1) How did you hear about Etsy?
I first heard about Etsy from my sister-in-law. She makes homemade jams, jellies, sauce, etc. and was selling them on Etsy. I wasn’t really looking to open a shop, but when I saw what Etsy offered I realized that this could be a great venue for what I do too. I already had some bags in a local B&M shop and saw it as not much of a risk to list some items.
2) How did you come up with your shop name?
That is a good question! I guess the logo actually came before the name. I have a tattoo of the two giraffes on the back of my neck. (My sisters and I all got tattoos together a few years ago.) I knew I wanted giraffes with their necks twisted together, but couldn’t find anything like it, so this was custom designed for me. My husband and I were brainstorming names, knowing I wanted to use that image, and that is where giraffe label designs came from.
3) Is Etsy your only "job", or is it something you do on the side?
I am a stay-at-home mom with 3 small children (ages 7, 5, and 3), so I guess Etsy is something I do on the side.
4) What inspires you?
Lots of things! Most of my items are inspired by the fabrics that I find. Usually I will get some fabric and then decide what I should make with it. I also find a lot of inspiration from the people around me…encouragement and inspiration!
5) What is the easiest to make? The hardest?
I feel like most of the things that I make are not hard to construct, but they are time consuming. This is especially true the second time I make a certain style or shape, because I design my own patterns and often “wing it” the first time. Then, trying to duplicate it again can be difficult. I would say that the illustrations are the hardest, because I am interpreting something that already exists and that can be very subjective. Sometime I will do a drawing 3 or 4 times before I am happy with the outcome.
6) What is your favorite item that you currently have in your shop?
That is a tough one, because I truly love what I have in my shop so far. (I just wish there was more there!) Right now I am very excited about the “women’s work” line of aprons. These are aprons that use a man’s necktie as the strap that holds the apron up. I love using vintage ties and making them into something cool. They have been so much fun, and I hope to make a bunch more soon! The coolest thing about them is the idea that I can take a tie that really means something to someone and make it into one of these aprons. I also really love the custom illustrations. I think they make a unique and special gift.
7) What made you decide to use Etsy instead of sites like ArtFire and MadeItMySelf?
Honestly, Etsy is just the first place I started, and I’ve stayed. I saw it as being fairly low risk…to just be able to put my designs out there and see what happens. For a long time I had my shop open but didn’t do much with it. I would like to start putting more time into it, and possibly open a shop in other venues as well. I just need to find some spare time; I don’t have a lot of that with 3 kids (well, 4, if you count my husband)!
8) Are you attending any art shows in the future?
I do not have any craft show plans right now, but maybe next year.
10) Any future projects?
I really hope that I can build up some inventory for my Etsy shop, and I would love to get my designs into some local B&M stores as well. I plan to expand the illustration section of my shop and start offering prints, cards, tags, and other items to bridal shops and brides-to-be using the illustrations.