Hi, I'm Erika and I currently live in beautiful Seattle, Washington. I'm a born and raised Washingtonian so I'm used to the weather. And most people don't tell you this, but it really doesn't rain that much here-- we just don't want more people to move here and make traffic worse than it already is!
So I've always been creative. My mom and I used to go to the fabric store on weekends and I sewed outfits for my stuffed animals, made a dollhouse out of cardboard boxes and loved to make up stories, paint and do anything else creative I could get my hands on. My foray into handmade business started with making pillows and painting furniture, and then I got into making and decorating headbands. I made several of them for Christmas gifts and started getting requests for them at work. That's when I decided to stop making pillows and pursue my hair accessories instead.
The name is new. I knew I wanted something with French influence-- I'm not French but I've traveled there and am inspired by the French chic/vintage look. I have red hair and knew that I wanted to play off that as well so decided on rouge. Rouge by itself is a bland sort of name, so I paired it with 'whimsy'-- a word that I've used a lot lately to describe me and my crafty habits!
4. Where and when do you like to create?
Our house has three bedrooms-- one is supposed to be the guest bedroom (we often have friends and family stopping by) but I've taken over it completely with my craft things. And even though I have a dedicated room, my projects tend to spill over into every part of the house-- especially if I want to craft while I'm watching TV with the husband. I'm a messy crafter.
5. What or who inspires you?
My mother is probably my biggest inspiration. She has always been a creative person and has encouraged me to follow my own creative pursuits. Currently she has her own business redoing houses and selling them (the real estate term is "flipping.") She buys all used furniture and paints it as well as sews the pillows and makes the other accessories when they stage the house for purchase. She's been successful so far and I'm so proud of her finally doing what she loves!
6. What’s the best thing you’ve made so far?
I don't have a favorite yet. I think each time I create something new I really love it and get really attached to it. I just made a few headbands that I really love-- especially this pink one with white tulle gathered behind it. I think it's really fun and unique.
I get cold easily in our old house so I'm usually drinking tea-- currently I love this chai white tea. I also drink a lot of water-- if I'm lucky, Perrier with limes. I know I shouldn't snack while I craft, but sometimes I munch on cheese and apple slices. I always listen to music-- right now it's Adele and The Decemberists. Sometimes I catch up on The Bachelor (my guilty pleasure) or I listen to This American Life podcast (my dorky pleasure.)
8. What skill would you love to learn and who would you like to be your teacher?
I need to learn how to manage the money side of this! I am terrible at recording receipts, pricing things, figuring out just any of the business side of things... math has never been my strong suit. I see people like Maggie Whitley of Gussy Sews as a major inspiration.
9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
Right now I'm working on building up my shop with items and just getting my name out there. I also am working on getting some items in local shops-- I just recently had a wholesale order for a shop that will open in May in Tacoma (city south of Seattle) and have a meeting at another boutique coming up. My biggest goal is for this to turn into a full-time thing. I would love love love to be my own boss!
10. What are your five favorite websites?
Etsy: I am on there ALL the time just because I love seeing what's new and reading their tips.
Google Reader: This is how I manage my all my blog subscriptions! It's a lovely thing :).
Flickr & Indie Biz 3.0 sites: I'm so excited to take this class and really enjoy networking and meeting my other classmates! (That's how I met the lovely Louana!)
Twitter: I'm usually on there for my real job, and in the meantime, I read updates from all the crafty gurus out there.
11. Where can we find you online?
I live online at Rouge & Whimsey. My Etsy site is getting reworked but check me out there in the very near future. I'm also attempting to keep it less than 140 characters on Twitter.
Thanks Louana for this great quiz :D!