Sunday, April 15, 2012

Buy Handmade - vol.1

Welcome to a brand new feature here on Veranellies; Buy Handmade: Behind the Scenes. It is going to be a more in depth look at handmade sellers on Etsy.

I hope by showcasing the sellers in a more personal light it will draw more people to their shops, promoting buying handmade and showcasing their individual talents.

So without further ado ... I will introduce you to my first victim seller.

Name: Tara
Age: 36
Occupation: Teacher, Mom, Blogger, Crafter
Etsy Shop:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a teacher, mom, blogger, crafter and Etsy shop owner.  I always have a work in progress in my bag and I usually trade sleep for crafting as I work late into the night.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?

I've always been a creator, usually dabbling in things and I'm willing to give any craft a try.  While I was home after my second son was born, caring for an infant and toddler, I got a little tired of being just a food providing diaper changing Mom.  I started to day dream about the things I used to do and the things I could create.  I started my blog as a way to journal what I was doing and creating, and mostly so I could look back and see 'wow I didn't create since last week!' and it would kick me into action.  As time went on other people starting reading and being inspired to create too.  As the items piled up I opened and Etsy shop and started to sell at craft shows and here I am.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

I like to read, but that usually happens only if I trade crafting for it.  I like to do things with my crazy active boys.  My hubby and I like to watch movies, a habit that works great after the kids are in bed and you're trapped in the house so it's indoor date time!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I find my ideas are like popcorn.  If I can find a few quiet minutes to just sit and think, look around, check out a few regular sites I read the ideas just start popping out. I keep a notebook with me at all times so I can scribble out my ideas.

How would you describe your creative process?

It's probably chaotic to others, I tend to jump around a lot.  If I'm working on a big order, or just have a pile to fill I need a break from that.  I often take time to complete a little quick project that I've made up from scratch just to let the creativity flow while I'm doing the 'assembly line' sort of work.  If a few days go by and I haven't made something I usually get crabby.

What is your most cherished handmade item?

So far I think the most cherished things I've made are 2 quilts.  One is a quilt I made while in university.  I stayed away for the summer at school to work my part time job and I went to the library and got a book about quilting.  I used the templates to make a quilt, I'd barely ever even sewed, and that was that.   Since I'd done that years ago I got brave and made my best friend and her hubby a quilt as a wedding gift.  They have all these things that are meaningful to them, like they met on Canada day, they celebrate their anniversary with cupcakes and she likes penguins and he likes robots, so I made a simple quilt with just loads of squares and all the prints reflected those little things that mean so much to them.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I'm hoping to get a little more graphics savvy and move into pattern design and printing fabric (in some fashion).  I never would have guessed 5 years ago that I'd be blogging, crafting, screen printing, sewing and running a small business so who knows what the next 5 years can bring!

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about starting their own shop?

I think if you're debating opening a shop you need to go for it, you have nothing to lose, well except maybe 20 cents.  Be prepared to let things evolve and meander around a bit before you find your 'thing'.  My store opened with juice pouch purses and baby items.  Now I make cup cozies, who knew.  Take that first step and be ready to be flexible and a bit adventurous in where it takes you.