Monday, February 15, 2010

EAOC's Monday Spotlight

Meet EAOC Artist:  Merci'a G.

Hot Cheetos Flamin Hot Zipper Pouch Purse 

Tell us about yourself.
I am a wife, mother of 4 sons and my day job is information technology and pharma/clinical recruiting/staffing and human resource generalist duties. I live in New York, was born here but lived in the south for most of my adult life.  I have Black American and Dominican roots, can cook some mean arroz con pollo AND soul food!
What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?
I am currently working on a poetry/short story book. The short stories are part fictional, part biographical and hopefully entertaining.

What is the address for your Etsy shop? on Etsy is where you can find my shop.

What do you offer in your Etsy shop?

I offer recycled accessories that are made with laminated snack, candy and drink wrappers. You'll find purses, clutches, belts and other funky yet fun recycled goods.

Where do you create?
I create in my own little corner of my home.  I used to have my own room (crying inside) when we lived in Georgia but once me moved to New York I lost my room.  I'm very protective of my craft space and defend my area with passion!

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from color.  With most of my materials there is lots of color on each package.  I love bringing new life to the discarded wrappers, creating OOAK and delicious looking products!  Since I love purses I am always looking at purses and handbags/totes while riding public transportation. I love looking at the lines and designs which also give me inspiration.

How did you get started in your line of business?
I've been sewing since grade school and started my first business ClassicCultures in 1991.  I created ethnic-inspired hats and matching outfits for ladies and men using African prints.  Then in 2003 I saw a Kool Aid purse that inspired me to want to use other pieces of 'trash' to make purses.  I started creating Capri Sun purses in 2004 and by 2005 I was making purses using chip bags, candy wrappers and more.  The rest is history!

How do you promote your business?

I promote with all the social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.  I also ship sampler items to friends, family and have them create 'word of mouth' advertising.  I also participate in fundraisers where I donate purses to foundations for auction, participate in many fairs and vending events, etc.

What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?
I've learned that customer service is everything.  People just want to have a pleasant experience when they shop with you.  Handling issues diplomatically and keeping the customer first has allowed me to have positive customer feedback.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Through ups and downs of having your own business, keep creating, keep believing that you are successful and continue to perfect your craft.

What are some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?

I love to get yummy scented candles.  I  get my supplies from, TepperWare on Etsy who keeps my head warm, Lynda Zimora's Obama Bag, and for some Latino inspired t-shirts.

What are your other sites (i.e. Blogger, Wordpress, Facebook, Twitter)?
I love Facebook and am looking for more fans ( ), and Twitter comes in a close 2nd.

Congratulations, Merci'a G for being a featured artist.

Tune in on Wednesday for our next featured EAOC member!


Lisa Abdul-Quddus said...

Nice interview Merci'a. Love the different style bags in your shop. I can really relate to having to guard your work space.

Georgette Jones said...

I enjoyed reading this interview, and will look for you on Facebook, as well as visit your Etsy shop. I love your purses, and look forward to purchasing one in the future. I will also tell my friends and family about your products. I am glad there are artists of color on Etsy because I feel we are often under-represented. May you and your group continue to be blessed.


Kaati Rocketts said...

What a great interview! I love your bags. And thanks for the great suggestion to send sampler items to our friends and family.

Angelina Fong Designs said...

Wow Merci'a's shop is very cool-- very unique and I love that she uses recycled products as the feature.

Patrice-The Soap Seduction said...

Lovely feature! This is the perfect way getting to know fellow artisans. You learn so much about the person behind the art:)


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