This week we hear from a fellow North Carolinian, Claudia from LuckyHappenstance. Gotta love her vintage sewing patterns and we did wear those styles in the 70’s 🙂 but I will only admit to some of them ha! Take a stroll through her shop it will take you down memory lane to be sure. So enough of this chatter on to read about this weeks fantastic feature. And check out the shops that she recommends at the end of the feature beautiful shops
Where is your hometown? and current location?
I currently live in Durham, NC and it is the closest I’ve ever come to having a “hometown”. I’ve moved around a lot in my life – never living in a place for more than 4 years. I was born in New York, but grew up in Miami. I went to college in Durham. Went back to NYC after college and then went to live in Japan for a couple of years. After that I moved to Vermont and then Arizona … so I’m a bit of a nomad 🙂
What do you like about where you live now?
I absolutely love living in Durham. It is a great town with a fantastic community of folks that really strive to support the “local” economy in every way. There are a ton of amazing restaurants, great food trucks and a thriving farmer’s market. (Can you tell I like to eat?) It is a great town to raise a family with lots of parks and community events.
Do you work outside of the home?
I just recently went back to working part-time after being a full-time stay at home mom for 5 years. I am working with Early Head Start helping other babies and their mamas.
What inspires you?
My children are my biggest inspiration. We love to play together and I spend a lot of time observing what they like to do and trying to make things for them to play with and enjoy. My shop has really changed and evolved over the years based on my girls ages and interests. I imagine it will continue to do so in the future.
How did you begin with your art?
I started sewing right before my oldest daughter was born. At that time I didn’t even know how to turn on a sewing machine. I didn’t find out if I was having a girl or a boy, and I am not really a big fan of pastel colors. So, I was having a hard time finding baby blankets in colors and patterns that appealed to me. I asked a friend to show me how to use a sewing machine and sew a straight seam. She did and I was almost instantly hooked. I took a few classes, but mostly I’ve just learned through experimentation and lots of fantastic tutorials on the net.
What do you do for fun?
I love to read. I keep a summer vegetable garden and always have aspirations of a fall/winter garden, but haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. I love to watch movies and go out to dinner with friends and family. I really enjoy doing Zumba and yoga when I have time. I walked my first half-marathon this past spring and I am gearing up to do my second this coming winter.
How would you describe your experience with Etsy?
Etsy has been and continues to be a wonderful experience for me. It is not always easy and can often be disappointing when I go days or weeks without a sale, but overall it is a very fulfilling and rewarding place to be for me. I’ve met so many amazing Etsians from all over the world through a variety of teams, forums and BNRs. I love it!
Do you participate in any Etsy teams?
Yes I am in a variety of teams. I am most active in the EtsyKids team. I am a curator for the EtsyKids team as well, which has led me to participating in a few different treasury promotion teams as well. I am also a bit of a BNR/BNS addict so I belong to several BNR teams too.
Do you sell your products on other sites?
Not really. I have a website (www.snugglymonkey.com), but my “shop” is a link back to an Etsy Mini, so it is really through Etsy. I’ve thought about trying ArtFire, but I haven’t gotten around to it.
Do you sell in Etsy BNR’s? What do you like or dislike about the experience?
As I mentioned above, I am a bit of a BNR addict. I think they are a fantastic marketing tool and a great way to meet folks & get to know the artists behind the shops. I dislike that Etsy no longer allows BNRs to be on the top Treasury pages, but I still think they are a really valuable way to market your items to a very important market share – other Etsy members! One of the teams I am on tends to kind of poo-poo the BNRs and I’ve read several comments on forums about how people don’t see their value since you have to buy something from someone else in order to get something of yours purchased, but I think these folks are missing the point. I view what I spend in BNRs as my “advertising” budget – plus I get to purchase really cool things from other Etsians and support our community. I have made several friends through BNRs and gained some repeat customers that leave fantastic feedback – which I think is another plus of BNRs. Other Etsy folks tend to leave the best feedback because they know how important it is, which I think helps you build credibility as a shop. I’m a big BNR fan 🙂
If you would like to please recommend another shop that you would like to see featured here.
Loren over at FruitoftheBloom is an all around great person. She does a tremendous amount of volunteer work for the EtsyKids team without really getting much recognition for it. Plus she is just a really interesting person and great to chat with.
Thanks again for this great opportunity Linda!