12/16/2011 10:18 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Vintage Crusader Spotlight: An Interview With Shea Curry of Project Accessory

Think you're busy? Me too!

That's why I'm amazed when I hear stories of gals who are able to pen novels while waiting in line at the grocery store or who can get more done in a single year than a lot of us can achieve in an entire decade.

And Shea Curry is definitely one of these busy bodies who gets things done!

When this talented actress was sitting idle in her movie trailer on the set of Princess Diaries 2, she figured it was a perfect time to start designing her own jewelry line. During the three months of production, she ended up making jewelry for all the females on the cast and crew. Then it wasn't long before she discovered her jewelry being featured in INStyle Wedding Magazine.

But Shea didn't stop there. This year she added another challenge to her resume: Reality TV Contestant. Shea battles it out with eleven other contestants on the latest design reality program, Project Accessory.

Since Shea likes to use recycled pieces in her jewelry line and has designed a popular GO PINK ID bracelet that contributes 20% of sales to benefit Breast Cancer Charities of America, Zuburbia is pleased to feature her in this month's Vintage Crusader Spotlight.

Certainly busy enough to need 28 hours in her day, this gracious gal somehow found a few spare minutes to chat with me about creativity, flea market shopping, her experience on Project Accessory and how she can be both naughty and nice.

Actress. Jewelry Designer. You're a super creative and talented gal. How have you fostered this creativity in your life and do you have any tips for the rest of us?

As a little girl I was in dance class and singing lessons, but some of my fondest memories were quietly making jewelry and trying to make clothes for my dolls when I was supposed to be napping. I think we all still have that creative little girl inside us and it's easy to find ways to channel her. Sometimes it means you need to look at your wardrobe with a different perspective and pull pieces together that you haven't put together before. It can even be as simple as re-paining a room, re-arranging furniture, or buying a cool antique from a flea market to give a room a whole new look.

Tell us about the process of becoming a contestant on Project Accessory. Did you ever dream you'd be on a reality show?

A friend had told me about the show and that they were auditioning in major cities. I decided to give it a shot and I remember being more nervous than at an acting audition! I made it past the first round and they asked me to put together a video of my daily life and me in jewelry-making action. That audition can be seen on YouTube and still makes me laugh!

What was the biggest challenge you faced on Project Accessory?

Well, I'm a jewelry caster which means that I cast my pieces in molds with very hot metal. Then I clean or de-burr each piece and solder, etc. We didn't have access to any of that so I felt like I couldn't really do what I really do. I like making pretty things so some of the materials we had to use were not necessarily materials I would choose to create an accessory. And, of course, making shoes was a challenge, but very exciting to say that I now know how to do it!

And what was the biggest lesson you learned from participating in Project Accessory?

I learned that I should always trust myself no matter what anyone says.

That's a great lesson that all of us should remember and it can be really hard to do! Now I understand that you often shop at flea markets to find recycled materials to use in your jewelry line. What are your thoughts on vintage as it relates to current fashion and do you have any flea market shopping tips for us?

I absolutely LOVE shopping at flea markets! I think you can find so much inspiration from old pieces. I think fashion is constantly recycling itself, and mixing vintage pieces with modern design is so beautiful! When shopping through those sometimes endless bins of jewelry at flea markets, take your time and really try to visualize how you can take a vintage piece and create a whole look around it.

Okay, so I'd love to hear your top three favorite actresses AND your top three favorite jewelry designers. Either vintage or modern.

For actresses...Meryl Streep (She becomes the characters she plays.) Catherine Deneuve (Her depth is breathtaking.) Michelle Williams (She makes you feel exactly what she is feeling.) And for jewelry designers...Vintage Chanel (Always a classic. Always in style.) Alexis Bittar (His designs are classic modern.) Devon Leigh (Uniquely Modern.)

You appeared in the film Valentine's Day and you have a role in the upcoming film New Year's Eve. What's your favorite way to spend both of these holidays?

To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Valentine's Day, just like my character in the film. By that I mean I don't like all the hype around this ONE night as the night to have a romantic dinner with your significant other. I like to skip the expensive dinner and go right to the bedroom for dessert! For New Year's Eve, I prefer spending it with friends and loved ones playing board games and drinking fine wine.

Your company name is Shameless Jewelry and one of your collections is named Naughty/Nice because you believe we need to embrace both our good and bad sides and both the sassy and sweet sides of ourselves. I recently did a blog post on this topic also. But what we really want to know is...How do you do this in your own life? How do you embrace both the naughy and nice parts of Shea?

I love this question!!! I've always considered myself a dichotomy of personalities. Always struggling with the sweet, polite, feminine, Southern-girl side of me and that tequila-drinking, hanging-out-with-the-boys, occasional potty mouth, wild vixen side of me. But I decided to just embrace all of me. I mean, don't we all love the chocolate dipped pretzel because of its opposing sweet and salty flavors? And I think knowing and accepting that we have many flavors is a beautiful thing.

Finally, what's in store for Shea in 2010?

Well, I just finished designing my 3rd Collection called TWISTED LOVE and will be showing that at the ENK Accessorie Circuit Show in NYC in January. I am adding clutches and constantly adding new pieces to existing collections. I'm very excited for the possibilities in's endless!! Keep checking out my latest designs on

Thanks so much, Shea! Now you can get back to work!

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