As many of you know, EtsyBABY team members are extremely talented. We
wanted to take a peek at the person behind the creativity. All
throughout May we will be interviewing shop owners, to get a glimpse of
the designer behind those adorable baby products!
What inspired you to begin a shop featuring your own designs? When my daughter first started eating solid foods, I was so frustrated by the tiny baby bibs that never covered her up AND didn't look cute either! I started making oversize bibs, and later added an applique. My friends started asking me to make them bibs, and then encouraged me to start an Etsy shop. The rest is history!
What is your favorite material to craft with? My love of all fabrics is what lead me to start sewing in the first place, and I love to find new ways to use fabric to make fun things for my business, my kids, myself and my home. However I thanks to Pinterest, I have recently discovered the wonders of spray paint and mod podge so those might be next on my list!
How long have you been practicing your art/craft? My business has been open for 4 years, but I've been crafting and sewing since I was little.
What training have you had or are you self-taught? Pretty much self taught! Although my amazing Grandma Ginny used to teach home ec and knows everything about everything as far as that is concerned! I have had a few sewing lessons from her over the years and I still hear her in my head when I'm trying something new... "Press that seam!"
What has been the hardest aspect of creating a hobby into a business? The balancing act between your business and your family. It's HARD! I usually feel like if I'm being good at one, I'm bad at the other. Sending my girls to daycare/preschool 3 mornings a week changed my LIFE! Now I have a set time to sew and visit my wholesale accounts, and the other times I can concentrate more on being a good mom. It's worked great!
Any advice for other Etsy sellers? Read as much as you can about setting up a great Etsy site, including how to properly tag and title your items. Then PROMOTE! Etsy is getting so big and busy that even with the most beautiful shop can get lost. Get your name out there any way you can! I have had great luck at the local "indie" craft shows - not only do I make a lot of sales, but even if people aren't ready to buy a baby shower gift at the shows, I get TONS of referrals for later and they all come to my Etsy shop to purchase!
What do you enjoy doing in your off time? Horseback riding! I have been involved in the horse industry since I was 8 and that is ALL I used to do! I competed in horse shows almost every weekend for years up until my oldest daughter was born. Although I don't own my own horse any more, I am lucky enough to have a horse I can stop out and ride when I have some down time (which is not often enough!). It's the BEST therapy and kind of resets my system. I love it and miss it too!
Describe a typical day in your life... Get up and snuggle with my girls (5 and almost 3) on the couch for a few minutes before getting ready for school. Then get them breakfast, dressed and out the door. After I drop them off I come back and work in my studio sewing bibs, keeping track of inventory, and maybe send out a few e-mails. Often I pack up and bring my items to one the amazing local shops that carry my products. When I get back I'll package up orders and continue working on making bibs.
After I pick my girls up from school, my youngest one goes down for a nap and I bring my oldest down to my studio with me where we either do a craft together or she "helps" me sew (why must everything I need done involve a VERY SHARP TOOL?). When my youngest wakes up, it's usually time to get dinner ready. After dinner we play outside for a bit until bedtime. After the kids are in bed, I am usually back in the studio for an hour or two and then finally have some time to relax (or more likely do laundry, clean up, etc.). Then time for bed and ready to start over! It's a busy life but I am proud of what I've accomplished so far and I know my hard work will be worth it!