Our third & final shop of the day comes from Marion, North Carolina: Gomi Constructions. One of my favorite items is the Vintage Sequin Sleeveless Shift Party Dress. Love it. Sooo pretty!
Q: How did you come up with your shop name?
A: When I was 2-6 years old, my parents taught English in Japan, where I
learned of Gomi Piles: vast collections of unwanted items. The piles
seemed huge and adventurous to my young and short self, and that is how
we decorated our home... by rescuing and repurposing. I used to line a
room with all the interesting objects, creating relationships between
the items and making stories for them. Since this is how I do my art...
by saving great items and up-cycling just about anything, the name
seemed fitting... I construct and rehabilitate unwanted and unused stuff
that become... Gomi Constructions.
Q: Do you only sell online?
A: I sell only my vintage items online. My hand-made and up-cycled items
also sell out of a small booth in an Art Walk downtown, which I have
done for about 10 years now. There I sell mostly my block print tees and
hand sewn home decor and accessories.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Since I'm so well traveled, I'd say a little bit of everything. Nature
certainly always amazes me, and I'm always into pattern and color. But
mostly it's the materials that inspire me, imagining how they might find
new life... I don't think I ever got over my Velveteen Rabbit days of
believing in the individuality of inanimate objects.
Q: What is the hardest part of what you do?
A: It's a toss up between switching from creative to business mind-set or
letting go of my finds and new "friends." Sometimes it's like being a
foster parent and you're glad to see something get a forever home, but
you just invested so much that it's a happy/sad day to see a piece sell.
Q: What is one of your favorite items from your shop?
A: Currently it's an up-cycled and Vintage copper candle snuffer. I once
heard that a sailor dies every time you blow out a candle, so this
should save a few lives! Ask me tomorrow, my answer will be different!
Q: What made you decide to use Etsy instead of sites like ArtFire and MadeItMySelf?
A: I do only sell online on Etsy. When I learned of Etsy, I didn't know
about Artfire or MadeItMyself, not that it would have made a difference.
Etsy is established and professional with excellent presentation, and I
like that. I don't need more than one shop to stay on top of... not yet
Q: Is Etsy your only "job", or is it something you do on the side?
A: Etsy is one of many "jobs," besides my booth downtown. I work as a part
time freelance Graphic Designer, for which I'm degreed. I also clean
large vacation rental homes on some weekends for extra moolah. And I'm
remodeling an old farmhouse, which doesn't pay me directly, but it is a
full time job and has it's rewards.
Q: Are you attending any art shows in the future?
A: Nope. I used to help my mom do art shows when I was a kid, so I know how
much work and strategizing they require, and I just don't see my array
working in that setting at this time. It's something to revisit at a
Q: Any future projects?
A: Yes! And always. I usually have ten or better projects going. I have
some pottery lids that are clamoring to become wind-chimes, and some
lightbulbs that want to be porch ornaments, and I really want to make a
slew of dish towels and pot holders out of my organic fabric scraps...
just to start with!
"Do something that you love! It's easy to focus on sales, but
the love is what will keep you coming back and moving forward. Also, if
you can, do what I couldn't do, and edit yourself to focus on one area
that you love to do so you don't overwhelm yourself or your customer... A
lesson I learned too late!" -Lael