Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lou C's Designs


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 
My name is Kristy and I own Lou C’s Designs (handmade jewelry). I am a Texas girl, I grew up in Dallas and moved to East Texas around 1991 and currently thinking of moving to Austin! I am 37 with two children Sophie (9) and Camden (7) and have been married to Derek for the past 11 years! I am currently obsessed with Lou C’s 24 hours a day. I make the jewelry, take the orders, book keep, etc... but also I have been working on the website, writing descriptions, pricing and taking all the photos! Busy, busy, busy I have been, so I hope it all pays off. 

My favorite number is 11 so this should be a great year, my favorite color is black (I know people are usually like WHAT??) but I LOVE black! So I wonder what my favorite nail color is (some form of BLACK)!!!! I even have a black cat and a black dog! Anyways, I love to make jewelry and it has taken over my world!

2. What do you make and how did you get into this?
I make handmade fine silver and bronze hand stamped jewelry (try to say that three times fast)! I started by stamping blanks you can order and then I found PMC precious metal clay and realized I could make my own shapes/designs and then stamp them. It all started when one day I saw a lady hand stamping and thought that was the neatest thing, I had never even seen that before. I bought one and watched her make it, while making it I whispered to my friend that I can do that (my sweet friend believed that I could too!) I went home researched and two weeks later I was stamping. 

While I was stamping I kept looking for ideas, (remember I had never seen it before so I needed to know what people were doing) while I was looking around I found a charm that said it was made of PMC so I went a researched what it was and how to use it. I bought some with the thought that if it did not work at least I tried! It worked and then I found Etsy, I thought I was ready to go and I was going to sell and just be happy.

If you know what Etsy is, you know there are a lot of people that make jewelry and if you do not tag it just right you will be on page 3078! I tagged really well and got on page 1 or 2 but then someone would come behind me and tag just a little bit better, I had to retag EVERYDAY!!!!  This was just too much! 

While this tagging war was going on over at Etsy I was selling really well off of Facebook, people would call and email. I did so well that I am able to start my own website and pay for all my supplies that I need (I have not paid myself yet) but I have not taken out a loan to do this. I really wanted this business to go where it is meant to go by itself and not push it and so far it has done just that.

3. Why did you name your shop Lou C's Designs?
I name it Lou C’s Designs after my two children: Sophie (Lou) that is just what I call her, her real middle name is Isabella, and Camden (C). I just liked the way it sounded when I was going through names!

4. Where and when do you like to create? 
I create in my office at no particular time! When it pops in my head, when I see something, when I get bored, when I GET AN ORDER!!!!


5. What inspires you?
Anything and everything! But most of all I want my children to be proud of me. I love to hear one of them tell their friends that “my mom makes jewelry!”

6. What’s the best thing you’ve made so far? 
MY two kiddos! I know it is not jewelry, but if I said a piece of my jewelry over my kids it would be a lie!

7. When you create what do you like to drink? 
Iced coffee.

8. What skills would you love to learn and who would you like to be your teacher? 
There are too many amazing people to put just one but I would love to learn to sew better and learn more about jewelry. OH!!! Photography too!

9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future? 
At this moment I am working on my website (should be out as you are reading this!) it is important to me that the website looks as good as the jewelry. If the website does not look good you will lose the buyer. Before I started my site I would find myself clicking off a website if it did not appeal to me (even if the product was amazing).

10. What are your five favorite websites?
This is very hard because there are soooo many!

Facebook:  I have to say Facebook first because without it I would not be able to do this. It is a wonderful networking tool, it has really gotten my jewelry out there!

Tattered Style: This is a blog and she is really new but she has amazing style (for the home).

The Pleated Poppy: I have a bloom bag (too cute), I just love her style and I love the clean look of her site.

Where Women Create: Because they are all about business’ like us!

Lou C's Designs: Just because I am so proud of it! I love the way it looks.

11. Where can we find you online?
Website | Facebook | Blog

Next Week: Bonita Rose

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Epheriell Designs


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi all, I'm Jess, and I hail from the countryside about an hour north of Brisbane. My husband Nick and I are currently living with my parents while we subdivide their acreage – then we'll be building our own home here, too! We love living in the country, it's so quiet, with birds and animals all around. We'll often take our cat for a walk around the property on an afternoon (no, not on a leash – he's just very much a people-cat and will follow you around everywhere when he's awake!).
2. What do you make and how did you get into this?
Once upon a time I was going to be a research scientist, then I was a teacher, now I run my business full-time, making jewellery, blogging, and running a new Aussie zine called *bespoke*, all about handmade, vintage, photography, art, micro-business, eco-friendly goodness and much more – all in a sweet little A5 sized package that you can take anywhere!
In short, I'm amazingly busy, all the time, and love, love, love it!

