Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Birthdays, Etsy Features, and more

I would like to start of this 2nd wonderful day of December by wishing my little brother a happy 19th birthday. Not only that, but today marks the first day of Etsy Shop Interviews =) It was supposed to start yesterday, but I was a little late on getting the questions out. Also, please check out my blog below about World AIDs Day 2009. Let's get started =) The photos you see are some of my favorite things from her shop. Clicking each image, will take you to the shop.

1) How did you hear about Etsy?
I don't really remember! I think from some of the other girls I met online while doing children's boutique clothing and patterns.

2) How did you come up with your shop name?
Well, I have two shops actually. The first one that I opened is mamas*little*treasures and that was inspired by our two beautiful daughters, both adopted from China, and they are mama's little treasures! I started out designing and creating children's boutique clothing, then moved on to writing up my designs into eBook patterns, and then including a few craft ideas.

Then, I discovered that vintage and embellished garments, shoes, and accessories are quite popular, and with the implementation of the CPSIA restrictions, I decided to move away from designing children's clothing to sell and play around with the vintage and hand-embellishment category. Hence, Gossamer Wings Studio cam into being, with the whole notion of "gossamer wings" representing the emergence of a brand-new creation from the old cocoon. All of the items in Gossamer Wings Studio are either vintage or hand-embellished or both. And, for mamas*little*treasures, I am going to be writing up lots of new designs for children and tweens this winter, so my other little shop will be full of great ideas for moms who want to sew for their own children.

3) Is Etsy your only "job", or is it something you do on the side?
Right now Etsy is my full-time job. Well, except for my family, you know how that is! I did work away from home for about a year and a half at a bank, but that bank branch closed in early October. I lost my job there, but I was OK with that because I wanted to get back to this anyway ;o) I have a few online projects including the shops and my writing, so it definitely keeps me full-time busy!

4) What inspires you?
I am continually inspired by everything around me! Because of my background, I love the simple things in life. No mall shopping for me ;o) mostly because I am directionally challenged, and I get lost in malls and can't find my way out. But, as a result of growing up with a mama whose home-life motto was "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without," I've always been very resourceful whether in figuring out how to decorate my home with a little bit of ribbon and a can of paint, or thrift shopping and having a closet full of gorgeous clothing at a fraction of the price of mall shopping. I've been making my own clothing, and sewing for my children as well, most of my adult life, so I have kind of an instantaneous affinity for beautiful fabric, buttons, ribbons, lace so while I am out thrift shopping, I find inspiration in a gorgeous garment, especially if it has vintage buttons, unusual lace, or stunning fabric. Then I bring it home and play around with it until I'm done, whenever that might be!

5) What is the easiest to make? The hardest?
The easiest thing for me to make is children's clothing because I've done it for so long! The most difficult thing for me to make is when I deconstruct and refashion a vintage or "almost vintage" garment. That's because I have such a respect for the original design, but if it has passed it's prime the way it is, I want to turn it into something that will give it a new life. Kind of like people, actually!

6) What is your favorite item that you currently have in your shop?
I just sold my favorite pair of hand-embellished shoes! But I'm working on some new shoe creations. I also have a hand-embellished jacket that I had a lot of fun creating. Oh, and a vintage black wool purse that I embellished with vintage buttons, lace and ribbons. I guess I could go on and on, because I like everything in my shop!

7) What made you decide to use Etsy instead of sites like ArtFire and MadeItMySelf?
I've looked at ArtFire and actually started a little shop over there, but it seems that most of my attention has been here on Etsy. I think because the community here is pretty supportive of designers and artists who might be a little bit "different" - what I mean by that is I feel welcome here, even if MY art is different from YOUR art.

8) Are you attending any art shows in the future?
Mostly I prefer to work online because I have two young daughters still at home, I just can't seem to juggle all that "stuff" and be away from home, mostly because of my husband's work schedule. It's just not the right time for that in my life, but maybe some day.

9) Any future projects?
I guess I have already mentioned all my future projects! But here are my plans for this winter / spring:
-Continue to keep my Etsy shop updated with vintage and hand-embellished items
-Update my mamas*little*treasures Etsy shop and personal website
-Design, create, and write eBook patterns for fun and simple clothing for 'tweens
Of course, those three goals include tons of smaller projects, but I think all of this should keep me busy and out of trouble until next spring!

If you would like to get in touch with her outside of Etsy, here is how:
Blog @ Mama's Little Treasures
Twitter= Mama's Treasures
FaceBook fan page @ Gossamer Wings Studio
Website @ Mama's Little Treasures (exclusively for her children's designs, and she'll be working on updating that this winter)

Also please go check out this great giveaway I entered. You can win a tree skirt!

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