Art Prints

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Interview with Handmade Artist Sifistickate

I recently had the pleasure of meeting this amazing and interesting artist on the Handmade Artists Forum board. I was intrigued by her profile picture and her flowing tresses .I have had long hair most of my life until recently, I never managed to get to this length, but two of my daughters did before age five, so I have some experience dealing with long locks:)
I had so many questions for Ms Julie about her hair and her business making unique one of a kind hair sticks I just had to interview her! Julie's answers were so interesting and she is so open and honest I can't wait to share with you:) You can see my personal favorite in the photo above, isn't that awesome! I am almost sad I cut my hair.
My first question: What inspired you to grow your hair so long?
Sifistickacate's answer:       I've always had long hair.  At first,  I didn't specifically have any goal in mind.  I let it grow to my mid-back, then just kinda neglected it for a while
because I didn't know what I wanted to do.  Then I decided an ankle-length braid would be awesome - the image in my mind of a long rope of hair hanging down, slapping me in the back of the leg as I walked was very appealing.  But, I was indoctrinated in conventional hair care methods, and 
didn't realize what kind of changes I would have to make to realize my dream.  
   I became "stuck" at waist-length for nearly a decade.  It never grew any longer,  and my hair dresser told me that some women can't grow hair that long, so I gave up trying.  I was very disappointed about it for a long time, but one day I resolved to just be happy with what I had.  I was looking around for new ideas for ways to style and decorate it, with a rather vague idea I would make myself some custom barrettes or something.  Then a friend directed me 
to the Long Hair Community, and that's where I learned how to restart my growth.  Since I've been there I've changed everything about the way I care for it,
and have grown from waist to knee.  Ankle looms again as a genuine possibility, and I'm excited about it.

Question 2: Have you ever cut your hair?
Sifistickacate's answer:     I kept my hair shoulder length or shorter for almost 20 years.  I remember in high school I had Prince's hair cut -about 2" long, razored, and spiked 
with gel. Over the years I did all kinds of crazy things -dyed it purple once- and was always having it cut some new way or perming it out of years of it's life. 

Question 3:What kind of situations have you gotten in to because your hair is so long?
Sifistickate's answer:     Oh, my.... To be honest, hair this long isn't for the faint of heart.  I've gotten it snagged on all kinds of things, closed it in doors, caught in fans, 
and had to remove all kinds of tangles.  When it's this long, it can be difficult to keep it out of trouble, and the only real solution is to put it up every day.  
Thankfully, even at this length I can grab it and put it up in less than 15 seconds, so I won't have to worry about it much.
   But even when it's out of the way, it can still be a serious liability.  Last year I had it 'safely' bunned while I was burning weeds and a gust of wind blew a spark and caught my hair on fire and burned huge chunks of it, I believe it it had been free I would have lost all of it, I had nightmares for weeks!
Poor Julie!

Question 4: What kind of reaction do you get from people on the street?
 Sifistickate's answer:   Mostly very, very positive.  A lot of people ask me how I grew it so long, and how I keep it nice at this length.  Others just want to know how much 
time and effort it takes to maintain.  Many will ask for my advice for their own hair, and a few have told me they plan to grow theirs this long, too.
   A very few make rude comments about how I'm destroying the environment 'using so much shampoo' or demanding that I cut it for donation to Locks of Love.  Sometimes random strangers see it as public property.  They grab it and pull and make jokes about my "reins" or my "bell pull" or call it a "mop". I try to just take it in stride, but sometimes it's really annoying!

Question 5: How long does it take to wash & dry those lovely locks?
Sifistickate's answer:     It takes less time to care for now than it did when it was shorter! 
   For daily care, I just use a bit of conditioner in the shower, and then I use a single drop or two of coconut oil on the ends to help protect them. 
About once a week I have an eccentric three-hour-long routine of shampoo, conditioners, coffee rinses and a few very unusual preparations that work for me.  
Once I'm done, it air dries in about two hours.

Question 6:  Did you come from a creative family?
 Sifistickate's answer:    Yes.  My family members are all eccentric, creative, free-thinking, opinionated,  limitless kooks.  And I love them all to the moon and back. :):)

Question 7:How long have you been making hairsticks & hair adornments?
 Sifistickate's answer:  Maybe two years now.  It started when I had to refinish and paint a really unusual wooden barrette that I bought. It arrived with big splinters and rough 
spots, and took me hours to repair.  Then I started buying up used items that had been mistreated and refurbishing them.  Sometimes I worked for hours on 
something only to have to finally admit that it would never, ever work with hair as long as mine.  So I started buying various pieces and parts to assemble into 
items that would work better.  

Question 8:  When did you decide to take your passion to a new level and make it a business?
 Sifistickate's answer: I started just making hair toys for myself.  I'm really picky and only want things that won't snag or tangle, and that go with the clothes I wear. I don't like 
things that are too sparkly or fancy, because I have to wear them everyday.  There are a lot of people who sell really beautiful hair sticks with crystals and bling,  
but I wanted more subtle and casual sticks to wear all the time.  
   I also have a strong attraction to truly one of a kind, artistic works that just can't be purchased in large quantities.  So, I started buying really unusual pieces when I saw them, until I realized I had a genuine collection.  It just made sense to start selling some of my creations  to others with really long hair. 

Question 9:  Please tell me about your life outside of your art, what are your other interests, do you have pets? Etc....
  Sifistickate's answer:   When I'm not pushing my hair to longer and longer lengths, I draw, paint, sew, garden and keep art journals.  I'm the owner of Your Button Shop, and 
the owner/admin of Stitchery Guild sewing forums 
   I am interested in everything there is, and everything that ever will be.  I want to study every subject, read every book, gaze at every painting, and meet
every person worth knowing.  I have no boundaries; and there are no doors I will not peek inside.  

I want to thank Sifistickate for her willingness to open up about her life and give us such an interesting and fascinating  interview ! If you would like to see more of Julie's work you can find her here at Sifistickate Hairsticks:)

I hope you have enjoyed your visit, I look forward to your comments and questions . Until next time.. God bless you !


  1. this was great....thanks for sharing. I love "meeting" new artists. Her hair is amazing, I have sometimes thought of letting mine grow, but once I can't tuck it into my motorcycle it comes. lol

  2. Thanks Deb!I used to wear my hair long and my girls did too. My hubby was looking for some old black & white pics he took and ran across several old photographs of my when I was younger, my hair was very long and very naturally blonde. I would have loved these hair sticks!

  3. What a wonderful article! I used to have really long hair, nothing like this, and know the care it takes so bravo! To top it off, her hair sticks are beautiful.

    1. Thanks for commenting Kimberly! I too enjoyed long hair when I was younger. I cut is a few months ago and since I am older, I like it better short. Those hairsticks are enough to make me miss long hair so I could wear them:)

  4. Awesome interview and article! I just love her hair and her hair sticks!

    1. Thanks Dee! Her lovely hair & those hair sticks are wonderful!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Marilyn! I appreciate your comment:)

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Andrew! The pleasure was all mine!

  7. Nancy, ....Wow...what an interesting person you got to interview and those hair sticks are beautimus....(I used a pencil imaging that)
    Wonderful, thanks for sharing..♥♥♥