Crafters We Love Heck yeah! We found purses made of vinyl records. Think that's cool? Wait until you meet the designer behind these totally rad retro crafts.

Published on June 23rd, 2015 | by Crunchy Scott

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Totally Rad Retro Crafts! An interview with Larisa Paz from Craftivity Plus

Heck yeah! We found purses made of vinyl records. Think that’s cool? Wait until you meet the designer behind these totally rad retro crafts.

Heck yeah! We found purses made of vinyl records. Think that's cool? Wait until you meet the designer behind these totally rad retro crafts.

A few weeks ago I decided to check out a craft fair just a few blocks from my house. It was a last minute decision, but I was curious. I’d never been to an evening craft fair in Old Town Alexandria (a super-cute city about 2 minutes from Washington, D.C.)

So I stopped by my neighborhood Thai place, ordered some food and headed over to the craft fair. I had 15 minutes to burn before my Veggie Pad Thai would be ready, and I figured that was plenty of  time to do a loop.

Alexandria’s Market Square was bustling. There were crafters set up all over the place – and they were totally busy with customers. How cool is that! I saw animals made of raffia, all sorts of wild jewelry, and homemade superhero costumes for toddlers. It was a great showing of local artists and crafters.

But just as I was about to call it quits, I spotted the most amazing booth! They called themselves Craftivity Plus – a retro chic display that sucked me in like midnight cable showing of Steel Magnolias! Larisa Paz is the crafty mastermind (aka designer) behind some of the most creative bags, pins and accessories that I’ve ever seen. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s my one-on-one interview with Larisa where she talks about her inspiration, her materials and her love of RETRO!

Larisa Paz is the crafty mastermind (aka designer) behind some of the most creative bags, pins and accessories that I've ever seen. But don't take my word for it. Here's my one-on-one interview with Larisa where she talks about her inspiration, her materials and her love of RETRO CRAFTS!

Crunchy Scott
You use some really awesome materials for your designs. Tell me about them.

Larisa
I commonly use everyday things that have been discarded or are no longer in use, and that no longer will be reused in their original form or the purpose for which it was originally created. For example floppy disks, cassettes, vinyl records, VHS tapes, expired credit cards, banners, etc.

Crunchy Scott
What are the challenges using records, disks and other types of retro materials?

Larisa
The main challenge is to achieve a good finish and a high quality product handcrafted with a material that was not originally designed for that.

Crunchy Scott
What inspires you to craft/create the things that you make?

Larisa
The inspiration comes originally from the material itself. First, I encounter the material, study it and see its qualities to discover what I can create and assemble with it, and also give it a twist of creativity.

Larisa Paz is the crafty mastermind (aka designer) behind some of the most creative bags, pins and accessories that I've ever seen. But don't take my word for it. Here's my one-on-one interview with Larisa where she talks about her inspiration, her materials and her love of RETRO CRAFTS!

Crunchy Scott
There’s a real environmental aspect to your designs, which we at CAGW LOVE! Is that something that attracted you to this kind of art?

Larisa
Yes, of course !, There are a lot of materials wasted and being thrown away which we could use them to make creative, original and fun things that can also help the environment and at the same time be useful for the every day use.

Crunchy Scott
I love the retro vibe to your pieces. Do you remember the ’80s or are you just inspired by its materials?

Larisa
Of course! I was born in the 80s! 1983 to be exact.

What I look for in my products is to have that retro style and that it can provide a nostalgic feel to whoever sees them, primarily seeking to bring a memory of childhood or youth to the mind of the consumer. I just want the consumers to see the product, SMILE!!, and that they can have fun when they use the products.

Crunchy Scott
What’s the craziest material you’ve ever worked with? And what did you end up making?

Larisa
Well, I think so far, the craziest was the jewelery line with industrial waste. Mainly because it literally means disassembling an appliance and seeing what I can do with the elements that are inside, or which parts are adapted to make earrings, bracelets, necklaces or rings. The hardest thing about this is that each piece is unique and unrepeatable. You can make fantastic things from old electronics! If you give me one afternoon in your basement, and I´ll find a new product line from it, I bet ya! 

Larisa Paz is the crafty mastermind (aka designer) behind some of the most creative bags, pins and accessories that I've ever seen. But don't take my word for it. Here's my one-on-one interview with Larisa where she talks about her inspiration, her materials and her love of RETRO CRAFTS!

Crunchy Scott
What kinds of materials have you NOT worked with yet, but that you would like to work with in the future?

Larisa
I have a good time trying to create something with CD´s, but still have not achieved something really great with that and it’s amazing the amount of people telling me that they have a lot stowed at home. I got my mind working on that, and we’ll see what I can think of, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Crunchy Scott
What’s your most favorite thing you’ve ever made?

Larisa
That is a difficult question because, obviously, I identify with everything I do.

But I think of the things that I have done so far, the floppy disk purse is one of my favorites. It is so far the most successful product, and one that I could repeat in series. Designing the product actually took me through many setbacks that I had to overcome in order to properly design the final result.

Crunchy Scott
Why did you decide to use retro materials for your pieces?

Larisa
I wanted to create something that was fun, creative and original and I found most of those qualities in using retro materials. These materials helped me generate the emotion that I was searching to provide to the consumer.

There is still a lot of such materials in the world that still exist, and usually free or for very cheap, and that are also incredibly resistant, allowing me to manipulate them in many ways and ensure good durability for the customer.

Larisa Paz is the crafty mastermind (aka designer) behind some of the most creative bags, pins and accessories that I've ever seen. But don't take my word for it. Here's my one-on-one interview with Larisa where she talks about her inspiration, her materials and her love of RETRO CRAFTS!

Crunchy Scott
Random questions time: What’s your favorite ’80s song, ’80s movie and ’80s TV show?

Larisa

Song = Sweet Child O’ Mine, Guns N’Roses 

Movie = Back to the Future (the first one is always the best!)

TV show = ALF

Crunchy Scott
Anything else you’d like to add?

Larisa
Yes. Think twice before throwing things away at home.

Usually, with a little ingenuity and some brainstorming, you can transform your vision from trash into something really cool.

Larisa is THE BEST, right? OK, so you’ve got a basement full of CDs, VHS tapes and other thingies you don’t know what to do with? Larisa wants them! You can email her at craftivityplus@gmail.com.

And if you simply want to check out some of her totally rad retro crafts (and maybe purchase one or two), she’s on Facebook at www.facebook.com/craftivity.plus.

A big THANK YOU to Larisa for answering all my silly questions. So who wants to come over now and watch ALF with me?

Larisa Paz is the crafty mastermind (aka designer) behind some of the most creative bags, pins and accessories that I've ever seen. But don't take my word for it. Here's my one-on-one interview with Larisa where she talks about her inspiration, her materials and her love of RETRO CRAFTS!

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About the Author

I'm a self-proclaimed eco-geek. I'm also a flexitarian foodie, a crunchy crafter and an eco-journalist. And if it's awesomely 80s, I'm into it. Oh, and I wrote a kids book too! Find me on and . Wow, I'm everywhere! So come find me.



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