1. Tell us a little bit about who you are and your life up to this point in time.
I am a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, auntie,grand-auntie, sister, niece, cousin, sister-friend, friend. I love being all that and that is what makes me who I am, these are the people in me, they have all made it possible for me to be the artist that I am, they have never seen me as anything else and have always encouraged me to keep doing it. They have love my artwork, even the things I messed up. What have I been doing up to this point? Sewing. I have always had jobs working in sewing factories and tailoring and alterations businesses.
2. Besides your fantasy creative life, what else are doing currently?
Praising God! This is not a fantasy for me, I am able to work on my art full time. I love participating in art fairs and exhibiting in galleries. I sometimes put my work on consignment in boutiques. I mainly stick to one-of-a-kind items because I am not into mass-producing my work. I love doing what I do. I put a price on it, if it sells, I am happy.
3. What do you offer in your Etsy Shop?
I offer one-of-a-kind items, that are not done on an assembly line. I also offer custom designs. You will see jackets, coats, fabric boxes, scarves, hats, cloth bags, pillows. But what I really like to do is the coats and jackets, so you will see a lot of those. I have always been intrigued by little boxes so you will also see some of the boxes that I love to make. As a matter of fact, everything in my shop is thing I love to make.
4. Where do you create?
I have turned our master bedroom into my studio, it is a big room and I love the light that comes in the window during the daytime. But really, the whole house is my studio.
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from God, I meditate and pray and ask His guidance every time I start a new project. Sometimes I just dream the colors and then the piece becomes vivid when I start to put the different colors together. I love music, sometimes I’ll get into some good sounds like one of my coats I made was inspired by Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in The Key Of Life”. I also was inspired by the way that the slaves were transported in the slave ships, they laid side by side, chained together, all different tribes, when I see pictures of how they were transported, I see beautiful, wonderful colors all sewn together to make a beautiful garment.
6. How did you learn how to do your craft?
I learned from my mother and my grandmother, my grandmother was a quilter and I used to sit with her and learn how to make quilts. My mother always made our clothes and when I was about 10 I made my first pair of pants, I have been sewing since then. Growing up my mother’s motto was “if you learn something you can do with your hands (such as sewing, doing hair, gardening, etc), you will never be broke” I have found that statement to be very true. My mother sewed and she did hair.
7. How do you promote your wares?
I have been doing art fairs, jazz festivals, wearable art festivals, conferences, and I also had an exhibit in The Blandon Art Museum in Fort Dodge, IA. Lately I have been working more with my websites and my Etsy store. Whenever I update any of them, I send out a mass email. Promotion is not one of my strong points this is my year for more promotion. These are my websites:
And then of course my EAOC Team Blog
8. What has been the most important lesson you've learned since you started selling your own creations?
Not selling myself short. And saying no to jobs that I know is going to be a problem.
9. Is there any advice you can give others who are just starting out?
Don’t give up on your art. Even if it seems that it is not selling, there is a market for all our art or else God would not have put it in us to do. He has a plan for every piece we do, as long as we don’t give up. Don’t mark it down because it doesn’t sell right away, don’t think it won’t sell, if God put it in you to make, it is going to sell at the price you put on it you just have to be patient and make some other stuff. Don’t let anyone tell you that your prices are too high.
10.Do you have any favorite Etsy artists you'd like to promote here?
My list is long, but here are a couple: