What’s old is new
Briana Hefley-Shepard brings new life to unwanted and vintage items through her home-based boutique, Bifftastica.
Bifftastica owner Briana Hefley-Shepard creates new jewelry from broken pieces in her home studio.
Briana Hefley-Shepard can find new uses for just about anything.
The 32-year-old Tulsa native owns Bifftastica, a home-based crafting boutique where she restores old jewelry, bags and switch plates.
Hefley-Shepard started the popular business in college by selling vintage pieces out of her dorm room under the name SheezKrafty. Since then, she has refurbished everything from broken jewelry and withered clothing she finds at trade shows or in the trash to priceless heirlooms she receives from friends and family.
When she’s not busy repurposing old goods, Hefley-Shepard directs The Alliday Show, an annual handmade arts and crafts expo featuring works from local artisans, and she teaches English as a second language at Tulsa Community College. She also works as a secretary for her parents at Alrac Electric Inc.
Hefley-Shepard shares how she turns everyday trinkets into lifelong treasures.
What she does: I make cool new stuff out of cool old stuff. I love re-envisioning a purpose for something.
Everything I make is one of a kind. … I try not to buy things new unless it’s handmade, so I strive to find things that people have discarded or don’t think there’s any value in and make those new.
Bifftastica is all-encompassing. It’s not only what I make but how I live: outside the box.
Where she gets her ideas: Much of what I do is about the hunt and trying to see the potential in forgotten or unwanted items. I never force creativity but let the items speak to me.
I try to create wearable … jewelry that speaks to every type of person.
What inspired her to start the business: I was raised to hunt. My dad is a major antiquer and picker. My mom used to put on craft shows; she’s the traditional crafty type.
What’s in a name: In high school, a friend would call me “Biff” for some reason and it always kind of stuck. I would sign cards “Bifftastic” and sometimes add an “a” on the end of it; it’s my alter ego.
Her creations: There’s something about building a bag — making the layers, figuring out how to line it — that I love. I’ve been making, over the past year, bags out of little curtains. I love tapestries; ’50s bark cloth is my favorite fabric. I like the imagery, and the weight of it works well for bags.
I’ll buy old vintage dresses, and I’ve been taking the sleeves off, just so I can wear the dresses more comfortably, and the sleeves I’ve been making into wine bags.
My switch plates are unique. A lot of people — children, grandparents, men and women — like them. I take magazines or any sort of paper that’s going into the trash that I think has cool imagery and save it. There’s everything: maps, old patterns, sheet music and fortune cookie fortunes.
The Alliday Show: I started toying with the idea of starting my own show at the end of 2009. … Last year was the first one in June. The driving forces behind The Alliday Show are to make handmade arts and crafts more accessible to Tulsa, to stress the importance of shopping local and to feed my need to plan and organize things.
What makes her unique: With everything I do creatively, I’m completely self-taught. I like to do it myself. I’m proud of that.