The Wickedly Talented Ladies of Macabre Merch: Six Questions for the Beauty and Brains Behind the Killer Shop, Gorejess Laboratory
I’m a proud subscriber to Glamour Ghoul Box, a monthly subscription box featuring a variety of incredibly unique, handmade Horror/Gothic goodies (including cruelty free cosmetics, bath products, jewelry, and more) from small businesses. One of my favorite contributors to the Box is Gorejess Laboratories, an Etsy shop specializing in hand painted glassware, custom jewelry pieces, and unique makeup bags. Run by a remarkably talented woman, this five-star Etsy store ranks high on our list of recommendations for anyone looking for unique gifts for themselves or other Horror-loving, creepy ghouls.
1. What was the inspiration for starting your own business and how did you get started?
I’ve always been crafting and selling ever since I was in elementary school. Friendship bracelets in 6th grade, hemp necklaces in highschool, etc. What resonates most with me is something my dad said to me as a kid: “If you can’t find what you want, make it.” So that’s what I did. Before I officially opened my Etsy shop, I was filling hand painted wineglass orders for friends. Someone had asked me for a set of Nightmare Before Christmas wine glasses, and then Gorejess Laboratory was born. That set still remains as one of my biggest sellers.
2. When and how did you fall in love with horror?
I was 5 years old when my uncle showed me my first horror film, Pet Semetary. I loved it. Zelda still scares the shit out of me to this day. From then on, Horror has been my favorite genre.
3. Where does inspiration for your products come from? What is your creative process like?
For my hand painted glassware, I draw from iconic horror films, taboo topics like Serial Killers, my favorite characters from my childhood (Gizmo, 90s Nickelodeon) and the medical field. By day, I’m a Medical Laboratory Scientist, so I try to create medical field themed glassware that you can’t find in stores. My jewelry pieces are just pieces that I would want to wear myself.
My creative process happens pretty quickly, I can see the already finished product in my head and I deconstruct it from there. If it’s a wine glass, I’ll just start painting. If it’s a jewelry piece, I look for vendors selling the supplies I need. And if I can’t find what I need, I make it. Most of my successful ideas have come from me being in panic mode because an original idea fell through.
For my pieces in the Glamour Ghoul Boxes, I have a theme to go off of for each month. I try to create usable or wearable art.
4. What’s the best part about running your own business, and what’s the hardest part?
The best part about running my own business is seeing my customers’ reactions. I am my own worst critic, so to see how excited they are with a finished product is the absolute best. The hardest part of running my business is saying “no”. Whenever someone comes to me with an idea/request, I always want to accommodate. But with working part time, running my own business, and being a mother, there are some jobs that are just too big for me to take on.
5. Tell me why you think it’s important for people to support small business? Is it especially important for people to support female-owned business (if so, why)?
It’s hella important for people to support small businesses! When buying from small businesses, you’re helping someone pay off their student loans, helping a single mother support her child, helping a couple pay for medical bills. The money isn’t going into the pocket of a billionaire.
It’s especially important for people to support female-owned businesses so that there are more strong female role models for our girls.