Until September 2008, I didn't think of myself as a creative person at all! I was a scientist, a teacher – a logical, rational person… and I never felt totally fulfilled.

Then, I went to Fiji. My boyfriend (now husband) Nick and I met a lovely fellow Aussie family. We became friends, and the day we left, the mother of the family gave me a novel to read – she'd read it, and decided to pass it on. I can't remember what it was called, but it was a story about a woman who owned a yarn store in New York. When I finished that book, I decided to try knitting… and that's where it all began!

I discovered that I LOVED creating, making, working with my hands. The previously empty part of my 'self' was filled, and I finally became a whole person. I went from knitting to crochet to beads to resin to metal... and fell in love with metalworking. The Epheriell style as it exists now really started to come into being in mid-2009.
3. Why did you name your shop and blog Epheriell?
Oh, that was an easy choice. I'd invented the name 'Epheriell' years ago and used it online, it seemed like the natural choice when I started my business. It's a mash-up of the words 'ephemeral' and 'ethereal'. I love the sound of it, and the ideas it represents.

4. Where and when do you like to create?
I have my studio set up with all my materials close at hand, so I can always try something out if an idea comes to mind!
I'll often have new ideas late at night, which is rather inconvenient for my poor husband, as we currently have our bedroom and my studio in one big room!

5. What inspires you?
Oh, I honestly don't know where the inspiration for my designs comes from! Often a shape just comes to me, and I'll sketch it in my A4 sketchpad – or I might see a geometric shape and that will spark off an idea. Sometimes I'll just make stuff right off the bat while I'm sitting at my workbench, but most often I'll at least make a preliminary sketch of an idea.

I have quite a defined style nowadays, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gives me boundaries in materials and style to work within; and a curse because at times I'll have an idea that won't fit at all with my current style... but usually I can figure out a way to make it work!

6. What’s the best thing you’ve made so far?
Hmm, that's a tricky one! I'll have to go with my Nested Necklace - it's been one of my most popular designs, and I'm still pleased every time I make one! It embodies my ethic of simple, clean design, and is something that can be worn every day, or equally for a special occasion.
7. When you create what do you like to drink, listen to, or watch?
Endless cups of tea and water are number one! I often listen to TripleJ (the national indie radio station) and sometimes I will put on a movie that I've seen before to entertain me while I do repetitive tasks.

8. What skill would you love to learn?
I would love to learn lost wax casting - I have so many ideas for what I could make! However, I am yet to find a class close enough to me!

9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
Well, I'm currently working on my next line of jewellery for Epheriell, I'm always working on *bespoke* - Issue 2 is just out and Issue 3 is in the works! My main goal is to turn-over a certain $$ figure - I'm always striving to make my business more successful! I want to grow both my jewellery business and *bespoke*, while also devoting enough time to my blog, which I love. I think I'll have to bring in some staff - a VA [Virtual Assistant], at least, at some point this year, so that will be an interesting business development!

10. What are your five favorite websites?
Etsy: I love all the wonderful people and things I have discovered there!

Twitter: This is where I love to hang out - as a work-from-home creative entrepreneur, my internet friendships are really important to me!

Pinterest: A beautiful place to collate and collect inspiration!

Made It: My favourite Australian handmade selling venue

Craftgawker: Love the stuff that is curated there!

11. Where can we find you online?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crafted Love


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! My name is Allison Kaye. I'm a twenty-something year old from a small town in Ohio and currently live in Oxford, Ohio where I go to school for Architecture and Design. I'm a Graphic Designer by day, and an Etsian and crafty blogger by night. I have a boyfriend [Mike] of 2.5 years who is my very best friend and partner in crime. We love to go on adventures, take road trips, make fun dinners, listen to music, and watch movies together. Plus, he doesn't mind that I take pictures of EVERYTHING, in fact he is quite the model in front of the camera. I don't know what I would do without him. I have two crazy cats who live back home with my parents [my dad just couldn't part with them] and a betta fish.

