My apologies for the delayed response! Here are my responses, and thank you so much again for the feature!
How did you get started with Etsy?
My formal education was in architecture and engineering, and it leaves me thinking about design pretty much all the time. It’s difficult to not notice details and composition wherever I go. When I finished my architectural thesis, I found myself searching for another creative outlet. My sister introduced me to Etsy a couple years ago from a shopping perspective, and I had often fantasized about being on the other end of it. Friends and family loved my clean burning soy candles when I would give them as gifts, and I began to think that I could make this into a reality. My need to create, plus the encouragement I received from family and friends, gave me enough courage to finally open up my own shop!
What inspires you?
Outside of creative elements that I appreciate while walking around from day to day, I love the change of seasons and I love working with color. In my candle making, the most fun inspiration comes from digging through old second hand shops find finding a treasure – then imagining what colors and scents would best complement my unique finds.
Where is your hometown? and current location?
I grew up just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and I currently hail from Claymont, Delaware – about 20 minutes south of Philadelphia.
What do you like about where you live now?
Delaware seems an unlikely place to love to live, but it’s great to live so close to family and friends. I love entertaining, and my husband and I host all sorts of events, from football gatherings to themed tea parties with my girlfriends. Living in such a convenient location lets us stay connected and take time for people, no matter how busy we get.
How did you begin with your art?
I would say that I’ve been interested in art in some form all my life. Growing up, I used to look at old Renaissance art books with my dad, and I was very interested in music. I think I first connected with music as an art form, and I used to try to learn to play any instrument I could get my hands on. I even wrote music as a kid on a tiny keyboard I kept in my room. My mom got me interested in crafting through Girl Scouts and I think I’ve been creating ever since. While I love art, my brain also works very mathematically. I love that with candle making I can be creative with making my own custom scents and custom colors, but it also feeds into my inner science geek, since you have to be very precise with temperatures and proportions of mixing materials.
What is your favorite item that you have created and what do you like about it?
From my shop, I love my tea time candles. I started playing with teacup candles when I hosted a bridesmaid’s tea as a thank you to my leading ladies. I had my tea time candles as favor placecards, with little handmade tea tags with each girl’s name. It added such a whimsical touch to my table arrangement. The calm, warming sensation of a cup of tea translates so well to these candles – even better than I had imagined. And once I started developing herbal tea inspired scents, I knew that I had come across something really special.
How would you describe your experience with Etsy?
Etsy has been great. Being a part of an online community of artists has so many advantages, especially when you have questions or are looking for tips. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but the site is easy to navigate. Having a site already set up that is clear and showcases your items well lets you focus on your artwork.
Do you sell your products on other sites? If so link to them if you like.
I am currently only selling my candles on Etsy. While I am not new to creating, I am pretty new to having my own shop up and running. I do have a Burning At Both Ends facebook group, and members receive special promotions and codes for my Etsy shop. http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=150940104917131
Are you more creative in the morning or evening?
I think more about my artwork and get most of my ideas in the morning and during the day, but I tend to actually create my items in the evening and at night. I like to really develop my ideas over the course of the day before I begin to materialize them.
What do you do for fun?
I have a pretty wide range of hobbies and interests. I like read, play board games, and have movie nights with friends. I find that I spend a lot of time playing my five month old kitten, Biggsy. Although the occasions are much less frequent, my husband and I like to go to sporting events and tailgate. Some of our most fun off-days are spent going to the Phillies games and hanging out together around our portable grill.
Your comments about anything:
If you are looking to start up your own shop, be sure to take advantage of the resources on Etsy, especially ones that relate to the best ways to photograph and describe your items. I think a lot of their articles are applicable far beyond the borders of Etsy. And above all, remember to keep having fun with your art!
Please recommend someone that you would like to see featured on my blog
I enjoy making treasuries, and I keep stumbling upon the shop SaltHouseNo7. Their salts come in all kinds of inspiring flavors, and the rich colors look like enough to spice up any dish. The shop opened in June of 2010.