Photo by Mike Bragg

Meet Betsy Hinze, glass, ceramic, and culinary designer. Betsy believes that art should be experienced beyond something hung on a wall or displayed on a plinth. She knows there is beauty in functionality and creates objects that are designed for interaction. Describing herself as a “curator of experiences” her chosen mediums are food, fine craft, and community. She hopes to bring people together through interactive installations and performative events and offer them something more than just a beautiful object or a good meal; she leaves each person who attends with a profound and memorable experience.

When did you first learn about your field of work? What called you to it?

I wouldn’t say that I really learned about my field of work so much as invented it… as far as I know, there isn’t anyone doing quite what I’m doing! In college (Alberta College of Art and Design) I started designing experience-based work and loved it, so then I spent the next few years trying to figure out a way to turn that into a business. I got burnt out and frustrated that I would spend months putting together an event and producing so many dishes only to barely cover my costs (if that.) When I was at my most discouraged, I decided to do a free event, just for fun, and hide the invitations in the woods. Lucky hikers discovered them and RSVP’s to an enchanted dinner made out of foraged ingredients and served on handmade dishes. I ended up having so much fun with the whole process I set to work to design a plan that would make it a viable business. Now, I fund my free events through patreon.com, where people can sign up to contribute $5 or $10 monthly. Their contributions cover ingredients, materials, etc. Then after each event, I sell the artwork I created for the event as artifacts of the experience (complete with a Certificate of Authenticity) and that’s how I am able to pay myself for the work I do putting the events together.

What does success mean to you?

To me, success means being able to live comfortably and do what I love. I just want to be able to wake up in the morning excited about the work I’m going to do that day and be able to afford my own studio, a comfortable living space, and a little left over for travel. It’s less about a financial goal and more about a desire for balance – emotional and physical well-being are more important than a high income. I also want to feel like I am doing something meaningful in the world.

What is your personal motto?

Dream bigger and look closer. 

Name a woman, past or present, whom you admire?

Marije Vogelzang is a Food Designer from Scandinavia. She’s long been an inspiration to me because of the way she gets us to think differently about food, dining, and connection. She’s a working mother and (very) successful artist and yet always appears to be warm, welcoming, and generous. 

 

Photo by Mike Bragg

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a business?

When you think it’s not working, just keep going. 

What is your favorite aspect of your workspace?

The fact that a good deal of it is in nature. I work in my glass/ceramics studio, my kitchen, and my home studio but my favorite “studio space” is out in the woods where I gather inspiration and forage ingredients to design my immersive nature-inspired sensory events. 

Photo by Athena Delene Photography