer, model, hair/makeup team etc) come together and the vision comes manifests just as I saw it in my head. It’s truly a magical moment that will never get old to me. I also love the moment when I’m making something and I actually like it because I usually hate it during the beginning stages (ha-ha). I learned that you have to see things through until the end and not to be discouraged when it doesn’t turn out exactly how you envisioned it. Sometimes it’s best to walk away from it for a few days and then come back at with a fresh outlook.”

For all of you crafty and creative souls out there, wanting to make your footprint on the world in one medium or another, here is the advice Estasha has to give…

“My advice is if it makes you happy then pursue it with everything you have. Don’t wait for the right time, the right place, or when you will have enough money because you will never have perfect circumstances to work with. The right time is NOW, the right place is HERE, and you can make something out of nothing if you really wanted to. I remember working 12-hour days at the airbrush shop, then coming home, completing a big order of shirts, and never feeling tired and still feeling excited to go back into the shop the next day. It was because I was making”

Check out her webstore at La Bella Vida and also check out her lifestyle blog www.labellavida.com

For more inspiration and motivation follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva

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