I first discovered a SpoonfulOfChocolate in one of the forum rooms of etsy. She had asked people for ideas of books to use for her handbags and I had to give her the suggestions of my all time favorites (Gone with the Wind, East of Eden, Harry Potter). I always give an opinion if I have one (one of my strenghths…and weaknesses).
Tell me a little bit about your background in arts and crafts.
Since I was little I had a creative streak in me. I think I may have gotten it from my parents. My mother was accepted to Art school when she was younger, but couldn’t take up the offer because she had to help support her family that had just fled Czechoslovakia. Growing up, my father would always be doing something- from building our house, to making a mosaic porch table to building an authentic rock wine cellar/bar! I remember how I couldn’t wait to get up every morning and go to Art class! I would spend hours drawing and coloring and cutting things out of construction paper. I got 2nd place in my High School art show for a Sculpture I had made. A few years ago I studied abroad in Switzerland- I had such an amazing experience that when I got back I spent my entire summer perfecting my Scrapbook. The past couple of years I have become very interested in different crafts. I bought a sewing machine and started making everyone retro style Apron sets that came with matching dish gloves, I bought a wood burner and made my father a sign for his wine cellar. My boyfriend has gotten many things from frames to a personalized pillow. I think I have an eye for color and matching. I manage to get attached to almost everything I make!
When did you first start creating things?
Probably at the age of 3. My parents encouraged Arts and Crafts. They would much rather me spend hours coloring than watching TV.
What were the first type of crafts you made?
Here is the list in order: Coloring, Cards, a clay dinosaur, bracelets, jewlery, wood carving, clay sculptures, scrapbooking, mosaics.
Is this your only business or do you do other things as well?
Well, this is my first “real” busines.. I started a Friendship bracelet business when I was 11. I would spend hours making friendship bracelets, and then would go door to door and try to sell my bracelets. I got kind of upset when I realized that I would spend hours making these bracelets I was so proud of to find that I only got a dollar for it. haha. Oh, I also had a “Babysitters Club” when I was 15.
Do you still dream about making other things? If so, what?
It seems like every month I find a new obsession… Right now my obsession is Book handbags– but my friend is coming over and we are going to make frames. So who knows? That may be my next obsession…
How did you hear about Etsy?
My father is about to loose his house. It’s heartbreaking to me, because growing up as a first generation American I was able to see the difference between my families lifestyles and everyone elses. My dad was constantly doing something outside, you should see our house! I swear it’s like a little Slovakia. (If you have seen “My big fat greek wedding” that is my family- except Slovak). He never asks for money- he built the house in 4 years with his own hands- built a pond, shed, cottage, out-house, wine cellar.. the list goes on. He is a very modest man, but happy that he had given his family a good life in Colorado. My mother’s brother- Uncle Frank, a couple of years ago, asked for my father to co-sign a loan. My parents house was paid off so they had better credit. My Uncle would cry to my father every day- he wanted to start a Water and health business and needed the money. He was buying it from a good company that had been running well for over 25 years. So, long story short my father finnally agreed, my Uncle ran the business down to the ground and stopped paying the loan. My parents are risking loosing everything they have ever worked for because they are now stuck with a $350,000 loan with a combinde income of $27,000 a year. My uncle stopped paying in February of last year- and we haven’t heard from him since October. So anyways- I was looking for a way to help my parents out- and thought- why don’t I start selling my crafts?? So I started with my Chocolate Spoon business– but managed to get distracted, until now. I started to make my book handbags and am now really focused on making my shop bloom. Any profit I make is going straight to my parents.
Any words of advice to others?
Follow your heart! Live the American dream. Keep in there! It can be hard, and you can get distracted, but keep trying- hopefully it will pay off!
I hope you decide to take a peak at her shop…she has some really neat things made form really unique ideas!
Her items are also currently being featured in a treasury http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=32455