Sunday, April 18, 2010

SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT: tantecaroline

Tell us a little about yourself:
I'm an academic by day, and a mad crafter by night, weekends and any other time I can. It's all a wonderful balancing act with husband, son, dog, cat and fish thrown into the mix. I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
I’m happy with the ones I have now -- dog, cat and fish. I’d have more of them if I could.

Fruit or chocolate?
Fruit and chocolate!

Your favorite meal?
Different meals for different moods, but California Rolls are always good.

City break or weekend in the country?
I’m a homebody. I’d prefer a house in the country that I’d rarely have to leave. And then there’d be lots of room for more animals ;-)

Why did you join/donate to HOST? OR How did you hear about HOST?
I’m fairly new to etsy and my introduction to HOST was accidental. I created a treasury as a means of saying hi to my new teammates on the Niagara Etsy Artisan Team. Turned out one of the members of the team, Krys at ivykeep, is also a member of HOST. She introduced me to the site.

How did you first get interested in what you do?
For me making things was a way of personalizing my home space and having things that seemed out of my reach.
It wasn’t anything I took up or began, though, because I grew up in a household where things were only bought if they couldn’t be made. My mother worked in our home as a seamtress and my father could build anything. Really. He made our first computer, built my first stereo, created a car -- made molds to form a fiberglass body, put together the engine, and finished the interior. Even sewed his own tonneau cover!
My first swirly ball was inspired by a gift from my nephew of a stone sphere. I loved it, wanted more, and found a way to recreate the form, while adding my own spin, or swirl.
The polymer I came to via another love -- books. It’s a wonderful, forgiving and exciting medium, with possibilities for creativity that I’m still exploring.

Tell us about your shop.
Tante Caroline’s Polymer Stuff and Swirly Things has been open since December 2009. All of the etsy literature tells me that I need to find a niche, but I like doing too many things to settle for one. As a result, my shop is an eclectic space with home d├ęcor, functional ornaments, and jewellery, all created with a variety of mediums.

What do you love most about selling on Etsy?
I’d truly love to say selling, but I haven’t done a lot of that… yet ;-) Call me crazy but the sense of community here, and the overall appreciation of handcrafted works, just feels good. It’s added a spark of excitement to my usual crafting. I know it sounds hokey, but there’s a real ‘we’re all in this together’ vibe that is tangible! My experience with the treasuries is a terrific example of that.

Where else can we find you? (facebook, blog, twitter, flickr, etc)
I’m on facebook, but I keep my shop separate from that social media. I know that many sellers have found social media useful, but I find it time consuming. I’d rather be making stuff than talking about making stuff ;-)

Any advice you would like to share with others that might read this?
What is the best etsy tip or resource you have found or been given?
At this point, I’m not in the position to give advice. I’m still taking it! ;-) I do think, though, that the inroad to visibility is in creating treasuries, having good photos of your works and networking.


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