Sunday, August 11, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 70

We head to Alabama for this week's installment..

Name: Anna Kerley
Age: 48
Occupation: Wife, Mom, and Mini Maker

Tell us a little about yourself.
I have 4 children and 2 beautiful granddaughters. We adopted our youngest daughter from China. We took our whole family to China to get her when she was 8 months old. She is 10 years old now and she is the best thing that ever happened to us. I stay busy between taking care of my family, and right now planning a wedding for my 25 year old daughter, and trying to use every spare moment doing the thing I love - making miniatures from polymer clay.
 When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I have been interested in minis for a few years. I started making miniature cakes from clay just for fun and it turned into a passion. I then decided I needed to build a bakery for all of my goodies. I played with clay and created sweets everyday. I posted a few on facebook and all my friends couldn't believe I had made these tiny creations. They all said, "You should sell these!" So I opened my Etsy shop March 21, 2011 with one little cake and to my surprise it sold! I have been going strong ever since.
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I already had a blog called, "It's The Little Things." I loved that name because most of the time it is the little things in life that make us smile. So when I started my Etsy shop I wanted to call it "Little Things by Anna."
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
My Etsy shop is my only job along with caring for my children and 3 cute Chihuahuas. I use every spare moment to go to my craft room and create miniatures. Sometimes I am there into the late hours making cakes and cupcakes.

 How would you describe your creative process?
I have found that I create best when I wake up and say, "What do I feel like making today?" If I see a picture in my head, a picture on pinterest, or a picture in a magazine I want to try to recreate it in miniature scale. I love to try new things and I am determined to figure it out until I perfect it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from magazines, pinterest, other artists, and a lot of time from things I do in my own home.
Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
I have sold my minis only one time at a craft show.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
My very first bakery filled with my first handmade cakes and sweets. Someone asked if they could buy it from me, but I could never part with it.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I like to spend time with my family, I like my little Chihuahuas...they make me happy, I like to watch television, go shopping at craft stores, growing African Violets, and the list could go on. But I do have to say that creating miniatures is something that I will never get tired of and look forward to every moment I have to spend in my craft room. 
Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
No, just being a wife and mom was all I ever dreamed of. Now that I have an Etsy shop creating miniature things I love - that's my dream job.

Five years from now you will be…

making miniatures and selling dollhouses. I want to eventually have a website to sell dollhouses that I make and decorate.

Describe yourself in five words:
Perfectionist, creative, organized, giving, having good people skills
 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?
If you were to turn on my Ipod right now you would hear Colbie Calliat and The Zac Brown Band.
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
My advice to someone thinking about opening a shop would be to just go for it. Spend time perfecting your product and always remember to be nice to people and do right by everyone. Don't allow yourself to feel pressure to fill your shop. Take your time and only sell the things that are your best work. You want your customers to open that box and think,"This is even better than I thought it would be."