I love photography, art, typography, architecture, traveling, indie music, and am some what obsessed with Fazoli's. I will watch any and every movie I can get my hand on, no matter how lame it sounds and I love love love the color Mustard Yellow.
2. What do you make and how did you get into this?
Way back before I started my Etsy shop I'd walk into accessory stores and find a cute headband or hair clip that I loved but just couldn't find a reason to spend 20 bucks on it. I've always been crafty so I thought to myself, I could make that. And so I did. After I started my blog, Crafted Love, I decided, heck, why not make a side income out of it? And so the Crafted Love Etsy shop began. I sell floral hair accessories as well as a few jewelry pieces here and there. My dream is to someday make a decent living out of selling bridal accessories and I'm hoping taking the Indie biz 3.0 class will give me that little extra push I need.
3. Why did you name your shop and blog Crafted Love?
My shop came after my blog but I chose "Crafted Love" because, simply put, that's exactly what it is. I've crafted all these things in my life that bring me great joy and I put a great deal of love into them so the name just seemed to fit.

4. Where and when do you like to create?
I am a full time design student and also work about 15 hours a week as a graphic designer, so finding time to maintain my blog and keep my shop stocked can be tricky. I usually do all my crafting after class/work as well as on the weekends. I love crafting so it doesn't feel like a chore at all.

My "craft space" is more so a desk and some drawers than anything. I live with three of my friends in a small house so there isn't much more room than that for crafting. Most of the time you'll find me sitting on my bed crafting away because my desk has gotten so cluttered from crafting supplies. I don't mind, in fact I almost prefer working from my comfy bed.
5. Who inspires you?
Hmm, that's a long list. My mom has always been a huge part of my crafting. I've watched her for years and learned so much. She has taught me to embrace my creative side and look at everything like an unfinished project. Another person who has inspired me recently in my life is Elsie Flannigan. I'm sure everyone in the craft world has heard of her but if not, you should check her out. She is such an inspiring person for me. Not only is she creative and artsy, she shows me that it is possible to live your dream and create for a living.

6. What’s the best thing you’ve made so far?
That's tough because I love everything I make as cheesy as that sounds. But if I had to go by sales, my most popular item seems to be my satin flower shoe clips. I love these a lot because you can clip them to almost anything and give yourself a little extra style. Obviously, shown by the name, you can clip these little guys to flats or heels and spruce your outfit up a bit. I personally am 5'10" and don't wear heels much so you'll see me with these guys clipped to my purse for a little extra flare. I've even had a customer who was a nurse buy them to clip to her stethoscope since it's normally very hard to feel fashionable in the medical world. They are quite versatile!
7. When you create what do you like to listen to, or watch?
I love listening to softer rock or indie rock. It keeps me calm and focused. I've been known to switch on some TV from time to time but I tend to stop what I'm doing and focus more on what's going on in the TV show.

8. What skill would you love to learn and who would you like to be your teacher?
I really want to learn more about web page design. I know a lot about HTML and with that, I am able to design blogger templates, but I'd like to take it to the next step and be able to design a website from scratch. Who would my teacher be? Good question. I said I was in the Indie Biz 3.0 class earlier in this interview so I suppose it would make sense that the lovely Leigh-Ann from A Freckled Nest would be my teacher!

9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
Right now I am working on adding some more generic bridal accessories to my shop. I've done a few custom orders in the past for bridal parties but the majority of my accessories in the shop are for everyday-wear. I'd like to get my business up and running more and I think that'd be the best next step.

As for goals, other than adding to my shop, I'd love to reach 200 blog followers in the near future. Originally that was my goal for 2012 but lately my blog has skyrocketed and I'm starting to think I could conquer that goal sooner!

10. What are your five favorite websites?
A Beautiful Mess: This is Elsie's blog and it's full of cute fashion and inspiration.

The Rockstar Diaries: I love hearing about Taza's cute dog Kingsley. She recently became a mommy and she always has fun photos of everyday adventures.

Keiko Lynn: I love her style. She always posts about what she wears and even though I'd probably never wear any of it, it's so interesting to read her blog.

Promise Tangeman: Promise has been such an inspiration for me along with Elsie. She too, has made a career out of what she loves. While Elsie speaks to my artsy side, Promise covers my design side. She has done graphic design work for a few charities and I think that's totally rad and something I hope to someday accomplish. She has killer style and crazy hair like I have.

Love Elycia: Elycia is one of my blog friends and I visit her site every day. I love reading about her crazy kitties and now seeing what she wears day to day. She's getting married in June so a few posts are dedicated to wedding plans and as you know, I looooove weddings :].

