Maker Moments

Designer Spotlight: Donna Salazar


download (1)Donna Salazar is a wife, a mom, a grandma (to the cutest little boy that has ever walked the planet), an artist, a designer, an instructor and a self proclaimed overgrown kid. She owns her own Design company called Donna Salazar Designs, LLC.

She spends most of her days watching her grandson and when she can sneak in some studio time, she can be found creating some “Girlie Grunge” projects. She has 2 books in the works and according to Donna, she’s living her dream!

Follow Donna online:


What’s your design/craft story? ie. How’d you get started?

I used to design and sell voice and data networks to large companies for AT&T’s business division then I sold software for ADP. I was really good at my job and I made a ton of money but I never saw my family and I my creative soul wasn’t being nurtured.

In 2006 My hubby and I were driving to Arizona after coming back from my President’s Club trip to Germany (which was the most amazing experience for my hubby and me) and we were in a horrible car accident on the freeway. I was on disability for 10 months and during that time I did a lot of soul searching. When my position at ADP was dissolved and I didn’t have a job to go back to I decided to pursue a career that would feed my artistic heart. I ended up doing arts and crafts with adults with Alzheimer’s and dementia, I painted murals, I taught scrapbook and craft classes at my local store, and I opened an Etsy shop.

There was a scrapbook reality web show that was filming at my local store and they wanted an audience of crafters to be working on projects in the background. That’s when I was “discovered”. The producer of the show gave me her card and took my contact info. She said she would call me if anything came up. The next day she told me one of her designers wasn’t working out and asked if I could come down for an on-screen interview. I did it went well and she hired me on the spot. I was quickly thrown into the world of scrapbooking after that.

After the show ended I kept in touch with a couple of my girlfriends and we did our own low tech videos for YouTube. We wrote a book together. I got a job at Prima. I developed my contacts in the industry and in 2009 I launched my very first product line.

Define your design style in 1 word. Girlie-Grunge.’ I know it’s not technically’ one word, but it’s me. 😉

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How has your design style evolved over the years?

When I first started scrapbooking I was told that there were rules. Then I found out there was a group of people who scrapbooked freestyle and didn’t follow rules. That changed everything for me. I started adding denim hems, cardboard, paint and all kinds of rule-breaking items to my pages after that. Eventually, the crafting industry adopted the fine art term mixed-media for what a lot of us were doing. Now quite a few paper-crafters’ are really more mixed-media artists and we are actually using tools and products created for the fine art industry on our scrapbook pages and cards.

What’s the most fun thing about designing your own product line? What’s the hardest thing?

I get my best ideas when I’m in my studio creating because I’ll find myself saying I wish there was something that did…’ And then I get to work with amazing companies like Spellbinders who will make it for me! The hardest thing would be having ideas that are really out there so you have to convince a company to take a chance and make your product, while hoping that someone else doesn’t get the same idea and make it before you.

Who did you have in mind when you designed it?

I believe my product line can work with almost any style. I’m known for mixing contrasting elements for my Girlie Grunge look so I’ve got everything from gears to flowers; however, I do think that mixed media artists will be drawn to some of my new stuff.

What/who inspires you? Why?

There are so many people in this industry who inspire me. I am especially drawn to people who have become so successful that their name is a brand and they have a very specific look that is recognizable no matter what crafting niche their products are in. I’m also inspired by people who use products that I’ve designed in a way that I hadn’t even thought of. I love it when I go to pin something amazing on Pinterest and realize it was made using some of my products. It just takes my happy to a whole new level! I should mention that I pin LOTS of amazing work whether or not it has any of my product on it. The work that inspires me most are art journals, mixed media, and artsy paper crafts.

Donna’s Collection will be available for purchase in early 2016.

Be sure to follow us opening weekend of the CHA Show, the Craft and Hobby Association’s MEGA event of the year!

Spellbinders will be live on Periscope interviewing Donna about her NEW mixed media collection and what’s next on his radar. AND We are giving away 2 “tricked out” Platinums that have been decorated by our designers.

You have to be on that email list to get updates about the giveaways and all the fun things happening at CHA. 

One Comment

  • Martha Brister

    Hi Donna, I’m watching you on PBS on Saturday, January 4th, 2020. I’m fascinated by the product that you are using and wondering where you got it. I’d love to acquire the products that you have been demonstrating. I hope you receive this email and can hook me up with this product. One question… Does it only make butterflies or does it do more than butterflies? I don’t have a website.

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