Dec 042012
 

Author: Logan Martinez

Andi Rose, resourceress of Blue Sky Above was inspired to start creating products out of recyclables like bike tubes and vinyl records.

Andi Rose, resourceress of Blue Sky Above was inspired to start creating products out of recyclables like bike tubes and vinyl records. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

Three years ago, Andi Rose was inspired by the Colorado sunshine and a pile of junk to start making beauty out of what would otherwise have been considered trash. That inspiration led her to become the “resourceress” and owner of Blue Sky Above.

How did you start Blue Sky Above?

I was inspired by what most people consider junk. I see things like scratched vinyl records, bike tubes, scraps of wood and beer cans as blank canvases.

What is the meaning behind the name?

Blue Sky Above is a tribute to the 300 days of sunshine we have here in the great state of Colorado. It’s also a commitment to keeping our sky blue by reducing pollution, using what already exists and creating things out of what would otherwise be considered trash.

Andi Rose crafts cuff bracelets from vinyl records. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

Andi Rose crafts cuff bracelets from vinyl records. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

What is Blue Sky Above’s mission? 

With a serious appreciation for our handsome Colorado environment, it’s our mission to be creative while being mindful in preserving – and sometimes shakin’ – what our mamas gave us.

How did you come up with your products?

By excess. Believe me, I’m not one to shy away from consumerism – shoes are my weakness – but a lot of consumerism is based on virgin materials and overseas production. I’m not perfect, there are materials used in Blue Sky Above created items that come from overseas – no escaping it – but I source 75 percent or more of materials used to make items from what would otherwise be trash.

What do you enjoy about making your products from recyclables?

I love that each item turns out a little different. It makes items just as unique as the people sporting them and is indicative of handmade. I also love the process. When I come across a material that I like and that there’s a lot of, I study it, like any artist would a subject. I deconstruct it, and push the limits of what keeps it together as a substance to learn what does and doesn’t work.

Instead of throwing out old bike tubes, Rose cuts them up and creates necklaces and bracelets. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

Instead of throwing out old bike tubes, Rose cuts them up and creates necklaces and bracelets. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

What is your favorite product? Why?

It depends on the context. My favorite to make is record cuffs. They require so many steps and are very rewarding when done. My favorite to wear is the bike tube flower necklace. I have never not received compliments when wearing mine.

What do you have in mind for the future of Blue Sky Above?

That’s a good question. Blue Sky Above is so small right now that it’s super nimble, and could swerve in several directions without taking a bunch of employees on a wild ride. There’s no doubt I’d like to keep fostering and growing it, as has been done in the past three years, but not at the expense of the mission. A specific goal for this year is to start working on distribution outside of Colorado.

For the holidays Rose makes what she calls "Beer Angels" from recycled New Belgium beer cans. Photo courtesy of Andi Rose

For the holidays Rose makes what she calls “Beer Angels” from recycled New Belgium beer cans. Photo courtesy of Andi Rose

What are you making for this holiday season that is different from your normal products?

Beer angels! Made from local brewery six packs and more, beer angels are the perfect way to gift beer lovers in your life.

What is your favorite part about the holidays?

Being able to see your breath while the is sun shining, the lights hanging from trees in Old Town, the extra steps you have to take in preparation to go outside (coats, mittens, hats), coming out of a warm yoga class to the cold night, red and white stripes together, hearing bells every time you walk in and out of a grocery store, people spending a little more money on handmade items to gift to others, a sense of community, leftover turkey sandwiches, and a chance for rebirth with the start of a new year.

 Are you having any holiday promotions?

Yes. If you go to the http://blueskyabove.com/shop/, and then check out through Etsy, you can enter the coupon code GORAMS to receive 20% off from now until December 31st.

Products created by Rose can be found in local shops like Kansas City Kitty and New Belgium Brewing Co., or online at www.blueskyabove.com.

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