AshleysHomeSpun

You know the Shop; Now meet the Crafter

Friday, October 15, 2010

Feature Friday - UnexpectedTreasure

Well Here she is in all her glory.
Go check out her shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/UnexpectedTreasure

AshleysHomeSpun Opinions:

When I first found her shop I could see it was organize chaos, and I mean that in all the best way. This shop was so amazing because it has a little bit of everything, when you come to her shop it would be impossible to not find something you like. I know I've given a few hearts away at her shop, and I bet you will too. (If you haven't already).


UnexpectedTreasures Interview:

1.) Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Anna and I'm happily married to a wonderful man named Jeff. I'm a native Rhode Islander and have lived here all my life. I love New England and could see myself Living anywhere else. I have a song and a daughter, both married. They've blessed me with four beautiful grandchildren ranging in age from one year to 10 years old. My son recently returned safely from a tour in Iraq for which I am eternally grateful.



Owl on Limb 3D Mini Cards - Paprika


2.) Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I'm a former newspaper editor and photojournalist and I love to write and take photographs as evidenced in my Etsy shop. I'm currently writing two books one of which is sort of semi-biographical (but it is fiction). I write tons of poetry and will also publish this in book form. I love to write verse for greeting cards and will be adding more of this to my shop in my greeting cards line.
My husband and I love to take long rides through the countryside and the city looking for photo-opos. There's beauty in just about everything and we try to find it. In my spare time (what's that, LOL) I take care of my husband who's on dialysis and my dad who's recuperating in a nursing home.



3.) What first made you want to become an artist?
I've always loved to create things from the time I was a small child. Now, I know everyone says this but it's true. And I liked to be different. My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was eight years old and I was hooked, no pun intended. I loved crocheting blankets and pillows for all my dolls! I got my first sewing machine when I was 13 and began making things out of clothes destined for the trash bin because I didn't have money to buy fabric. So I was recycling and upcycling long before those terms were popular. I even designed and sewed my own prom dress because I wanted to be sure I wouldn't run into someone wearing the same thing!



Guacamole and Leaf Crocheted Cotton Washcloths

4.) Please describe you creative process how, when, materials, ect.
Creating new things is a natural to me as breathing. Wherever I go I look at things with an eye toward how I can make something similar or even better. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to write down something I've dreamed about so I don't lose the idea. I try to make things that are original, beautiful, useful, decorative, funky, fun, and stylish although not necessarily in that order.


5.) What handmade possession do you most cherish?
The handmade possession I cherish the most is a one of a kind afghan that I crocheted for my late grandmother. The second handmade item I cherish most is a picture my son painted for me for Mother's Day when he was in fifth grade. I framed it and hung it on my wall for years. I still have it but it's in a storage box in my closet. My final most cherished handmade item is a cute little Christmas photo ornament that my daughter gave me when she was four years old with her picture in the middle. It's made of cheap plywood but I love it and still have it.


6.) Name your top five books.

The Holy Bible, King James Version.
I know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelous.
The Anointed, by Antoinette M. Ferrara.
How Stella Got Her Groove Back, by Terry McMillan.
Charlotte's Web, by E.B. White.

7.) MUSIC.
I love gospel music, R&B, old school and romantic ballads.

White Angel Birdhouse


8.) WEBSITES.
Etsy.com
Amazon.com
Ohmycrafts.com
Wikipedia.org


9.) What advice would you give to artists who are new to Esty?
I would tell newbies on Etsy to do your research and find a niche BEFORE you join. Also, write a business plan so you're prepared for all the what-ifs. Don't just list and think the sales will start flowing. People underestimate the amount of work required to run your own business so be prepared to work your butt off for at least the first two years.


10.) What are your favorite features on Etsy? What new features would you like to see?
My favorite feature on Etsy is the Shop Local link. I love to support handmade and spend my money locally at the same time.
I'd like to see Etsy create a feature similar to Yahoo Messenger that makes a sound (like a ding or a bell) to let you have a new convo so you can respond in a timely fashion.

Breast Cancer Awareness Crocheted Cotton Bath Set

11.) How do you promote your work?
I promote my work with well-designed business cards. A quality business card is a key component to being successful. I also wear only my own jewelry which works well for me as I'm a walking advertisement for my shop. For birthdays and other important life events, I give my friends and family gifts that I've made. It's been one of my best strategies for building my customer base. I've tried Facebook but to be truthful I don't know how to make it work for me. So, I just contact all my FB friends when I've listed something new in my shop.



12.) In ten years, where would you like to be????
In ten years I'd like to be a successful author and living comfortably off my profits from writing and crafting.
*Would you like to be feature? Message me on etsy: http://etsy.com/shop/AshleysHomeSpun

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