Take 5 – Elegant Snobbery

I absolutely love the beautiful illustrations from Elegant Snobbery! Marisa, the fabulous artist behind the “Snobs” has only been on Etsy for a short time but is already receiving rave reviews. I, for one, can’t wait till she decides to come out with her own children’s book!

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

My name is Marisa and I am the illustrator behind Elegant Snobbery. I am a stay at home mom with two very young and very energetic daughters. I love being home with them and watching them grow and learn, as well as being home so I can work on my illustrations during nap time.

My shop is filled with whimsical, brightly colored illustrations and mixed media collages. I love drawing butterflies, botanicals, birds, and of course, my Elegant Snobs, which are the signature illustrations in my shop and feature lovely ladies with fabulous hair-dos and their noses up in the air. I have only been selling my artwork on Etsy since mid-January so this is all very new and exciting for me!

Where would you like your shop to be in 1 year? In 5 years?

I have always wanted to write and illustrate books for children.  Elegant Snobbery is a great way for me to do what I love and build up my portfolio. I have already been working on the story board and dummy book for a story I have written. In the next year, I would like to send it to a publisher and see what happens. The more I draw, the more I love illustrating. I can’t wait to see what images pop into my head for future illustrations and I can’t wait to see how my portfolio looks five years from now.

Elegant Snobbery 1

   
Looking back, if you could do anything differently in starting your business, what would it be?

I would have liked to have found the courage to get out there and sell my artwork years ago.  It is a scary thing, taking that first step in becoming a professional artist. I have been illustrating for over ten years, but hiding my finished work in the portfolio I keep in my closet. I just didn’t have the confidence to show anyone what I was working on. In only a few months, I have gone from being frightened of rejection, to feeling confident and loving the feedback I am getting on my work.  And in the last few months, I have been more inspired than I have ever been before.  My drawing board is always covered with my latest illustration and my sketchbook is falling apart at the seams because it is always being filled with new drawings. 

Elegant Snobbery 2

 What is a typical day in the office like for you?

My day begins with a very large cup of coffee, followed by a few more. It takes a lot to get me going in the morning.  Between bottles, breakfast, and Barbie dolls, I don’t usually begin working until my one year old is sleeping, and my three year old is having quiet time. After the girls go to bed, I generally put on my head phones and spend several hours drawing and sketching.
 
As a seasoned entrepreneur, what advice or words of wisdom do you have for those that are just starting out?

Go ahead and take that leap!  You will never know how successful  you can become if you don’t give yourself the chance.

For more on Elegant Snobbery, check out the shop and the blog!

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Hilarious Blog – “Go Fug Yourself”

Go Fug Yourself Shirt

As I was lazily looking through my latest issue of Allure magazine over lunch, I read an article on blogging and the person they were interviewing talked about the “Go Fug Yourself” blog. It only took the name for me to hop on my laptop to check it out and it did not disappoint!

The two gals named Heather and Jessica blog about fashion faux pas of the stars. As if the pictures alone weren’t funny enough, the copy is even better! Check it out for yourself!

iLove iTunes

Today is such a beautiful day here in Indy! The high is supposed to reach around 60 degrees and the sun is shining which has really perked me up and has inspired me to get some things done. I have this fabulous corner window that reaches to the ceiling and lets in lots of light so the blinds are wide open and I’ve been jamming out with my iPod. (What did we do before iTunes anyway?)

Here’s my Top 10:

  1. Smile (Lily Allen)
  2. Scars (Papa Roach)
  3. Toxic (Britney Spears) – admit it, you love it too 😉
  4. Feedback (Janet Jackson)
  5. Into the Ocean (Blue October)
  6. Music is my Hot, Hot Sex (CSS) – I think this was on some commercial but can’t remember what it was for
  7. Autobiography (Ashlee Simpson)
  8. The Way I Am (Ingrid Michaelson) – Another commercial but I can’t remember what for
  9. Let It Out (Starrfadu) – from the Kleenex commercial
  10. New Soul (Yael Naim) – from the MacBook Air commercial

I’m working on finalizing a consulting project that’s due at the end of the week and writing the copy for the newsletter that I hope to send out by Friday. Off I go!

Easter Excitement

We celebrated Brady’s first Easter today and the hubby and I had a blast! We probably looked forward to and were more excited about it than he was for sure. We stayed up late on Saturday to fix his basket and filled it with a stuffed bunny, some Matchbox cars, and chocolate (for mom and dad!). Afterwards, we did a “photo shoot” of sorts and here is one of my favorite ones. Happy Easter!

Brady’s First Easter

Take 5 – This Old Hen House

I found fabulous Etsy store, This Old Hen House, through her PIF (pay it forward) listing for some beautiful gift tags. I loved Amanda’s idea which only charged the listing fee and shipping for the product and encouraged the buyer to, well, pay it forward! I just knew that I had to interview her for a Take 5.

