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Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
I don’t have any formal training in the arts, but as far back as I can remember I’ve always been creative. I took every art class I could get my hands on in Junior and Senior High School, including architectural drafting! If I thought it was cool… I wanted to learn how to do it. My biggest teacher was my mother. As a child, I had watched my mother paint, bake, sew, cross stitch, and garden, to name a few of her talents. In fact all of my family’s childhood birthday cakes were always made by my mother, but they looked store made. She had sewn a lot of my clothing when I was a child. So, she was and still is my inspiration to always try something new and do it well.
From birth! Well, okay from the age of five. If there was something to be made or done, I did it. I was very imaginative as a child. I used to play with my brother, Michael, and his Hot Wheels cars when I was young. I didn’t just play with his car’s, I designed a whole town with houses, shopping malls, parks, fire stations, all with driveways and bushes, to make it realistic. I wanted to drive my cars in a “hip” looking neighborhood! My brother and I did backyard shows for the neighborhood kids and charged admission. I wrote the skits and put together the costumes. So, I could definitely say I was creative from a very young age.
What were the first things you created? and how did your creativity progress from there?
The first thing that I consider creating, by hand, is a pink, crocheted, “Tube” top for my Barbie doll. My Grandmother had taught me to crochet. I come from a line of creative women. She was creative until she was in her 70’s. She had a stroke that disabled her from continuing. But, yeah, a pink tube top was my first creation!
For now, Etsy is my only business. I did Ebay, but it didn’t really fill the niche for me like Etsy does. Etsy is on a whole different level. Prior to Etsy I was a private school teacher for 18 years. I started taking classes towards my teaching certificate in High School. Teaching was tiring, but the personal connection with the children was priceless. The connection and seeing their faces in wonderment when they learned something new is what drove me to be a teacher.
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
YES! The feeling of getting what you see or design yourself to completion is such a rush. I feel so empowered and proud of myself. I really want to attempt a full crib set. The quilt, bumper pads… ALL of it! It looks like it would be a big task, so I have to be ready to do it.
How did you hear about Etsy?
My niece, Melissa, turned me onto Etsy. I think she found the site through a search engine.
Any words of advice for others?
Whatever you create do it to the best of your abilities. Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t want to own yourself! Be fair with your pricing, shipping and give good customer service. If you say you’ll have done by Tuesday have it done by Monday!
How will the new law by CPSIA affect you and your shop?
A very big question! My goal is to stay open. I have a plan to alter my goods in another direction, so I can continue to do what I love until they amend this stupid law.