As we all know, I am a big accessory whore especially for all that is colorful, girly and bownerriffic, so when I found out about Cutie Dynamite, an adorable jewelry and hair accessory line based out of Northern California, my weave sang a wistful tune. Andrea Mota, the lovely lady behind Cutie Dynamite, sees the world through Swarovski-studded heart-shaped sunglasses all while spreading her own brand of kitschy cute throughout!
Tulle, bows, ruffles, vintage velvets and lace, Swarovski crystals, feathers and sequins are just some of the elements she uses to make her accessories…which are all of my favorite ingredients! I had to get the lowdown on Andrea, (a fellow member of the International Society of Black Hair, Bangs and Red Lipstick) and her inspirations for Cutie Dynamite!
How did you get started designing accessories?
I have always loved to make things. As a kid I lived in a commune for a little while, and one of the couples taught me how to make silver jewelry. They made a living off what they made and sold, and that idea really stuck with me. I’ve gone through phases of making and selling clothing as well, but at one point I realized that I was making entirely too many hair accessories for myself to ever wear, so i decided it was time to start selling them! I received a lot of support from my fellow crafty ladies and my amazing boyfriend and set up shop in December of 2007 and have been spreading the cuteness ever since!
Can you describe the inspiration behind Cutie Dynamite?
Cute girls! Being fabulous at all times, decadence, sweets, vintage and street fashions all mashed together.
Where did you grow up? Did it influence your aesthetic at all?
I grew up and still live in a small town in Northern California. Everybody knows each other here, and as a result I think I always wanted to stand out that much more! The beauty and the calm of the area is conducive to my being productive. While the items I design don’t make you think of vineyards, redwoods and rolling hills, I really doubt I could do this anywhere else.
On the other hand, I also spent most of my time as a pre-teen living in Mexico, and I know that shaped me, without a doubt. I was constantly surrounded by amazing color, music, art, culture and food.
What is your design process?
It really depends on my mood. Sometimes its all about color, or texture….sometimes I just need the perfect accessory to go with a dress! The process is really just “what do I want to wear?”. I’ll start sewing, and when I emerge from my work room covered in sequins, feathers and Swarovski crystals, I always say it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever made!
Who are some other artists, designers or otherwise, do you admire?
It may sound cheesy, but anyone who gets out there and shares their talents with the world! I’m a huge fan of John Galliano’s work as well as the late Alexander McQueen. Miss Amy, the mastermind behind Shrinkle and Sugarpill has been a big inspiration as well as all the lovely DIY ladies out there!
If you could describe your style as the love child of any two people/things, who or what would they be?
On a perfect day, Jayne Mansfield and a Rock ‘N’ Roll Minnie Mouse!
What are your wardrobe staples?
Lots of glittering accessories, fabulous frocks, perilously high heels, black skinny jeans, and my motorcycle boots.
Is there anything you collect?
Yes! Vintage rubber toys, vintage jewelry, vintage hats, cameos, anything with a bow on it, Kewpie dolls, and any cute figurine with a bow-tie and a confused but ecstatic look on its face!
What are your other interests and hobbies?
Singing and making music. Listening and dancing to loud music. Travel! Going to exotic places and eating, shopping, meeting new people, seeing bands! Baking delicious things and eating them with tea(which I am doing now as I write this!!). Reading about flappers, crackpots, rebels, quacks, grifters, cool people. Naturally, myself, and my dog Elvis!
What’s next in the world of Cutie Dynamite?
Next up…a real website…finally! More jewelry, more fabulousness, more over-the-topedness, more cuteness!