Twilight's Fancy has been the world's largest online retailer of ribbon clamps and ribbon chokers since 2009. It all started when I wanted to make a choker in a particular size and had trouble finding it. I figured if I was trying to make something so simple as a ribbon choker and couldn't find what I needed to make the design just right, I probably wasn't alone. And that was a good thing, because I'd had to have a factory make that first run and I had literally thousands of ribbon clamps. I put them in my very first shop at ArtFire and like I suspected, they started selling because I wasn't the only one looking for them.
Since then, my line has grown to offer 12 sizes in 5 finishes. I was one of the first to offer 38mm (1 1/2") and 50mm (2") which are now both common sizes.
Because of my line of ribbon clamps, my line of chokers dramatically increased. All of my chokers are available in all 5 finishes. If you're looking for a particular ribbon, trim or leather, please contact me. I have a huge selection of chokers that I haven't listed yet. I've always loved trims and ribbons and have recently added more leather to my stash, so there's a pretty good chance I have what you're looking for or can get it. I'm a designer at heart and I love to make things, so my choker selection is always growing.
Once upon a time, I co-wrote and co-produced a web series called Necrolectric. I, of course, also made all of the jewelry. That's where the Necrolectric line came from. If you like romance novels, look up Ashleigh Raine. Myself and my best friend have been published since 2003 and really love to write.
The Swarovski hearts are because, well, I fell in love with them. I started with the 10mm heart choker, but then wanted to make them a little larger to hang a little lower, so I started making the 14mm heart choker too. Then, the big 28mm hearts...I just love their sparkle.
I make all the jewelry myself. I've been selling online since 2009, but before that I sold to friends, at craft fairs and have been making jewelry since I was a very young girl. For instance, in middle school, I used to plan my outfits for the week, make earrings to match, wear them that week, take them apart on the weekend and start the process over again. I couldn't afford to buy new beads so I reused broken jewelry and whatever beads I'd been given or had found. I'm a recycler at heart. By having only what was in my stash, I learned how to make the best of everything, how to repurpose, how to essentially reinvent beads and findings and trims and ribbons. There's no such thing as a bit or scrap that's too small to keep. Don't throw it away, it'll get used for something. Of course, I've got stuff in my stash that's 30+ years old still waiting for the perfect project, but it does come around and it have its day. And I love it.
I keep referring to myself as "I". My name is Lisa Stoddard, but my online/social media name is Rina Slayter (because once upon a time, I wrote a novel under that penname so rather than having two accounts everywhere, I just have one). My husband Jason founded Schiit Audio while Twilight's Fancy was in its infancy. In fact, I was his first employee. I named the company, was a sounding board as he designed the amplifiers, website and packaging. I soldered the first 1000 circuit boards and shipped those first 1000 units as well. How did I do all that? Using what I'd learned from Twilight's Fancy. To this day, I still consult for Schiit based on the knowledge I've gained through my day-to-day operations at Twilight's Fancy. His company has gone from "I really hope these sell or we're going to be giving these as Christmas gifts for a very long time" to "people want these so badly we're having trouble keeping them in stock" very quickly while Twilight's Fancy grew manageably.
Twilight's Fancy was started with about $50 and the contents of my sewing room. I've come a very long way since then. Evolving, learning, using that knowledge and passing it on to others. Anyone can start a business these days thanks to the internet. But you really gotta love what you do in order to keep it going.
On top of all the usual business trials and tribulations, I discovered that I'd essentially been sick my entire life. In 2011, my right side went numb. I lost some motor control, but was thankfully still able to make jewelry. It was pretty hard for awhile there. And the brain fog was getting thicker. I had to write everything down in order to remember it. Conventional doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. In 2012, I turned to alternative medicine and discovered that I not only had Candida, but 35 food allergies to go along with it. My doctor told my husband she was surprised I was so functional for how sick I was.
This was a life changing event. I had to give up those 35 foods plus all the rituals involved. Some were pretty easy because I didn't come in contact with them regularly. But there were a few--wheat, potatoes, yeast, sunflower, vanilla--that were pretty hard to go without. My allergies aren't the kind where I have an anaphylactic reaction. Mine essentially made my body think it was being poisoned. My liver thought it needed to clean all those foods out of my system. Essentially, there were 2 things in my diet that I loved to eat before I learned of my allergies which I was able to keep eating: popcorn and tea. Everything else--french fries, chocolate, pizza, sandwiches, etc.--were all now off limits.
What does all this have to do with Twilight's Fancy? My little company was my lifeline. There were days when I could barely get off the couch, but I did. I crawled to my home office, I printed and shipped orders even if I could only stand for 5 minutes at a time. Why? Because people were making things and I didn't want to let them down. That's how passionately I want people to make things.
It took months to be able to get through a day without having to give up and lay down on the couch until I felt good enough to get back up again. It took a year before I started to really feel better. At the time of this writing, I'm in my third year and feeling great. I can now tolerate small quantities once a month of some of my allergens. Some. Not all. And not the ones I really want back.
I turned 40 on September 28, 2014. My husband asked me what I wanted for my big 4-0. And I really had to think about it. I've got everything I need. And then it hit me.
I wanted a pizza and a chocolate cake that I wasn't allergic to. It'd been 3 years since I'd had either of those.
It took a little planning, but he made a sourdough rye pizza crust and found an all beef pepperoni. He also found a wheat-free chocolate cake recipe (that one was pretty easy now that more people are going gluten free). Best. Birthday. Ever. It really is the little things that are most important sometimes.
Again, what does any of this have to do with Twilight's Fancy? I wouldn't be here without the support of my husband--which he surprisingly didn't give me in the early years, but because I knew in my heart that I wanted to make things and wanted to help others make things too, I kept going. I kept learning. I kept evolving. Twilight's Fancy isn't just a business, it's my life, and my lifeline. It's why I get up in the morning. Because if there's someone who wants to make something or wear something I've made, I better hop to it and ship it out.
My mom came out of retirement to be my first employee. She said she was bored at home. Now she helps me here in my studio...which outgrew my home office years ago and now exists in the upstairs of the Schiit warehouse. Twilight's Fancy has come a long way and I'm going to do my best to make it go a long way forward from here too. I hope you enjoy making things and wearing things that people make. There's a lot of love in each item that ships from Twilight's Fancy. I hope you share it.