Monday, March 10, 2014

An Interview with Katie from Sew Whimsical By Katie

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 March, we will be interviewing shop owners, to get a glimpse of the designer behind those adorable baby products!

Katie from Sew Whimsical By Katie
Small Baby Gift Basket with Fabric Bin $72.14
What inspired you to begin a shop featuring your own designs?
I have always loved sewing, ever since I was a little girl. I used to make and design toys for my younger siblings (I am the oldest of 7), but now that I am a stay at home mom to 3 young children, I sew for them! I loved seeing them play with their handmade toys and softies (some made from my imagination and some made from patterns from independent pattern designers on Etsy), and I wanted to offer them to other children! It has always been a dream to have a little sewing shop, and I love getting pictures of my customers’ children with their special, one of a kind items! 

How long have you been practicing your art/craft?
I have been sewing since I was 8 years old, but became more serious about learning more technique and pattern design in my early 20s.
Custom Made Pirate Kieran or Emily Doll Softie with
Matching Child Size Pirate Hat $77.68
What training have you had or are you self-taught? I was initially taught to sew by both my mother and step mother. One of my first projects was an original design picture quilt that hung in my bedroom for many years. I am largely self taught, but have taken a quilting course and have learned many wonderful and new techniques from other Etsy pattern designers!


What is your favorite material to craft with?
My favorite material to work with is definitely vintage, re-purposed linens. I love the shabby chic look they lend to a project as well as the vintage, one of a kind feel. I tell you, they just don’t make fabric like they used to!
Custom Made Personalized Bunting
Flag Name Banner $36.99
What has been the hardest aspect of creating a hobby into a business?
I have difficulty with seeing the value of my work and pricing it to appropriately reflect the time and effort that has been put into it. I am working at gaining my confidence at pricing items where they can bring me some profit to help grow my business, but it is definitely a balancing act. I find it is also difficult to compete with so many other wonderful, but more established etsy shops. There is so much to offer that sometimes it seems that I get lost in the shuffle. 

Any advice for other Etsy sellers?

I advise other etsy sellers to never undervalue their own talent!

What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
In my off time I enjoy exercising (I run competitively and enjoy pole fitness). I love spending time with my kids (ages 15 months to 5 years), and also enjoy getting outside with our dog for walks. I am also an avid reader, a real bookworm! I love meeting girlfriends for lunch and visiting thrift shops and antique stores!
Customized Mushroom Baby
Alice Softie Doll $50.86
Describe a typical day in your life.
 A typical day in my life would involve an early start to get kids on the road to school. Then I would head out with the younger ones for a run or walk with our double stroller (and the dog), and then off to a play group or the library. After lunch, and while the baby is napping, my middle daughter gets to watch some of her favorite TV shows while I sew down the hall in my sewing room. Then it is off to get dinner ready, and when my husband comes home I am out the door for a volunteer board meeting, or to an exercise class! Never a dull moment for this momma! 

Where can we find your products online? You can find my items online in my esty shop at: SewWhimsicalByKatie, or on my Facebook page.

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