Monday, June 17, 2013

An Interview With Carissa From Frogs & Fairytales

As many of you know, EtsyBABY team members are extremely talented. We wanted to take a peek at the person behind the creativity. Throughout June, we will be interviewing shop owners, to get a glimpse of the designer behind those adorable baby products!

Carissa Wadding, owner/artist from Frogs & Fairytales, llc.

Snips and Snails Wall Art, Print, Original Painting, Canvas Wall Art
What inspired you to begin a shop featuring your own designs? 
My inspiration for staring my own business came after having my first child, my son Carter. While trying to decide how to decorate his room, I notice that I was having a hard time finding art that I really loved, and could not find anything personable. This inspired me to start creating children's room decor that could be personalized to fit each customer's unique requests by changing colors, adding a name, or creating a whole new design just for them. I started my business in the summer of 2009, as Wadding Creations. I opened an Etsy store in 2010 as Wadding Creations, after a friend, and Etsy seller, told me about the site and encouraged me to check it out. After having many people confuse Wadding Creations with Wedding Creations, I decided I needed to change my business name to something a little more memorable and exciting. In 2011 I changed my business name to Frogs & Fairytales and became an LLC. I then opened a new Etsy shop under my current name.
What training have you had or are you self-taught? I am self-taught, no formal training other than the art classes I took while in high school.

Ladybug Rocking Chair, Flowers, Garden
How long have you been practicing your art/craft?  I have always loved to draw, paint, and craft from the time I was little. As I got older, art became a way to relieve stress and escape from the business of daily life. I love the peace it brings me; many times when I draw or paint, I do it without tv or music on. When it's nice outside, I open a window and enjoy listening to the birds sing while I work.  

What is your favorite material to craft with?  I create children's room decor on canvas using acrylics, and also paint furniture, drawer knobs, and light switch covers using acrylics. 
What has been the hardest aspect of creating a hobby into a business? While my first born is now in school, I currently have a one year old son at home with me all day while I work. It can be difficult to juggle work and spending quality time with my son during the day. My day is very broken up, so I have to be able to multitask and jump from one thing to another quickly and efficiently. I have to remember to be "all in." I have a tendency to feel guilty about not giving my full attention to my son when I'm working, and then I feel guilty about not working when I'm giving my attention to my family. I have to remind myself to be "all in" in that moment; giving my full self to what I am doing now, and not worrying about the other aspects of my life at that moment.

Tree, Purple and White, Stretched Print, Custom, Whimsy, Whimsical
Any advice for other Etsy sellers?  My advice to other Etsy sellers would be to do what you love, but remember that you're not always going to love what you're doing. I love my job and would not trade it for anything. The fact that I get to create art every day, while staying home with my son, is an amazing opportunity, however some days are stressful, some days you just don't want to work. You also need to grow thick skin. Not everyone is going to love your work, and that's okay. You're not going to get into every art show you apply for or every store you ask to have your work sold in, and that's okay. I try to use bumps in the road as an opportunity to learn and grow. Why didn't they like my product? How can I improve/what can I add to get more people interested in what I do? Be open to change, including your thought process about your designs, and how to grow your business.

What do you enjoy doing in your off time?  In my off time I love spending time with my boys, my husband, and our Australian Shepherd mix. We love being outdoors fishing, riding bikes, and going on walks. We love to check out the many events happening in our city, including the farmer's markets on the weekends. We enjoy traveling as well, usually to the ocean.

Zebra Print and Polka Dots Switch Plate, Light Switch Cover
Describe a typical day in your life . . .  My day starts by getting my oldest son and I ready in the morning. I take him to school while my husband gets ready for work and watches our one year old. After taking him to school, I start my work day with my youngest son in tow. He plays close by me while I work on orders. There are breaks for lunch, putting him down for a nap, etc. until we leave to pick up my son from school in the afternoon. I finish up what I am working on and then spend some time with my boys and cook dinner while we wait for my husband to get home. We spend time together as a family in the evening. Once we put the boys to bed, I usually go back to work for a little while before heading off to bed myself. On the weekends I try to focus completely on family time and not paint or create things for the business, except for the occasional email response to a customer or creating a listing for a customer. Again, what i have found is the key to juggling both home and work when you work from home and not feeling guilty about it, is being "all in" in what you are doing at that moment.

Where can we find your products online? You can find my work on Etsy, my website, and on Facebook!