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!