LaMar Lynch of Handcrafted by LaMar!
Note from the interviewer: I, personally, have grown to know LaMar over the last few months and find him to be quite an inspiration! His cards are amazingly beautiful and just have to be seen to be believed. They are keepsakes that will last a lifetime.
1. Tell us a little bit about who you are and your life up to this point in time.
My name is La-Mar D Lynch and I reside in New York. I started out with poetry (my first love) and always thought I would love to be the man named after Langston Hughes. That never really panned out, found out I may be just a bit too shy for open mic. So I thought, where and/or how else can I get my poetry out there? A book, maybe but publishers are too picky. Then it hit me, how about in a card? Figured I could draw, been doing since I was a teenager (not that I am any good) and add my poetry... I first began with the name DAJaHSI (pronounced: DA-JaH-SI) greetings, the problem with that was it made no money. SO one day when I was feeling down I made what I thought was my last cards and sold them to family members. All of a sudden, I got the energy to chase the dream one last time. I talked to a local store and put the same card designs in there for Christmas. They did okay. A few days later, I remembered I joined this online store thing (which happened to be Etsy). So January 10th I posted what designs I had and sure enough a few days later the sales began to roll in. Though it wasn't how it went in my dreams (you know when you became rich from your craft) it was a sign that said do not give up yet, and so here I still stand.
2. Besides your fantasy creative life, what else are doing currently?
I was laid off from work back in November of 2007 and since then I have dedicated my everyday to my craft and building my business. So I pretty much do nothing. Oh, I am a stay at home dad and my son is my number one partner, he keeps me on my toes at the tender age of 20 months.
3. What do you offer in your Etsy Shop?
I offer handcrafted greeting cards for every occasion and moment in life. I do FREE personalization and I am open to custom orders (custom orders have to be at least 1 month in advance).
4. Where do you create?
Well I haven't gotten rich yet so I do all my work in my home. One of the corners of my bedroom looks like the aftermath of a craft war-zone. My wife hates it!
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I really get inspiration from all over, but there was a statement I read back when I was doing my business plan that had these words in it: "...inspire social expression..." From that moment and statement I said I don't want to inspire, but I want to ...'Inspire and improve social expression and change!'
6. How did you learn how to do your craft?
Well I started with drawing the images for my cards at first. Then as I did my business plan and research into my craft/field I saw a lot of handcrafted cards and said "I can do that. Man they should have done that... No that doesn't look right they should... " Then I realized I was creating cards in my mind. So as I have been taught everything is born mentally, then physically, and so that is what I did.
7. How do you promote your wares?
I promote by word of mouth. My group EAOC (Etsy Artists of Color), I have another shop (online), I have done EBay (and will do again), forums, craft shows, promos for others doing craft shows, FREE classified ads, FREE ads all together, Flickr, Myspace, Indiepublic...basically every where I can get in and not pay or not pay too much!
8. What has been the most important lesson you've learned since you started selling your own creations?
Most important lesson? I would have to say that it is much harder then it seems, but if you want something you have to put yourself into it and try to make it happen. Don't go crazy but do all you can (some time in your life you have to chase just 1 dream or you will get old and regret if you didn't).
9. Is there any advice you can give others who are just starting out?
Stay positive and always believe in yourself first. If you can get with a group, always remember two things:
1- TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!
2-YOU NETWORK IS YOUR NET WORTH! (think about it)
10.Do you have any favorite Etsy artists you'd like to promote here?
I have so many can't name them all and don't want to name a few and leave any out.
But I will say this the members of EAOC (Etsy Artist of Color) have some REALLY nice stuff. Don't tell them I said so!