11. Where can we find you online?
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Fan Page | Shop
Next Week: Epheriell Designs

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pulp Sushi


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Marilyn and I currently live in Fishkill, NY with my boyfriend. I grew up in NYC but kind of out grew the hustle and bustle and love living the Hudson Valley. I still commute to Manhattan every day for work though. When I’m not glued to my Mac reading blogs, I’m teaching myself how to knit, reading books, or going out to galleries and finding new places to eat. My boyfriend and I love to dine out and find new places to discover. I’m also a dessert fanatic. I love cakes (especially carrot). I wouldn’t say I have sweet tooth because I don’t go as crazy for cookies, ice cream and other pastries, but looooove almost any cake.
2. What do you make and how did you get into this?
I make vintage-inspired looking jewelry with a flirty, playful twist. I started making jewelry a few years ago when I was selling customized notepads and marble magnets on Etsy. I started making rings and pendants with left over marbles and cardstock and things gradually took a turn from there.
3. Why did you name your shop Pulp Sushi?
I devoted an entire blog post to this subject which I hope your readers wouldn’t mind checking out by clicking the link: What does it mean?

4. Where do you like to create?
I have a work table in the corner of my livingroom that is an organized chaos. Sometimes I like to sit on the floor at my coffee table and work there or my dining table. Any table really!
5. What or who inspires you?
I keep company with a lot of creative types and their energy and passion inspire me. My current job situation also inspires me because I know it is NOT what I want to do for much longer. It’s pushing me to keep producing more awesome stuff that there will be a demand for and eventually will lead me to drop the 9 to 6 job.

6. What’s the best thing you’ve ever made?
It has not happened yet. I keep trying to out do myself. The best thing I've made so far? It's still hard to say. I do look back at jewelry I made early on and I can see how much I've progressed and learned. My beading has gotten better, I've learned to needle-felt too so I try to do more than just string some beads on stretchy string. I am loving my beaded flower necklaces and cluster flower necklaces.

7. When you create what do you like to drink, snack on, listen to, or watch?
Anything really. I can have the tv on or iTunes. I just need to have some kind of background noise when I work. No beverages or snacks when I’m working because I’m afraid I might spill something (I’m clumbsy) and I want to keep my hands clean so food touching.

8. What skills would you love to learn and who would you like to be your teacher?
I would love to know how to cook! I mean I can, but it’s kind of basic. I think having Sunny Anderson in the kitchen would be fun. I love her show on The Food Network and everything she makes looks so good. I would also love to learn how to sew so I can make my own clothes. And I’d like Tim Gunn to teach me. :)

9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
This year I am really committed to getting my business in to more B&M stores. Right now I have items in a couple of local galleries and boutiques but I would like to expand even more. Ultimately, I would like to open my own storefront that showcases handmade accessories and original artwork.

10. What are your five favorite websites?
Facebook & Twitter: I am on Facebook and Twitter a lot. Those are the two sites where not only do I catch up with my friends and associates, but it’s usually the first place where I find out about current events. That’s the world we live in now.

Etsy: I love hanging out Etsy. Things are a bit different with Forums now but ever since they added the Activity Feed I’ve been loving it even more and finding more wonderful shops to follow. I like putting together treasuries too.

YouTube: I’ve been spending a lot of time on YouTube lately studying Knitting tutorials and some jewelry making videos too. It’s also where I’ve been catching up with a lot of my favorite TV shows (ie: America’s Next Top Model)

Google Reader: This may be a cop-out but I am such a blog-a-holic. I am constantly adding blogs to it.

11. Where can we find you online?
You can find my jewelry in two places: Etsy & DaWanda
Next week: Crafted Love

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Anzouya


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, my name is Angela. I'm 30 years old (hmm... sounds weird speaking it out loud...), I'm from Greece and I live in an island North-West called Corfu. I’ve been living here all my life except 4 years that I’ve been studying Technology of Graphic Arts in Athens. It has been a really interesting field of study because I got to see and practice many things like offset printing, letterpress, book binding, screen printing, stamp making e.t.c. When I returned I worked for 1 year in a printing shop in Corfu and as a part time teacher in elementary schools in the subject of Art, which has been the thing that I enjoyed the most because I love working with kids.
Now I’m the owner of a Photocopy Shop where I also sell stationery and practice my Graphic Art. As a part time job I also teach in elementary schools whenever is possible. I have a bo-boy (a.k.a. boyfriend) called Stathis but I call him “my beloved”, a younger brother and a sister (they are twins) and a “little brother”, Rocky or as we like to call him “Little Prince”.
I have too many hobbies. I love crafting in general. I’ve experimented with any medium that you can think of. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with crochet and sewing but I also like watching movies, travelling (I want to see the world!), blogging (another obsession!), hanging out with friends and generally, having a good time. I love colors, the sunshine, chocolate and strawberries, fawns and owls, glitter or anything “bling-bling”, my favorite movie is “The Notebook” and my favorite drink is tea in any flavor.

