A My shop name comes from my husband, who is quite a story teller. When we started dating 13 years ago (and got married 11 years ago), one of the things he would do was tell me stories. One of his stories was about an Elf named Rodan and a Fairy named Eljah. He created the name of the fairy by taking letters of my first and middle name. These characters went on many adventures and were best friends. I decided to use this name because it represents creativity, the love and support of my husband, and it reminds me to have fun and enjoy the magic of making things.
Q How did you hear about Etsy?
A I heard about Etsy when I was on a search for fabric. I had friends who bought through Etsy shops. Once I found the Etsy world, I haven't turned back. I buy my fabrics through Etsy and many other wonderful pieces for gift giving and more.
Q How long have you been on Etsy?
A My shop status says I have been on Etsy since January 2010, but I really opened shop in September 2010. It took me longer to get it all started because I have two little ones at home. My daughter is 3 1/2and my son is 1 1/2.
Q Is Etsy a full time job or something you do on the side?
A Etsy is not full time for me, yet. I would love for it to become more of a mainstay in my life. My biggest priority is my children and family, but I wouldn't mind more business to fill up my down time :) I spend my free time sewing, designing, cutting, and making the pieces I love and list on Etsy.
Q Since you make handmade items, do you buy handmade as well?
A I definitely buy handmade as well!
Q Do you prefer handmade over factory made?
A Hands-down I prefer handmade over factory. Handmade pieces have character, are unique, better quality, and have those wonderful imperfections that you know come only with handmade. It's those aspects of handmade that make them more meaningful and memorable.
Also, you know that the artist is making the piece out of a love and passion for their work. You don't get that with a factory.
Q What is one of your favorite items that you've made?
A One of my favorite items in my shop is the Nativity banner. Christmas is a very special time for our family,and I wanted to share that with others. It took me a while to figure out what images I would use include to tell the Christmas story, and then determine the scale. I love the 7 scenes and how they are silhouettes. The banner can evoke different emotions based on the fabric choices. You can go fun and festive, or you can go more traditional and reflective.
Q What's the hardest part about the items you make?
A The hardest part about the items I make is the designing and cutting. All of the lettering and images are hand traced from templates I make and then hand cut. There are machines out there that cut images and lettering for heat transferred vinyl, but I like to do it. By relying on myself, I can choose different fabrics and styles. I like how the pieces reflect things I love and are not always perfect.
Q What inspires you?
A I find most of my inspiration from words, quotes, and fabrics. I will find beautiful fabrics and then have dreams of what they can become in a quilt or banner. For the hair accessories, my daughter inspires me with her personality. She helps choose the color combinations and gives me daily input. I love how the hair accessories become a special time for me and my daughter.
Q What would you say to a person just starting out in the handmade world?
A For someone just starting out, I would say: be patient. It takes a long time to gain a following. Etsy is a huge world, but handmade items are priceless and becoming more popular. Believe in your product and don't get too depressed if things aren't selling faster than you hoped. It will come. Take the extra time to enjoy your creative process.
There's a giveaway right now on the fanpage listed above. They had their first winner at 65 members. Their next giveaway is at 85 members, and then the last one is at 100 members.