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Shaesby Spreads the Love to Other Local Artists Through “CREATE 6°”

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AUSTIN, TX-BASED jewelry designer Shaesby Scott knows what it’s like to try to make a living as a local artist. In fact, he began his own career making furniture and sculptures before discovering a love for jewelry while living in Rio de Janeiro. He set up shop in his garage back in 2001, making each piece by hand. Today, his pieces are distributed across the country and even internationally – but he’ll never forget his roots.

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That’s why he began Create 6°, an initiative based on the concept of “six degrees of separation” – the idea originated during the 1960s that everyone in the world is separated by a mere six links. Scott was purchasing a painting from local Austin artist Brian Phillips, which was displayed in a local boot maker’s shop (HELM Boots). Scott liked the painting so much, he commissioned several more to be made to decorate his studio.

“After visiting Phillips’ studio, we thought, ‘Wow, this needs to be seen!’” says Michaele Smith, who handles PR for the designer. “There are so many talented artisans in our community that people don’t know about. For us, it is so inspiring to see creative people in their workspace. We want to share that with our followers!”

The Create 6° project has so far involved an email promoting six Austin artisans; each photo includes their name and vocation (painter, assemblage artist, musician, painter, lighting and design, and “hunter and gatherers of uncommon objects”) and links to a page on Shaesby’s website that is chock full of photos of each artist’s work. Other creatives will be promoted as the year unfolds.

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What’s really refreshing about the initiative is that, as Smith says, there is no business purpose. “It has just been such a great way for us to get involved and get to know other local makers.  The idea is that each artist that we feature will be able to link us to the next one!”

Is it worth it to spend time and money promoting other businesses? That question can be answered in the feelings that those business owners subsequently have for you and your business, and what they might say to their customers – but more importantly for Shaesby, it lies in the personal satisfaction he gets from promoting other local artists and (hopefully) helping them to achieve the same measure of success that he has.

Trace Shelton is the editor-in-chief of INSTORE magazine. He can be reached at [email protected].

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