Meg Frampton, 26, was born and raised in Utah. She is well known as the guitarist of Meg and Dia as well as a song writer for her band. She now resides in Austin, Texas where her artistic skills are used to create little robots for human beings to wear around their necks. Meg is the founder of Chandler-The-Robot jewelry, a creative and quirky collection of jewelry that has something for anyone!
J- First of all, Meg, thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.
MF-Not a problem! I always have time for questions!
J-Well let’s jump into some questions then. Making jewelry seems pretty normal to most people. Creating robots does not! How did you get your idea for Chandler-The-Robot? Any inspirations?
MF-I actually started out wanting to design engagement rings. I think that most of the engagement rings today, beautiful as the diamonds are, aren’t very inventive. I wanted to try and create designs that were a little more “out-of-the-box”. So, I found a very unique jewelry school here in Austin. This jewelry designer renovated a little cottage into a school. I fell in love with the atmosphere. I took a few classes for a few months and really learned a lot. My first design was a miniature robot I soldered together out of sheets of metal. I had no idea I was going to end up with a robot. That’s just what came to my mind. I was watching all the episodes of “Friends” at the time. Since Chandler was my character, I called my robot Chandler. Everything about my company expanded from that point.
J-That’s awesome. Engagement rings really don’t seem to differ much now that I think about it! Your robots, on the other hand, all seem so unique. How much time, sweat, and blood does one of your quirky robots take from you? MF-It takes anywhere from 2-3 hours (not including baking time) for each one, so A LOT! I was trying to have my boyfriend and some friends help me out, and they were really surprised about how much detail and time goes into the process.
J- Geez! That’s a lot of time for just one little robot. Do you have a favorite piece from your jewelry collection?
MF-I like Sherbot Holmes. He’s one of my higher end pieces. I like adding “character” to my robots. He’s just such a classy guy!
J-Your jewelry collection is sold on your blog. It is so much more personal reading about your interesting experiences and connecting them to the art you make. It adds meaning to every little robot. Your fans enjoy your writing just as much as your gears and gadgets. What gave you the idea to put your products on a blog rather than just a regular website?
MF-Well, I still think that at some point I am going to have just a regular website. But, I love to write and read. I think blogs are a great way to get customers and readers more involved in your ideas. The readers of my blog have been a huge part of the creative process for me. They tell me what is working and what isn’t, that way I can better serve them. They are so smart! I don’t want to be just another company without a face. I want to get to know my customers, and I want them to get to know me. That way the whole process can be more personal. I love going to businesses that make everything personal, so that’s how I want to run mine.
J-That’s really cool. It’s easy for people to get lost in cyberspace, especially when they are trying to sell something! It’s really cool that you are able to still be that “girl-next-door” while selling your robots online. So, I’m curious, every artist has their “fuel“. I can’t write interviews without almonds and dried mango…What are you munching on during your artistic hours of the day?
MF-I love having Topo Chico (mineral water) or Honest Tea (Peach-Oo-long). I’m a beverage type of gal.
J-What do you enjoy most about jewelry making–meaning the actual process of putting together the metals and the such?
MF-I love zoning out and using my hands, listening to my iTunes and getting in the groove. I like the process of figuring out how to best make all of the designs. It’s a learning process. With each new design I learn something new. It’s just like creating a song, you envision a certain vibe and then you figure out a way to make it into reality.
J-Very cool. Sounds like some kind of spiritual meditation in a way. Speaking of music, I heard there was some music being created over in L.A. What happened over there on the west coast, Meg?
MF-A lot, and you should have been there with us!!! It’s o.k. don’t feel too bad, because as interesting as it was, filming Dia’s music video was freezing, and we had to wake up at 4 a.m.! I got to go to song writing sessions with her. I was also in the recording studio and recorded a couple tracks. Basically, I received an insiders perspective on how the big boys play, and it was quite fascinating actually. Have to admit, I’m glad to be back in Austin where things are simple and slower. Where I can relax a little, even though I’m going to be working like crazy preparing the “Diabot” orders.
J-How do you manage to keep putting life into jewelry when you have things like starring in music videos, writing songs, and touring with big names like Blake Shelton in your schedule?
MF-Well…I don’t! Ha ha. I kid. Truthfully, I could dedicate every hour of every day to Chandler the Robot, and I could also do the same with music. I’ve decided that I love both of these things and I will tend to each one when I can. I love being busy though. Sometimes I’ll prepare in advance. For example, I know I’m going to be touring with Blake Shelton in January up through March, so I’m busy making robots to keep my shop full for those months while I’m away.
J-Well, busy is always good! Are you going to miss Austin while touring? How is the city treating you? Is this a place you could grow old in?
MF-I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I could be very happy here for a very long time. It has everything a person could want. Crazy night life. Amazing food. Great weather. It’s so creative and welcoming to all things unique and weird. The only thing holding me back is, I think “home” is where family is. I miss being physically close (location wise) to family. I really miss them. That’s the only reason I would consider leaving this place, and it’s a pretty huge reason.
J-Well, family is always important. That makes sense. Now living in Austin, you have to have been exposed to some fashionable styles. What trends are you liking these days? Anything for your body type that you like or steer clear of?
MF-I actually love sexy high heels in interesting and playful colors. I saw such a fun pair in a store a few days ago. They were sort of a bright royal blue and made of suede. So cute! I think I’ve been into the Carrie Bradshaw thing lately and really into shoes. Also, since I’m around hippies all the time, I’m really starting to dig the comfy plaid collared tees. Also, I love dressing up and wearing empire waste foofy dresses. Dresses that say “I’m alive!” You know? I love shopping at mom and pop vintage stores, or stores that are independently owned like ThreadSence. They just seem to be more inventive and unique and really treat their customers awesome!
J-Haha. Very true! Any Fashion tips you want to pass on to us?
MF-There are times to be bold and there are times to be warm and comfortable. Know which is which and speak your true colors! Yesterday I was walking down 6th Street and all of the girls in skanky Halloween costumes looked freezing! There is a time and a place and outside in 60 degrees and wind isn’t it!
J-Haha! Words of wisdom. Thank you. So, now getting back to your jewelry, tell us more about “First Thursday”. How do we get in on this special occasion?
MF-”First Thursday” is a promotion I do the first Thursday of every month. I have an Etsy store where I sell robots as well as my blog at all times, but the First Thursday I create a special piece. I design something based on what is happening in my life or the world at large. For example, this month’s First Thursday was a “Diabot” because she has been succeeding so well with her solo career. In July I did a “punk rock” robot because I was setting up a booth for Warped Tour that month. Next month, I’m thinking about having my First Thursday piece be a chef, since Thanksgiving will be celebrated. I usually make a limited number of pieces, anywhere from 50-100 robots. I release them at 1:00 p.m. central. They’ve been selling out pretty quick!
J-Oh, I think I might need to get in on that chef-bot! I love Thanksgiving! Okay, one more question and I will let you go…What music are you listening to these days?
M-Independent Radio Stations in Austin are amazing. There was this new band with a female vocalist that I’ve been really into lately called The Joy Formidable.
J-I have not heard of them yet. I will definitely look them up. Thank you so much for your time.
MF-Anytime! Thank you!
Links to catch up with Chandler and Meg:
P.S. Check out our tumblr every day this month for more Chandler The Robot and Meg & Dia goodness. Psst…there may be another interview you’d want to check out coming up on the 15th! Stay Tuned…
(Update: Check out our Curious Questions with Meg with even more of Chandler!)