Today we visit the shop of Judy Goddard; my Inspiration Avenue sister. There is an elegant yet whimisal and fun quality about Judy's art. Her hand painted canes are one of a kind. I adore the growth charts, what a wonderful gift to give to a young parent. Judy picked out a few of her favorites and I picked out some that I really like. So read on about the wonderful world of Judy. Please leave comments and visit her shop. Best Wishes BL How did you get started with Etsy? I did a local craft show in 2007 that was run by a friend. She’s an Etsian and this was a street team event that was open to all artists. I had never heard of Etsy before that day. It didn’t take me long to check it out and get set up for myself. What inspires you? I think what inspires me the most is creation; nature and wildlife, all that surrounds us and makes our lives richer and fuller. Where is your hometown? What do you like about where you live now? The town that is my home is Manchester, NJ. What do I like about where I live now? Absolutely everything! I own a farm. The 16 acres that we call home are mostly wooded, so to qualify for farm tax status we harvest firewood. We are also members of the”NJ Forestry Stewardship Program” That means we maintain the forest to keep it healthy for local habitat. And we have a lot of wildlife. From large animals like deer and coyote to little critters like salamanders and toads. And the birds! Wow! Do we have a lot of different birds! How did you begin with your art? I’ve always drawn. As a child I was obsessed with horses and filled my note book margins with little pictures of them. I used to keep manilla envelopes stuffed with drawings and paintings I did. As a young adult I fell in love with knitting and spinning. On a pro level I made and sold batik t shirts to put myself through community college. My first attempts at sales on Etsy were knitted felted baskets. Anyone want a felted a basket? None of mine sold, so I got tons!! My current art practice is decorative painting, on canes and canvas growth charts. And I think I’ve finally hit on a winning combo. What do you do for fun? For fun, I make art! I knit A LOT! I also love to read, especially historical novels. And my fave TV shows, Survivor, The Amazing Race and Project Runway. How would you describe your experience with etsy? Etsy has been so many things for me! First it was a jumping off place to see if I could make things others would want to buy. It’s also been a place to meet new friends and grow relationships with folks from all over the world. And, it’s been a place where I can stretch myself and challenge myself to be more creative in new ways. What advice would you give to a Etsy beginner? Advise for Etsy newbies.... reach out. When you become frustrated, and we all do, there will be someone on Etsy who will empathize and offer help, whether it’s in a forum, or in chat, or as a team member. And don’t give up! It may take more time than you ever expected. But don’t give up! Learn! Practice! Emerge! Are you on any Etsy teams? I’m currently in 4 teams, that I can remember right now. Some are very warm and open to helping and asking for help. Others are rather non existent. If I don’t remember to check in they don’t come looking for me. I enjoy the interaction with the teams that are active and expect their members to participate. Do you sell your products on other sites, or have blogs if so list the links here. Actually, I have two shops. JudyAGoddard is where I sell my artwork and www.finishthis.etsy.com is where I sell supplies for knitters and those who crochet. I sell my products at craft shows and on Etsy. I do have a blog, and use it to interact with the teams I belong to as well as promote myself. And I enter weekly challenges, which open me up to new potential customers. I have seen an increase in sales since I began participating in the challenges. So they’re promo tools as well as a whole lot of fun. This is an item from my supply shop You should check out thewidowswalk.etsy. That’s Gail Ainley. She’s a fiber artist who has a great following on facebook. Great lady! Wonderful work!