Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Perez.
Hi Christine, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started Casual Magic with one product (tassel earrings) back in 2017, when I was still living in Brooklyn, NY. Tassel earrings were all the rage that summer. They were selling them in every store and it seemed like jewelry vendors were selling them on every corner, but I just couldn’t find the perfect pair for me. So, I decided to make my own. A few friends ended up wanting ones as well, and the rest is history.
Since then, the business has grown slowly. I introduced more handmade jewelry and clay ring dishes. Opened up an Etsy shop. Moved to the West Coast. Started participating in pop-up events and markets. Was inspired by the beautiful nature and laid-back vibes of Southern California and started to shift more into home decor, experimenting with clay-based wall hangings. Then, last year, when COVID-19 hit and I found myself with more free time at home, I started to play around with tie dye and Shibori and instantly fell in love with the art of dyeing, especially with indigo. Everything white in my house slowly became blue.
At the moment, I love the mix of items I have in the shop – from wall art and delicate clay ring dishes to a whole host of hand-dyed Shibori items: pillows, tea towels and tableware to aprons, gorgeous silk scarves and robes.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Like so many others, I think one of my biggest struggles is finding balance. Casual Magic started as a hobby, a creative outlet, and grew into a “side hustle” (even though I hate that terminology). And it continues to be something I do on the side of my “9-to-5” job in Public Relations. As the business grows and evolves, I’m constantly trying to find the right balance between work, play and rest. I’m eager to jump into new dyeing projects, participate in local pop-up markets and collaborate with other makers because it’s all so much fun, but the reality is, it’s also a lot of work. Sometimes I just need to remember why I started Casual Magic in the first place – to have fun and let the creativity flow. Everything has a way of working out like it should, in due time.
Another area I struggle with is promoting my business. As the old figure of speech goes, “the cobbler’s children have no shoes.” As someone who does PR for a living, I’m very bad at promoting myself. Getting better at telling my story is one of my goals for this year…baby steps.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Inspired by nature, natural materials and my favorite destinations across California (and around the world), my line of home goods embraces intricate pattern play balanced with simple colorways – a lot of blues and neutrals. All meant to bring beauty, joy and calm to the home.
I create everything in small batches – each piece is shaped, marbleized, dyed, strung by my hands – no two items are exactly alike, which is what I love most about them. After buying one of my Shibori tea towels, one customer remarked that my dye work is “beautiful in a wild sort of way” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Reflecting back on the last few years since I started Casual Magic, I’m proud of growing something from nothing – rediscovering my creative side. But I’m especially proud of how my dyeing and Shibori techniques have evolved over the last year – sourcing the right materials and dyes, testing and learning how to fold and create unique patterns. It’s been so much fun to play around and find my own style. I’m excited to keep learning and experimenting, maybe even travel to Japan to learn from the masters.
I primarily dye with indigo right now – the unique blue color speaks to me on a deep level. Indigo is actually associated with mystical powers, intuition and the higher mind. The color often signals integrity, sincerity, devotion, wisdom and justice – all such important values today and always.
But I am looking forward to experimenting with more colors and natural dyes – I’m starting to play around with new ice dyeing techniques and looking to dye with some pinks, purples, yellows and greens for a new Summer collection. More to come!
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Luck is a funny concept – I think being in the “right place at the right time” can be confused with luck, but I’m more a believer in fate. When it comes to business and creative journeys, and life in general, I think certain people and opportunities come into our lives when we’re ready for them. The same can be said for “bad luck” – many challenges come into our life to teach us something – it’s our job to put the work in and rise to the occasion, learning the lessons meant for us and growing along the way.
- Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CasualMagicCo
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/casualmagicco/
Most of these are shot my me. The one of my pop-up set is courtesy of Kimber Collective.