Things for the little ones - so cute. Come and let me introduce you to this Canadian shop and artist -
Here is our interview with the artist, Savannah
Briefly describe what you make?
My products are geared to baby and mom accessories. My favourite items to make are sock monkeys, and I've also introduced sock cows to the mix. I make them using regular polyester socks and soft fuzzy socks (so cuddly!). I also make smaller items for babies such as bibs, personalized soother straps (my favourite is the one with the slogan "Sucker...", though I can't take credit for the idea; it was my husband's), baby hair clips and headbands, and baby legwarmers, to name a few. I have stuff for Mom too, because all Moms deserve a treat. I offer business card holders, headbands, and some crafting supplies, with new items to come. (I just made myself a bag using a pair of Old Navy pants and will be soon making these for my shop as well!)
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
I enjoy working with fabric the most. I love all the patterns and colours and textures you can work with all in the same project. You can make the same thing with 2 different fabrics and the style and attitude of the item becomes totally new and unique! I love starting out with a flat piece of fabric and ended up with a cute or stylish or sassy item that has personality. I love watching it take shape with each seam. I also love making things out of something that was totally different, like the sock animals. One minute, they're a pair of socks that albeit cute, will be worn and scuffed on the floor and become "nothing special." A few seams later, it's a cute, soft, cuddly friend for a young child and will likely be named, go on car rides, have tea parties, or explore the jungle.
How long have you been creating craft?
I always like doing arts and crafts growing up, but I've only been sewing for a couple of years. I started making baby slings when my son (now 2) was a couple of months old when my commercial baby carrier was hurting my back and shoulders. After my daughter was born (she's 10 months now), I started making the sock monkeys and other items, and that's when I opened my Etsy shop. I love thinking of new things to make, or finding patterns of something I haven't tried before. I can be pretty stubborn about what I make. A new pattern might be difficult, and I might be calling my sewing machine names the entire time, but I need to conquer what I start or I'll feel defeated. Usually, it turns out well in the end (though not always the first...or second..attempt), though sometimes it doesn't turn out as well as I'd hoped and I may not make it again. But at least I tried, right?
How did you get started?
I actually started out on a different e-store site, but after a full year and no sales, I gave that up and tried out Etsy. I was a bit hesitant because I was afraid of losing money with the fees, but after making a few sales, even small ones, I realized that Etsy had so much to offer and the fees didn't touch a lot of my profit. I've enjoyed chat rooms since college, so I immediately foudn the chat rooms and made friends, as well as sales, in the rooms. I've gotten SO many tips and pieces of advice though the other Etsy chatters; they've really helped my develop my shop and are continuing to be a great resource as well as friends. I started reading Storque articles, and going to the virtual labs, and am slowly learning how to make my shop work better.
Where does the name of your shop come from?
The name of my shop actually came from when I was making only baby slings, when I first started (hence the baby bundle part). I added in the 'Boutique" just to make it sound more complete, and to open up the possibility of having other items in my shop. I'm glad I did, since now I only sell a couple of slings a year.
What would you most want people to know about your work?
Wow, this question I had to think about the most. I want people to know that my work is made with love. Yes, it's cliche, but it's true. As I said before, I love picturing kids playing pretend with my sock animals. I love imagining babies wearing the bibs or hair clips I made. I like to imagine the comments people might get about my products. I also want people to know that my work is safe, of course. It's all made in a pet-free and smoke-free environment, and I only make things that I'd feel safe giving to my own kids. Most of my what I make in my shop, I've made for my own children too. These are difficult times, financially. I know how much work goes into earning dollars, and I want my customers to know that I value their money for what it means to them when I craft.
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
My first words of advice for other artists and crafters are to believe in yourself and your work! You put your heart into what you make; don't sell yourself short! Too often I see people under pricing their work in a desperate attempt to make sales, but it comes across as just that: desperate. Pay yourself fairly! Think of what goes into your products, and think about what you would pay for such an item from someone else. If you price too low, people might think your stuff is cheaply made.
When it comes to your shop, use your tags! All 14 of them. And use relevant tags. Words that you would put in a search engine looking for the same or similar items. Go to the virtual labs and forums, you'll find great advice there and can have your shop critiqued.
Most of all, craft because you love it. If you let it become a chore, it'll reflect in your work. If it's starting to get too stressful, I think it's better to take a short vacation from your shop, then to continue something you're not enjoying anymore and letting the negativity build. This is something you love! Don't let "business" steal that from you!
Great interview! It is always a pleasure for an artist to share so much. You must come to Savannah's Etsy shop to see these cute things!