Occupation: Softie maker, recycler
Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/wassupbrothers
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Olga Zamyatina and I am owl addicted softie maker based in Moscow, Russia with my beloved husband Igor a photographer, who always supports me and make beautiful photos of my creations for my shop, Wassupbrothers.
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
From early childhood I loved to do something with my hands. Thanks to my family, who always supports me in my beginnings. I even wanted to go to study furniture making and wood carving after high school , but they have not took girls to study there.
I never can understand when someone says that he is bored, because he does not know what to do in spare time. I think so many opportunities around, and the hands of people it is a multifaceted and versatile tool that can do miracles with the simple things.
Over the past 10 years I tried to find myself in different kinds of arts and crafts : illustration, fine arts, fashion.
It was a long journey. Since 1998 I studied in 3 different universities and jumped from one subject to another. At first I studied traditional Russian embroidery, which I really love and respect, then I pulled on the architecture and design of interiors, then I realized that I'm more interested in fashion design.
And in the end of studying fashion design in the course of many years, I was with a question in my head - why all this ? Trends, Brands, Names, fashionable or not fashionable. Why is this so important? For me wasn’t anymore.
Later after going up and down I've been stuck on the art soft toys. They gave me the opportunity to use all the skills and creativity that I have accumulated ,and bring me much joy and pleasure. I make them for not long time, and decide to come out with them seriously in the beginning of 2012.
When I made my first owl, I did not think it's serious and now I can't imagine that once there was a time when I did not create my soft little friends.
I opened my Etsy shop in august 2010 with no idea what I gonna do about it, and later I came back in December 2011 and start making my first creatures. I was invisible and just started to do what I'm doing.
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I dont know when and why ''Wassupbrothers'' stuck on me years ago, but I like to say its because I make brothers and sisters for brothers and sisters.
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Yes, my softie business is what I'm doing everyday and almost every night for the last year. Sometimes, when I dont have sales for some times and business going down I start thinking about taking day job again, but lately with my husband support I stay focused in what I'm doing , and working harder on my sewing , and everything just get better lately.
How would you describe your creative process?
Basically I do my softies without patterns, just taking the pieces of cloth and watch how one of them out. Mostly i use natural fabric and fibers. If I am not satisfied with the fabric tingle, I dye it with natural dyes like tea, coffee, cinnamon and others. I try re-purpose recycle, reuse different materials as often as possible.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everything beside loud music and phone calls . I love silence or relaxing background music. All i need just my fabrics, scraps and buttons.
My inspiration come from the nature, pieces of fabrics, strange colors combinations, my husband morning hairs mess, our wonderful funny dogs.I never know what i will see in the end, that’s why I do not use patterns mostly.
It's a magic to see, how tiny pieces of fabric, vintage buttons, old dresses or embroidered table runner turn to a soulful creations.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
From the latest - is the greeting card with the owls from my little nephew) and ceramic tea pot made by my other nephew. This teapot is unperfect, not so useful but so sweet)
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Spend time with my family, take a walk with dogs, read, take photos , watch films with my husband. I dont have much free time last year, so we have longest list of the films we want to watch together.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
In childhood I wanted to be a veterinarian and always was interested in biology and botany. Maybe I would be on this way, maybe not. I think whatever you do in life you can make it in artistic way.Who knows what next years will bring to me. So many interesting things to do. Ceramic, jewelry, painting.
Five years from now you will be…
Live happily with my family, husband, kids and bunch of dogs in a beautiful house somewhere in a seaside in Spain.
I hope my softie business will grow and I can live without all this money issues I have now and I can live and make my little friends day by day. I want to be more organized and more focused and productive in what I'm doing . I love to give new life to the useless and old things, and I want to make it as long as i can, and share it with others.
Describe yourself in five words:
Recycler, spontaneous hard worker, owl, green, open - minded
Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Smolik, Kimbra, Cesaria Evora. Usually i have my radio playing something not loud, relaxing, something what not taking me out of work.
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Be ready for the hard work . Open your mind, listen, take all the information around, which you can get, but find your way. Dont copy others, be unique and Wonderful, Stay Crafty and Positive.