Friday, May 20, 2011

Upcycled Finds: Day 5

Hi dearies!

I recently found a store, HotGlueHangover, I really like because it is funky and she includes upcycled items. Check out her shop!

When did you open Isabellaphenix? 

So I just opened this new shop HotGlueHangover (transferring from isabellaphenix) and I opened it May 19th, 2011 (it's a girl!) My old shop was opened March 19th, 2011.

How long have you been making art?

I have been making art for as long as I can remember, maybe because it was free and kept me out of trouble. In fact the last time my husband and I went home to my parents house he got the joy of seeing my fabulous 1996 Olympics Scrapbook...It was pretty incredible. 

When did you start reusing components in your artwork?

I love the idea of reusing what is already beautiful and already available. Being a history teacher there is something about the history of old jewelry or fabrics that is just so interesting to me! it's not just a brooch anymore it may have been someone's wedding piece or someone's favorite shirt. The possibilities are endless. 

What do you find hardest about running your own store?

The hardest thing about running my own store is that unfortunately Angelina Jolie will not adopt me and let me just craft all day. Multitasking is hard and being creative and "crafty" is not really how I feel everyday. It's about finding the balance between doing what you love and staying on top of your game.

What do you love most about running your own store?

What I love most about running my store is the networking. i love being inspired by other people's work and seeing the new ideas pop up on my newsfeed. It makes me push the boundaries of what I was originally thinking or would be inclined to do. Plus custom orders are always fun! Its like a puzzle - trying to find the perfect mix of your style and their ideas. Plus growing up it was a family rule to never leave a puzzle unfinished so I basically think about custom orders day and night until they are done.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

I would say my biggest accomplishment in terms of crafting would be finally taking that step to do what i really enjoy. I love teaching, even though their hormones drive me crazy, but what I tell them everyday is to make a goal and go for it. What kind of educator would i be if I didn't follow my own words. It's mighty scary to start your own shop but i've found that Etsy provides you with such a support team that once you get connected you really don't feel alone. It has not been easy and very time consuming but there is something about putting your heart and soul into something and it being recognized that really there are no words for. You like me, you like me, you really like me!

What advice can you give others about making and selling their artwork?
I would gives these words of advice for future sellers on Etsy:

a. Pick a catchy shop name that people will remember - watch your spelling (made that mistake the first time =)
b. Coupons and discounts - think of why YOU would shop somewhere.
c. GET CONNECTED - join circles and teams - support your friends and they will support you!
d. Make Treasuries - It's FREE advertising, plus it opens your eyes to new shops, circles, and items that will push you to be better.
e. Customer Service - always thank for inclusion in treasuries, messages, circles, teams, etc. Customers remember if your nice. 
f. Be Creative when you can fully be creative. What I mean by that is don't force something. I can tell when I made something to just make it and then when I made something because i really wanted to. If you are no enjoying it or it is not "speaking" your vision you need to find something else to make / do.

- Natalie (HotGlueHangover)

Thanks Natalie and everyone else!