This week we head to North Wales..
Name: Vicky Houghton
Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/mypipsqueak
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, my name is Vicky and I live in North Wales in the U.K. I started my design career many years ago firstly designing children's toys for a U.K manufacturer and then spending time in Australia designing a canoe for a watersports company .
When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I started designing organic t-shirts in 2007 when my youngest daughter was one year old. Any opportunity I had I would be sketching down ideas, during my daughter's afternoon naps and even while pushing the pram around town. I started my Etsy shop in 2009.
How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
As a child my nickname was 'squeak', apparently I had a very squeaky voice. Even at the age of 38 my two older sisters still occasionally refer to me as 'squeak'. My shop name 'My Pipsqueak' developed from that really.
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Yes, Etsy has become my full time job although it's quite tricky some days to find time to design and make as I have two young daughters and my partner has recently started a new job that requires him to travel for most of the year. But that's fine, I love the flexibility of having an Etsy shop.
How would you describe your creative process?
It all starts with a quick sketch in one of my many sketch books. Some of my designs can be made almost immediately if I have the supplies in stock but I would say that most of my more complicated designs can spend months just developing in my head while I work out what fabrics would be best and what would be the best way to produce it.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find inspiration from so many things but I think children's books, nature and other artists/designers inspire me the most.
What is your most cherished handmade item?
I have a family bible that has been in our family for around 200 years. It's a huge leather-bound, musty-smelling, beautifully illustrated beast of a bible which is very precious to me. Unfortunately these days it's only ever used at family funerals where it is placed on the coffin and blessed by the priest.
Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I like to spend time at our local animal rescue center with my two daughters. We walk the dogs and spend time keeping the other animals company. It's a wonderful place.
Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
I always wanted to become a marine biologist but around the age of 12 my love for design became my main focus.
Five years from now you will be…
Doing what I am doing now but with more space to make my products.
Describe yourself in five words:
Animal-lover, honest, kind, warm-hearted, sensitive.
Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your , what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Daft Punk, Adele, Bruno Mars, Plan B, Leona Lewis
Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Good photos are essential, there is lots of good advice out there on how to take decent photos. Also, try to make the photos of your items similar in order to create a brand image. Facebook is such an important marketing tool, try to post 3 times a day if you can and engage your followers. Ask what they think of a certain design, do they like the colour etc. The most important thing is to love what you do and to be confident and self-motivated. It takes time to build a successful shop, stick with it.
Vicky is so awesome, that she will be sending one of you one of her Owl iphone cases. I am super jealous and in love all the cases in her shop. I think my favorite is the one with the little house and tractor..I may have to start saving my pennies!
So here is a simple little giveaway for all you readers. As always, you need to be a "follower"/"reader" of this here ol' blog. That's only right, right?!