This interview features mcleodhandcraftgifts who won with the item Spring Gemstone Like Fancy Ribbon Headband
Tell us a bit about yourself. A full time mom. full time wife, full time working person. A jack of all trades -- doing everything I know how in the business perspective. My husband and my income can sustain us, I don’t need to crochet to make money for living --- I crochet for fun, for the missions I support and for saving the dying art of knitting and crocheting.
Apart from creating things, what do you do? Singing in the choir, Leading a ministry and assisting newcomers in my church, my area. Balancing life, work, church, family life and my professional career. What else ? gardening, reading, camping, fishing.
What first made you want to become an artist? A broken heart. someone came to my church, told us that he just wanted a white house, a white picket fence. Let kids play soccer. Nothing fancy in life. Yet, he decided to give up everything, include the dream of living the average people's life and go to a poor country, to be a missionary. My heart was broken for him. And my church friends came back from Cuba, telling us what they saw, and what they did there. My heart was broken for them; Have you had kids knocking on your door, many times a week to raise a few dollars because they wanted to go to their mission trip ? I decided to knit something, to crochet something for them to auction off --- that is where the passion and determination came from.
From there, a hobby became business. I am "famous" in my small world -- school, church, work. Two local Boutique stores sell my product. And my products are welcomed at local craft shows. I was told that I had the best thing in that craft show, and my customers pushed me to get a website set up. That is how I ended up here.
Please describe your creative process.
I am a truly blessed woman. I never learned how to read music, but I can sing. I never learned crochet jargon, but I can do knitting, just about making anything, from sweater to socks. I can do crocheting and can do other crafts as well. By looking at others, I will have an idea on how to create my own.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
Silk shawls. They are just beautiful, elegant and upscale. I make one, people take one away. And it take much time to make it, adds more sentimental feelings towards them.
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy or the Create Crochet Team?
I think we should expand our view to other area, to see how colors are being used and what the trends are, etc. Then come back, to better our crocheted projects.
How do you promote your work?
Most word of mouth. After the State Convention show, I sold out most of my stuff, but got calls and e-mails from those the customers who bought my scarves. Worked till Christmas Eve. A lady bought one scarf, sent to Colorado . Her sister wore the scarf one day, someone stopped her on the street, asking where she got the scarf. She sent the new customer to me. Now that I am on the Internet, I an learning to use Twitter, Facebook, etc. My child used to tease me: my mommy is sad, she has a blog no one reads it and has a website no one look at it.
It was sad at the beginning. Now, after 3 months of up and running, I have 1,394 people visited this site. Over 9500 pages being viewed by people came from 82 countries all over the world. and over 600 people following me on Twitter. It wasn't that sad at all. Still, I need to understand how to use the social medial to promote my work, and not just publish my listing --- that is what I am doing now.
In ten years, where would you like to be? Be successful in what I do, to create something people want, desire, love and cherish. To touch people's heart, to touch people's lives and to leave a legacy.
What was your inspiration for your challenge piece?
A shout of spring, the shine of gemstones come through the project.