|Pat and some fresh lilacs|
Shop || Giardino
Owner || Pat
1) When and why did you choose to open an online shop on Etsy?
Like many, I was looking for a new source of income.
In 2008 I was doing illustration and design work for companies like american greetings. In May that year my main customer told me they wouldn't have any more work for me that year as they were cutting back so I started looking around to see what different types of things I would like to pursue to fill the hole. That led me to raiding my stash of fabrics from years of art directing photo shoots for wallpaper and fabric companies (my last corporate gig in 1994 and what I did until 2005 as an freelance art director). I made some tote bags and had a party at a friends to sell them plus some cards I whipped up. Then I started looking around on the internet for places to sell them and eventually found Etsy. The tote bags didn't sell and I started making my real love - home decor and paper items. I found I like the whole process of concept to finished product, even wrapping for shipping!
|old industrial sewing machine and her sewing room in one of her guest rooms|
2) What got you started in your craft?
I've always drawn and painted - my mother taught art in the public school system so the supplies were always around. My mom and her sisters were amazing seamstresses and I still use my grandmother's singer to make my own pieces. I'm interested in all kinds of art but love textiles and printmaking best.
|raspberries from her backyard|
3) Who or what influences your style the most?
The History of Ornament and all the other wonderful books on the history of design, magazines like World of Interiors, natural forms, history of botany and science. Right now I'm particularly enamored with Medieval art. I also love scientific art like botanical illustration.
|fabric storage room and some of her designs|
4) How do you stay focused and motivated?
I think about paying the bills:) Seriously, I love what I do and nothing motivates me like a deadline. If I feel stale I stop working and go out in the garden and do some weeding or go read a book for a while. I've been self employed a long time so they aren't as much of a problem for me anymore, also I live pretty frugally so I can do more of what I love.
|tommy tuna guarding fabric bolts|
5) What would be your insight on "Keys to Success on Etsy"?
Really hard work, good photos and enough cats around to give you encouragement and hold the fabric down.
Don't give up - if sales are slow list something new and make a bunch of treasuries, re-photograph your listings and believe in yourself (not always easy but you must).
Oh, and white wine and chocolate help too!