Name: Daphne Parthoens
Occupation: Bookseller and creator
Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/octopurse
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello, I'm Daphne. I live in Belgium, with my husband and two kids. I've studied History, and I've been a part time bookseller for 8 years now. The other days, I create purses and accessories at home, near my family.
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
Since I was a young girl, I've always loved to create with my hands: needlecraft, knitting, sewing... but I really started to sew 4 years ago and my fingers have never stopped moving since. My hobby transformed into a craft with Octopurse's birth, in 2009. My first item was listed on Etsy the next year, in 2010.
Octopurse was born after I created some purses as gifts for my kids teachers and they loved them. I've done many tests to find the best shapes and a great « puffy touch »
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I was searching for a little logo, and when I asked my son's advice, he naturally talked to me about his favorite animal: the octopus. The play on words was easy, and I sometimes feel like an octopus: busy, busy, busy. I'd really love to have six more arms...
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
No, Octopurse is still a part time job. It's currently more secure for our quality of life. I still have tons of projects on the go, but who know? some day maybe :)
How would you describe your creative process?
Everything starts with colors. Colors and patterns.
I'm a fabric addict, a huge fan of Melody Miller, Etsuko Furuya, kawaii japanese patterns, and US designers. I try to highlight them with simple purse shapes. I want to create pratical accessories, where colors can live. If my customers smile when they open their handbag and see their purse, then I have succeeded. I just want to share my passion.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From the fabrics that I use to create. From an old granny purse in my attic. From friends who want custom stuff... Inspiration is everywhere :)
Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
I've already tried, but I didn't like it very much. It's fantastic to meet other creators, great people, but I prefer smaller, intimate groups. Private sales are most rewarding for me: I can speak with every single person.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
A dress sewn by my mother when I was a girl, and a little quilt sewn by my grandmother for my son's birth.
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Have fun with my kids and husband, barbecue with friends. And read. Always read.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be and why?
I'd like to be translator. Work at home, read, and speak tons of languages...
Five years from now you will be…
I hope to still be creating colorful things. With my kids. And to travel more. And to be less stressed :)
Describe yourself in five words:
Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your Galaxy Tab, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Walk off the earth
The Puppini sisters
Phineas and Ferb
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
The harder you work, the luckier you get. Cultivate sharing and friendship, even in work.
Daphne has also created a discount code for you all "SUNDAYFEATURE10" to get 10% off anything in her shop.