An Interview with Vicky from That's The Cutest Thing
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? I became a doting aunt to three nieces and three nephews in six years. Aunt Vicky had a very busy time of making coming-home-from-the-hospital outfits, security blankets, and afghans during that period of time! I found I really enjoyed the portability of handmade knit and crochet pieces for babies and children, and I had to find an outlet to sell my creations. In 2005 I began to sell at an annual craft show in Virginia. Customers immediately began to ask about placing custom orders, how to find my website, etc. I put off starting a true small business as I wasn't ready for my hobby to turn into a job. Each year I returned, my customers were more insistent and encouraging that I should have a year-round business outlet. I heard about Etsy from one of my customers in 2009, and after giving it a year's thought, I decided to try being a seller.
What is your favorite material to craft with? Baby or fine-gauge yarn, the more colorful, the better. I have much more than I should!
How long have you been practicing your art/craft? My wonderful grandmother taught me how to crochet and knit around the age of 6-7 years old. Let's just say it's been a long time!
What training have you had or are you self-taught? In addition to my grandmother's teaching, later in life I had to teach myself to read patterns as I'd not learned before. With that out of my way, I picked up my hook and needles and simply tried new stitches and projects. I learned a lot of new stitch patterns from making blankets for the babies and children in the pediatric intensive care unit where I worked. My renewed hobby took off and I haven't looked back since! When I began crafting with vintage buttons, I did take an introductory jewelry-making class. I'd love to take more advanced classes, but haven't had the time recently.
What has been the hardest aspect of creating a hobby into a business? Staying organized, by far. I can't just jump in and open up a sixth project anymore because it's impossible to keep track of everything all at once. I love creating new items and listing them, but bookkeeping is a drag!
Any advice for other Etsy sellers? Do your research! I was really thankful that I spent six months learning about Etsy before I opened my shop; it helped me immensely in avoiding common seller mistakes.
What do you enjoy doing in your off time? Besides my full-time job as a nurse (the job that pays the bills!), most of my free time is channeled into my Etsy shop. Another passion of mine is to volunteer on international medial missions and in a local community low-cost clinic. I also love antique shopping and collecting, traveling, photography, baking, gardening, and watching movies.
Describe a typical day in your life... That sounds like an easy question to answer, but for me it's not--I don't think I have a "typical day"! On my days off, I'll get up at 7 AM and spend part of the morning online working on my shop and everything else that goes with it. I try to exercise daily before I get too involved in other projects. I've resisted setting a routine for myself as there always seems to be something that comes up to lay my plans to waste. For example, this morning I awoke to an Etsy convo from a local photographer. She wanted to know if certain photo props were ready for shipment as she had a photo shoot this afternoon, and could she come to pick them up as soon as possible? Needless to say, my morning accelerated from there! Instead of having a daily routine, I've recently started writing out goals for the week on Sundays. I list personal, work, crafting, and business goals to work toward over the course of the week. So far that's helping me organize my time better.
Where can we find your products online? I currently don't have a website other than Etsy. However, I'd love for you to visit my Facebook page and my Pinterest page ! I approach my Facebook page like a blog, so I'm always posting about my new creations, sampler crafting, business endeavors, and travels. I post fabulous dessert recipes as well!
Thank you Vicky, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to grant us an interview!