Terri Collins of Callidora!
1. Tell us a little bit about who you are and your life up to this point in time.
I am a homeschooling mom of 4 wonderful children. In my former life, I was a seamstress, a daycare provider, a Human Resources Manager, a Trainer, and an all around office lackey.
2. Besides your fantasy creative life, what else are you doing currently?
I teach classes at a homeschool co-op - mostly crafty classes, Knitting, Crochet, and Sewing; but also Word Roots and Computer keyboarding. I also currently take care of two daycare kids along with my own. I'm getting geared up to teach textile arts in week long summer camps.
3. What do you offer in your Etsy Shop?
I have my handcrafted aprons, handbags, purse organizers, and reversible No Hurt Headbands in my shop. Through our Team Shop, I offer exclusively my new Callidora Home line. Right now, it's just bed pocket organizers and pillows, but soon I will be offering custom window valances, placemats & napkins, and whatever other design pops into my head!
4. Where do you create?
Right now, I create at my dining room table. But the room is sort of becoming overrun (imagine that!), so I am just beyond the planning stage of converting my classroom into a dedicated craft room. (New flooring, craft table, etc. I'm so excited!) It should be ready by late May.
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
From the fabric itself most times. It "tells" what it wants to be :) Also, I get inspired by feelings. I want to invoke a sensation or mood with my work. I want people to feel Spring-y, light and airy; or sometimes my piece says "Be wild! Shake your hair loose and flaunt it baby!"
6. How did you learn how to do your craft?
Sewing I learned from a class I took when I was 13, then my mom taught me some and the rest I learned from reading. Crochet I learned when I was 5 from my grandmother. Knitting, I'm completely self-taught.
7. How do you promote your wares?
I promote through my blog, TLC Says, Indiepublic, very minimally on MySpace and Flickr, and by word of mouth. I have recently just started offering giveaways on my own blog and I'm offering an item a week on other blogs. That is really getting the word out. Giving away samples is a great way to get people interested in your work.
8. What has been the most important lesson you've learned since you started selling your own creations?
Sadly, it's not all about creating your pieces. There's a lot of business know-how needed and you have to stay on top of marketing every day. If you take a week off, it really shows in your sales. Perseverance is key. And most importantly, we artists tend to get dejected easily because our hearts are in our work - so it's important to remember that business is cyclical and don't get down in the slow periods.
9. Is there any advice you can give others who are just starting out?
Keep your chin up, keep creating, and network as much you can!
10.Do you have any favorite Etsy artists you'd like to promote here?
I do have a few, besides the wonderful artists here on this team. I love Heidi's Handmades and Two Rivers Soap. Dippy LuLu has funny stuff. Fabriclicious for fabrics, Tea Noir for the BEST loose teas, and Four Seasons Fragrance for perfumes.