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Women Making History: Linda Smyth of Fleathers


Today we honor Linda Smyth; the amazingly-creative mind behind the accessory lines, Fleathers and The Rabidfox and the Philly boutique Topstitch, each one cementing her place in women’s history.

Linda has been creating jewelry for 10 years now. It all started with self-adornment and the love of body art that over the years transformed into a more wearable, whimsical way of life.

Fleathers was developed 6 years ago. Originally inspired by birds, flowers and the aquatic world, these days color combinations explode from day to day experiences. Leather has been taken to the next level here with the variety of shapes and colors within this jewelry form.

More on this inspiring lady and her bright and colorful passions, after the jump!

Fleathers make a fly girl fly!

I love the way Linda adorned the survey below! Check it:

*sigh* I want to live in those colors! More Fleathers by Linda below, followed by a little Q&A and a spotlight on her other passions—The Rabidfox and Topstitch!

Linda’s a genius at combining colors and textures. If these aren’t enough to convince you, check out the swoon-worthy combinations below!

Vive La Fleathers:

“No matter what race, creed, or budget these fleathers will ensure a style revolution in your very own closet.”

Chain Me Down Fleathers:

“Dangles with gold plated chains, simple yet unbelievable priced. Here’s to budget friendly style.”

Linda: May I suggest you call the amazing gold pieces below “A State of Ecstasy” (ala Ecstasy of St. Theresa)?…cause that’s what they damn near brought me to! Love ‘em!

Now for a little Q&A with Ms. Linda:

1. What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?

Sharon Church, my jewelry teacher from college, she makes the most beautiful things in the most traditional of ways.

2. How did you get your start?

It all started when I moved to Philly from DC. I started making clothing and jewelry, selling it all over the place, boutiques, parties, I ended up going back to art school and selling wares there too. Now I have Topstitch, it’s always been my dream to own my own boutique and fill it with creations of my delight!

3. What’s your favorite piece of (art, music, fashion, client etc) that you’ve created?

A gilded mirror frame I made recently out of about a hundred octopus tentacles that I carved out of wax then coated in copper.

4.  If you could create a piece for anyone, who would it be and why?

Vivienne Westwood, I find her most inspirational. She’s a wonderful designer who has changed history in fashion and music. I most admire her boldness and promotion of style and self- expression.

5. What part of your process is the most challenging and do you dislike the most?

I am the worst at marketing and self- promotion, other than wearing what I make, that is. I dislike bookkeeping and number crunching.

Let’s get familiar with Linda’s Rabidfox line…

The Rabidfox began 3 years ago and is co-created with Rebecca Pulver. Rabidfox was spawned from the love of the animal kingdom and all small things endeared; taking a playful spoof off of mass produced items then transformed into precious metal, wearable objects and friends.

Oh the cutenss! This gorgeous Sitting Bambi ring is available in Linda’s Etsy shop along with the ones below.

A weapon in disguise, this Beast Master Knuckle piece will protect you in style!

…and this tentacle necklace…insane!

Originally from Richmond, Va, Linda has lived in Philly for almost a decade. As well as designing jewelry, she also owns Topstitch, a fabulous vintage and handmade boutique located in Old City, Philadelphia. When she’s not making jewelry, she’s scavenging for vintage treasures and new indie designers to fill the shop.
The goal of Topstitch is to inspire a life less ordinary.

Established in 2006, Topstitch, the unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade and vintage boutique specializes in treasure hunting and alchemy. From reconstructing vintage to creating jewelry of all kinds, the designers of Topstitch aim to please in finding a way to make each piece special for you.

Topstitch is located at 54n. 3rd street in Old City, Philadelphia. Check out myspace.com/topstitch to see more about Topstitch.

Not in Philly but need a pair of Fleathers or Rabid Fox piece in your life? Go to fleathers.etsy.com!

Linda Smyth is truly next level! Stay up with her and her creative mind at ihearttopstitch.blogspot.com!

[Editors Note: Photo of Linda courtesy of Flygirls.typepad.com]

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5 Responses to “Women Making History: Linda Smyth of Fleathers”

  1. BetseyJ says:

    wow. her stuff is awesome.

    topstitch <3 <3

    that unicorn ring is totally a must have.

  2. Jenessa Jenessa says:

    Linda Smyth is amazing! Her sterling and gold animal rings are phenomenal, i tried on an octopus ring the other day, and have been thinking about it ever since. In fact, all the ladies at Topstitch in Philadelphia are amazing! Shouts to Tina and Myles! xx

  3. Isis Nicole Isis Nicole says:

    She is truly amazing!!

  4. Isis Nicole Isis Nicole says:

    btw, i am definitely purchasing a few of the feathers for this summer!!

  5. andrea says:

    great post!! thanks for letting me know.

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