Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Member Feature: Pegg (FiveForty)

Featured: Fiveforty
Interview by: hoganfe

How did you get started on Etsy?
I live in a small northern town in the woods near the shore of Lake Superior. We are isolated so I was looking for a way to market my wares. My daughter told me about Etsy. It took me almost a year to get my shop set up.

What's your favorite part of being a shop owner on Etsy?
I love being part of a world wide community of very talented artisans. It truly is amazing! I have made many wonderful friends here.

What challenges have you faced during the process?
I was challenged right from the start, I had to learn how to use a computer. I have a very kind computer mentor who lives far away from me, and we have never met. I could not have done this without her help, she is an angel!

Having an online shop is challenging in itself, you have to strive to be seen in an ocean of talent.. besides fabulous product you have to have fabulous photos. Striving to be better is an ongoing process.

My biggest challenge is the written word, I am not good at it.

What inspires you?
Nature and colour inspire me!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I am a daughter, wife and mother. My husband and I have lived with my mom since my father passed away. Our two children are grown and live away. I miss them terribly, just as any mom would.
I am a foodie, a fan of the slow food movement before there was a slow food movement. I grew up surrounded by fabulous cooks, it instilled a passion for food and cooking in me. I love growing food in our gardens, foraging for food in the woods, and cooking with our harvest. I am always trying new things in the kitchen!

What first made you want to become an artist?
My paternal grandmother was a painter. My dad attended art school in his youth, and always encouraged us to create. He had us drawing and painting (playing really) for as long as I can remember. The drive for creativity is the same in my art world as it is in my kitchen.

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Strive to do the best work that you can and take the best in focus photos that are possible.
Make yourself visible, post in the forums, build treasuries, and renew, renew renew!!

Is there anything you would like to share in your feature?
I studied weaving and silk screening for three years in college, as well as painting, photography and printmaking. I worked in a professional weaving studio for a year after college.
I have been weaving on my own for over thirty years. Yes I am old and I have a weird sense of humour.

We had a small team of six Inuit dogs, my husband used them for winter camping. They became a huge part of our family.

In my care for them I developed an injury that prevented me from weaving for a number of years, this is when I started to play with beads. Beads have become an obsession!
I still do not use my floor loom as my injury never healed, but started to weave again on a frame loom. I had thought about 100% recycled content rugs for years, it was a lot of fun and hard work developing my ideas. I found a used upright loom online and adapted it for rag. The only thing I need now is a loom twice the width to weave big big rugs, some day soon I hope!

Visit FiveForty's Etsy Shop!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Member Feature: Julie (JulieGarland)

Featured: JulieGarland
Interviewed by: MySelvagedLife

How did you get started creating your line of jewelry?
About eight years ago I escaped winter and worked at a jewelry store in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a few months and I loved being surrounded by all the shiny gems! When I left and moved to Dallas I took some basic jewelry lessons and started creating simple designs.

What was your background in prior to creating these items?
In my life before Etsy I worked in public relations and worked at agencies in both Toronto and Dallas. I mostly worked with travel clients which had the bonus of the occasional work trip to exotic locales!

How did you first get started on Etsy?
I actually started selling jewelry on my own Web site but while reading some popular blogs I discovered Etsy. I loved the site and the incredible array of handmade goodies you could find there. I joined three years ago and now I sell on Etsy exclusively. It was probably about a month after I joined that I discovered a nifty little feature called “the treasury” which would forever change the way I spend my free time lol!

What is your favorite part of being a shop owner on Etsy?
Being a part of the Etsy community and meeting all the other wonderful shop owners.

What is your least favorite part of being a shop owner on Etsy?
Probably dealing with non-paying buyers – it’s time-consuming to keep sending convos and following up with them.

What challenges have you faced during the process?
Hmm I would say coming up with the right price points for my jewelry and photographing my designs. The way you present your products is so important and I have probably re-taken all of my pictures at least five times. I’ve also watched my husband’s eyes glaze over again and again as I’ve discussed the merits of a light gray or lighter gray background!

What inspires you?
I could be inspired by something as simple as the color or shape of a gemstone. Or it could be an overall look I admire and I’m motivated to create pieces that work with it.

Describe your average day in one word
Happy! I get to spend it with my son.

Describe your style in one word
Classic. I like clean lines and nothing too busy or complicated.

What is your favorite season?
Definitely summer. Ahhh sweet summer I will miss you! Flip-flops, patios, cottages - really what’s not to love? I grew up in Ottawa, Canada so I’ve had my fill of snow and cold.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I hang out and play with my son. We go to the park a lot and this summer we went swimming as much as we could. I also enjoy Yoga and love to read so I always have a book on the go.

What advice would you give to sellers new to Etsy?
Really take the time to work on your pictures. I think interesting and engaging pictures are a big key to success on Etsy. And get involved in the community in some way!

Visit JulieGarland's Etsy Shop!