1. Hi Carmen! Thanks so much for taking the time to share your work with us, can you tell us a little background about you? Family life? Children & pets?
Hello everyone! I’m Carmen Munoz, the designer and owner of Good Luck Wishes and the person that creates, take photos and ship one of a kind fabric flower necklaces for the woman that loves beauty and enjoys life. I recently had my 71 birthday and when I look back in my life, what I see is a path of creativeness that apparently I couldn’t stop. In my youth I spent many years making beautiful embossed pergamano parchment cards. Then I came interested in pottery. I had people looking for the delicate flowers I made from clay and wall house plaques that I completed with handmade birds and fountains. And then I was struck with fibromyalgia and had to quit something so vital for me. All of that was balanced with my professional life as bank officer.
I moved from Puerto Rico to South West Florida thirteen years ago to be near my three children (1 boy and 2 girls) that married Americans and lived in the U.S. I have 6 beautiful grandchildren, boys and girls. This part of my life was dedicated to help others through my volunteer work with the Red Cross and as National Red Cross spokesperson and it was a very rewarding experience. This past December I celebrated my 51st marriage anniversary with my high school sweetheart and the only kid left at home is a 13 year old cockatiel that can’t stop talking.
2. What’s the meaning/back-story to your shop name?
Well, here is where you will find the real story behind the shop and the name. You could say that I’m literally following my dream. Yes, a dream. One day, almost three years ago, I woke up with this feeling that I had a conversation with someone. That person told me that I was going to do fabric necklaces (which I didn’t have an idea of what they were), that I was going to call them Good Luck Wishes because people were going through difficult times and needed positive things in their lives. That I was going to pray and put positive thoughts in each piece for the person that wears them. I’m usually very skeptical, but what got to me was the name. In a million years it wouldn’t occur to me to use that name in conjunction with necklaces, I was sure this didn’t come from me. I had to do a research to learn what fabric necklaces were and decided to do them with flowers. Let me tell you that by this time in my life I had never done fabric flowers or jewelry and up to this day I have never taken classes to do them (only watched some videos). I just bought the materials and started creating and the ideas keep flowing endlessly. As you can imagine, I’m thrilled to be creating again although in a complete different manner.
3. Where do you find inspiration to create your unique statement necklaces?
Nature and travel are big sources of inspiration to me. I love vivid colors and I simply love flowers. There was a time in Puerto Rico when I had 200 orchid plants; my garden was a riot of colors. My home studio with a pond view is my happy place where I put all my heart in every single flower and every petal I create and I’m always inventing new ways and styles to do them. Making fabric bloom into beautiful and delicate flowers always fills my heart with joy. I’m passionate about combining unique beads with my flowers to form awesome designs. I’m a perfectionist, and I keep working with each creation no matter the time it takes until it clicks in my mind and I’m certain that the recipient will be thrilled.
4. Where do you source your materials? Do you ever use vintage items?
I buy the majority of my materials and fabrics locally; as my necklaces are one of a kind there is no use of ordering huge amounts of beads, although I order some materials from Etsy suppliers. I have had some custom orders where customers give me old pieces to bring them to life again in new and exciting ways.
5. How do you compare how you sell your necklaces online versus in person/ at craft shows? Do you change technique—sell different products at different places? Where do you find more success?
Oh, it is a complete different experience. I think that in Etsy I have not reached yet my full potential, but each one of my clients are extremely important to me and I try to create a rapport as if we were face to face. I try to help them as much as I can and answer all their questions as soon as possible. I love to interact personally with people at art fairs and explain the Good Luck Wishes story and how I get my ideas. Each person represents a unique relationship and I love it! I have one lovely senior lady that purchases a flower hair clip at every fair and she always come back asking for new colors; sometimes I find myself looking for her. I do real well at fairs, house parties and events. I’m thrilled when people look at my table and say “Oh, how beautiful, this is so different”.
6. Do you have a message you would like to put across, via your craft?
I’m passionate about making a woman look stunning and to make them feel proud of being one, and that you don’t need to be all dressed up to look fabulous. I’m very romantic at heart and I would love to bring romanticism back into fashion. But most of all, I would love to tell everyone out there that it is never too late to follow your dreams, that it is never too late to bring more beauty to this world and or to feel realized by making others happy. To never stop dreaming because you can make dreams come true. I want to be the reason that somewhere someone will smile when they receive their Good Luck Wishes order and feel great when they receive compliments.
7. What do you consider your biggest achievement as a handcrafter?
Well, I have had some over the years but “THE” moment came last year. I was asked to donate a necklace for an abuse, counseling and treatment nonprofit organization for domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking fundraiser. I gave them the most beautiful necklace I had. All the art donations for the auction were going to be previewed at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery before the Gala night. Imagine my shock when I entered de exhibition and the first thing facing the door was my necklace displayed on a pedestal and priced at $125 (It was auctioned for more). I felt so immensely proud to have my piece in the company of art valued at more than $30,000. I felt so fulfilled and proud of being a handcrafter and that people admired the product of my hands. I sincerely wish that moment and that feeling to every one of you.
8. What are your future plans for your shop? Ideas for new products or new ventures?
You know? This came for me late in life but as long as I’m healthy I will keep creating new designs and re-inventing what I can do with flowers. My priority right now is attracting more customers to my Etsy shop. I love brides and weddings and that is a market that I probably would like to explore, actually, I have had personal custom orders for bridal garters and head arrangements. This is one of them.