Forget about the millions of people on the internet + the millions of possible connections for a minute. It's a bit overwhelming to think about getting to know that many people. For now, we're going to focus on Etsy - you know, the e-commerce website that revolutionized the handmade movement? Where you can buy handmade + vintage goods, plus art and supplies? Yes - that Etsy. This is still a pretty big community and is still a bit overwhelming. But what if we said, "Hi, come on over here - we're going to introduce you to some very special Etsy shops + we'll do it one at a time so you can really get to know the people behind the shops." This is no longer overwhelming, but fun + exciting.
Our series is called Five Questions. We ask our favorite shops on Etsy to answer the same 5 questions + we've been enjoying learning more about the people behind the shop name. Today we are featuring Carolyn of CarolynCochrane - we love Carolyn's modern photography + hope you will too! Enjoy!
Why did you open an Etsy shop?
Over the course of about a year and a half before I opened my shop, I found my passion for photography. I was shooting and editing new pictures around the clock and uploading them every day to Flickr.com for people to see. The feedback I received was so positive, after a while I started wondering if people would want to buy my art. The idea of doing what I am so passionate about and earning money from it at the same time really intrigued me.
I soon discovered that some of my fellow photographer friends on Flickr had shops on Etsy. I was so fascinated by their shops and thought it was the coolest thing that they were actually selling and shipping their photos. I looked into Etsy, laid out a plan for my shop, took a big gulp and took the "Etsy plunge." :)
What do you think makes your product unique?
I think my photography is unique for two reasons….my passion for color and the moods I try to create in my images. I've had a lot of fans and customers tell me that my simple compositions convey a feeling of peace and calm. I think people are really drawn to that feeling in my photographs. This really brings me a lot of satisfaction as an artist. If my art can bring a customer an extra vibe of calm into their homes or a little extra splash of joy from the color I use in a photograph, then I've done my job.
Describe your studio / creative space.
We have a small second living room in our house that I converted into my workspace. I'd love to sit here and tell you the room is a highly organized, orderly place but unfortunately it isn't. :( For some reason I was not born with the "tidy gene." Once in a blue moon I get in a mood where I organize my space but it always ends up messy once again. When I'm on a mission to create new images or work on my Etsy shop, straightening up is the last thing on my mind. (This tendency toward messiness though doesn't affect my packages to my customers…I always make sure they are nice and neat.) I do hope I can eventually beat this messy thing…I have visions of a beautiful studio in my mind. Hopefully I'll get to that point some day.
What are your goals for your Etsy shop in 2012?
I just opened my shop in June of 2011 so this year will be my first full year on Etsy. I've already had such a wonderful response to my work, I'm REALLY excited to see more growth this year. There's nothing quite as exciting to me as when new fans find my shop so I'm really looking forward to expanding my fan base. I'll be adding new photographs to my shop all year long. I'd like to add an even bigger variety of color for my customers to choose from. My beach images have been a big hit so far so I'll be adding more beach photographs to the shop as well. I also want to create several collections of coordinating image sets and also add the option of canvas gallery wraps which I'm really excited about. Here's to 2012! :)
What does a day away from the studio look like?
A day away from my studio usually means spending a fun day with either my husband or my adorable little nephews. I don't have kids yet so I've been playing the role of the "fun aunt." I have a blast with my nephews, they're a great escape from work when my eyes need a break from the computer. I love seeing life through their innocent eyes when the world is so new and exciting…it's very inspiring and helps get my creative juices flowing. Other than that, I like to take my little terrier dog Allie for walks in the park, spend time outside or just relax in front of a good tv show with my favorite blanket.