2. What do you make and how did you get into this?
Ever since I can remember myself I've been creating all my life. I've tried way too many things! I always want to learn new skills. On many things I'm self taught, you know the "try and error" process. No-one has ever showed me the right way (after all, I'm impossible when it comes to following instructions!) and who says that there's a RIGHT WAY on doing things when it comes to crafting? I think that I haven’t found “my thing” yet. I don’t really make just ONE THING! I like to follow also the reuse, re-purpose and recycle motto for many of my creations.
I have a series of posts on my blog about "my creative history" and how I got here. To make a long story short, creating is who I am, not only what I do. Crafting keeps me sane! The problem has been that I’ve never considered it as a possible source of income or as you may call it "a day job". After all, it isn’t such yet. But I think it’s a good idea to start pursuing it!

Lately, I’ve been making crochet purses and necklaces, decorated and embossed hand stitched notebooks and a lot of experiments with sewing. But I won’t stop here! I have so many ideas that need to come out in the air that sometimes I feel like my head will explode!

3. Why did you name your shop Anzouya?
My name is Angeliki, they call me Angela and because of a friend's nickname, I'm stuck with.... ANZOUYA! Here in Corfu they have an idiom, sometimes the “L” is pronounced “Y” like Yiannis. My friend George has always been calling me “Angoulia” and just for teasing me he had turned it into “Anzouya”. As a word in Greek you can confuse it with "anchovy" because it has almost the same pronunciation "anchouyia". My zodiac sign is Pisces, so I thought it was a great idea to use it also as my brand name because it is something that I can relate to.

4. Where and when do you like to create?
Wherever I feel comfortable! On the kitchen table, on the bed, on the couch, you name it. Lately I have managed to organize a little corner in my house (as if it wasn't already too crowded!) but it's always TOO MESSY! It seems that I can't really organize my supplies because I have TOO MANY different things for TOO MANY different uses! After all, organizing isn't my best quality!


5. What or who inspires you?
I'm inspired from anything I see around me, the nature, the people, an outfit, maybe it's a fabric, a color, or just a look from a different angle that gives a new perspective for an unused item.

My greatest inspiration of all must be Elsie Flannigan! She was my waking up call! Seriously! From the day I've discovered her blog I got back on track for pursuing my dream job because she made me believe that it's really possible! I can't thank her enough for that, even though she may never know it.

6. What’s the best thing you’ve ever made?
Hmm, that's a tough one! I really don't know. My best creation is yet to come! I'm really proud of all the things that I make because they help me improve my skills and move a step further. If I have to pick a favorite that would be the Crochet Heart Shaped Bookmarks and the Crochet Purses. I felt really proud of myself when I finished them!

7. When you create what do you like to drink, snack on, listen to, or watch?
Usually I'm so preoccupied that I even forget to drink a glass of water! The truth is that I can be really clumsy and I prefer to keep away anything that can cause a "crafting disaster"! I really like having the TV on though, but I don't really care what's on, maybe I'll be watching a movie or something.

8. What skill would you love to learn and who would you like to be your teacher?
I'd love to learn how to make mixed media paintings. I've always loved painting but never really practiced it. If I could pick a teacher (or two) that would be Kelly Rae Roberts or Tam. They are both so talented and INCREDIBLE in what they do!

9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
Right now I'm working on deciding which will be "MY THING", because I have already too much going on and I really need to focus. I have an idea about some cute bags and purses and I'm in the process of creating some samples. I hope that I'll be able to release them soon.

My goals for the future are simple. I want to be able to sell my handmade goods and build a successful brand but I don't want to speak big words, I want to take it one step at a time.

10. What are your five favorite websites?
A Beautiful Mess: She's my inspiration and motivation. She's my Crafting Guru!

One Pretty Thing: My daily dose of inspiration! So many crafting ideas gathered in one place! Awesome!

Bakerella Even though I don't really cook or bake, this site is so inspiring and full of amazing photos. I have tried once or twice some of the recipes and they turned out delicious!

They Call Me Cemprut: This girl is amazing! Her creations are out of this world! So colorful and cute! She never stops to impress me!

Design Sponge: It's a daily website dedicated to home and product design but it also has a lot of DIY ideas and so inspiring Before & After photos.

11. Where can we find you online?
You can find me here: 

Thank you so much Louana for this interview. It was really fun!
Next week: Pulp Sushi