With our Five Questions series, we're digging deeper into the lives of Etsy shop owners. Etsy makes shopping for handmade + vintage items from all over the world an easy click, click, click. But sometimes, you want to know a little more about the actual human being behind the shop. By asking 5 questions, we can build a relationship as we learn more through the voice of the Etsy shop owner.
We've hand selected some of our favorite shops to be featured here. Today we focus on Brooke's colorful Etsy shop Mmim! With an eye for bold prints that draw you in, will you choose a pill box with a retro flair or a solid wooden frame with a bright pattern? Brooke's shop is filled with almost 250 items to browse - you'll find lots to love in her colorful shop! For sure, you will walk away with not one, but many handmade treasures! Welcome Brooke + thank you for sharing with us today! Enjoy!
1. Why did you open an Etsy shop?
This all started with my Mom and 2 sisters who are all very creative. We were looking for a way to combine our talents and set up a shop. Etsy was the perfect place to do this and see if our things would really sell. Our joint shop did not last long due to other life obligations, such as family, work and many other things. But I was hooked! Besides working two other jobs, I was really focused on making this a full time position. A single mother at the time, I felt it was important to find something I could do from home too. I really loved the whole Etsy Vibe! I love talking with people from all over the world and creating my little handmade goodies for people to enjoy or gift give. I now work full time on my craft and still keep my one job (substitute teacher) as a back up for slow weeks. Luckily I haven't had to go in once this year so far. Although my kids wish I would. :) One of my sisters did go on to open her own shop too!!
2. What do you think makes your product unique?
I really try to keep my items fresh and fun. I love bright, colorful and cheery designs. I think my boxes are something you can't find anywhere else and are each unique in their own special way. I can create them to suit any style from vintage or steam punk to brightly colored owls and guitars too! The wooden blocks are truly unique to each person too. I take custom orders from individuals and design them for what the customers needs and requests. I really love what I do and I think that pride shows in my work!
|Orange Blossom Wood Box|
3. Describe your studio/creative space.
I actually have a few workstations that are located throughout my home. "The hole", as we call it, is where the magic happens. This is my work space. It's a small place, that's tucked away from the rest of the house. Just me, my music and TONS of paper! Then, there's my photo studio, This is where I do my photography to post items on Etsy. I also have my computer space - right below the spiral staircase in the central location of the house. I can pretty much answer all my emails along with the never ending question of... "What's for dinner!" Lastly is my outdoor spray station. Which I can now happily say, is totally reconstructed and HEATED!!! Thanks to my Darrin. Who knows how important heat is to me. :)
4. What are your goals for your Etsy shop in 2012?
2012 has already been off to a great start. I really wish to carve out my niche in the handmade industry. When people think frames and boxes I want them to think MMIM! LOL! Lets make it a household name! I really strive to keep a strong return customer base. I have built many relationships along the way and hope to build many more as the year goes on. It really is a joy to be a part of this Etsy world with so many other creative and extremely talented artists. I appreciate the customers and my fellow "teamies" who all give such great support. I hope to help others build their dreams through treasuries and social networking as well.
5. What does a day away from the studio look like?
A day away? What's that?? Just kidding. I do have to take time away every now and then to refresh my mind and come up with new ideas. I usually take the whole day Sunday to be with my family. I have to admit though, I still answer emails and check my shop throughout that day, but I really try to stay out of "the hole". I love being with my family, whether we're just sitting around, playing some games, or making a huge Sunday dinner. I just enjoy being with them. :)