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

I started my business in October of 2007 fueled by a love of writing and some previous freelance poetry and self-essay work.  Every time I sat down to write I was feeling less than inspired when I began to scribble in my ordinary journal and sought out to fix that problem.  I’ve been scrapbooking since the birth of my 5 year old son and creating altered books and other sorts of paper goodies just came naturally to me.  And more importantly, its fun and uplifting, as though somehow my journals are also sparking the creativity of the great minds of the world.

I’ve also been collecting beads ever since I could remember. Much like my cat, I’m attracted to pretty, shiny things.   That love hatched my sister shop, TwistThis22501. There, and at my This Old Hen House Etsy shop, I sell affordable, stylish artisan jewelry.  Being chic and unique shouldn’t cost a fortune, and with my jewelry I hope that everyone can find their girlie sides and flaunt it!

This Old Hen House 2

Where would you like your shop to be in 1 year? In 5 years?

Within a year I’d really love to build myself a larger clientele and advertise more.  Mainly, though, I want to get myself a bit more organized when it comes to building my businesses and raising 2 rowdy little boys.  Twenty-four hours in one day just are not enough!  Just as long as the wheels keep turning and I keep on creating new things I’m happy.  In five years….wow, its hard to think about what’s going on five days from now, let alone years.  I just want to keep on being happy and enjoying what I’m doing.

Looking back, if you could do anything differently in starting your business, what would it be?

I think maybe I would have re-thought my name a bit and took the time to talk to talk to other Etsy sellers about the do’s and don’t’s of sucessful selling.  It was a lot of trial and error in the beginning.  But I think I’m in a nice niche now.

This Old Hen House 1

What is a typical day in the office like for you?

It involves a zillion interruptions by a sweet, but needy 1 year old, a bright, but demanding 5 year old, a little white fuzz ball kitty!  It’s very seldom quiet here!  I’m a stay at home mom, with a trillion personal interests and finding the time to devote to all of them gets hard.  My workspace is wonderful, and filled with tons of inspirational pictures, quotes, and art.  It’s a hodgepodge of papers and beads and its a bright and a fun space, perfect for creating.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, what advice or words of wisdom do you have for those that are just starting out?

Trial and error is your best friend.  You’ll never know how well something will be received unless you try it.  Let your creativity flow and don’t ever be afraid to try something new. 

There is a very fine line between having patience while trying to start a successful business and being an agressive seller and you have to find it and maintain your sanity and sense of self-worth.  Its very easy to get discouraged by the number of sales you are making or not making, but as long as you are staying true to what you love and enjoying your time doing it, then you are sucessful. And most importantly, have fun!

For more information on This Old Hen House, check out the shop and the blog!

April Notebook of the Month

Last weekend, I specifically went to Archiver’s on a hunting expedition for paper for the April notebook and came across this beautiful patterned paper by Basic Grey and knew that it had to be it! I love that it is really appropriate for spring time yet the design is stylish enough to use throughout the year.

April Notebook of the Month

I started the Notebook of the Month Club in February with the first notebook going out in March. There are 3 and 6 month subscriptions and those that sign up have the convenience of getting a new notebook in the mail each month and also save on shipping costs. Subscribers get the notebook shipped to them 1 week before it’s posted on the website or Etsy so by the time they see it on the web, it’s in their hot little hands! It’s gone fairly well so far and I really look forward to picking out just the right paper for each notebook. I’ll be posting the future notebooks on the blog for a sneak peek!

Take 5 – Paper Cuts Studio

I love the adorable prints from Paper Cuts Studio! I found this fun little shop on Etsy when I was looking for a to-do list notepad. I found the perfect one from Feliza’s shop and knew she had to be my first interviewee.

Little Bird Print

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

I started Paper Cuts Studio in late 2007 with only the simplest plan in mind. I just wanted to sell these grumpy little notecards and I thought that creating my own company would somehow make the venture a litte more official. Soon Paper Cuts Studio grew and grew and I now offer journals and other paper goods featuring my designs.

Starting Paper Cuts Studio has been a real catalyst for creativity. I’ve been selling on Etsy and other venues since October 2007, and the goal-oriented side of me really digs having the motivation to stay competitive by staying creative.

Where would you like your shop to be in 1 year? In 5 years?

In a year’s time, I’d like my shop to be more focused on prints and more artsy-type stuff. Right now our biggest focus is on our bound items (journals, to-do list notepads, etc.) but I’m hoping to be more oriented toward wall art. In five years, who knows? I think it will always be my dream to Etsy full time, but right now it just doesn’t seem feasible. Maybe in a few years, I’ll start to understand a bit more about what it takes to live as an independent artist.

Looking back, if you could do anything diferently in starting your business, what would it be?

Good question! I think that I wouldn’t have rushed so much to “make things official” by creating a brand name, a store, etc. Luckily, all of my items are paper goods, but just think if I had decided to go into creating fridge magnets or something? It would have been a real hassle, I think.

I have toyed with a name change on several occasions, but ultimately I’m kind of tied down to the name Paper Cuts Studio. If I had to do it all again from start to finish, I might hold off on thinking so much about my brand identity in favor of just exploring various designs and media for maybe a few months before committing to a name.

Grateful Panda Pad

What is a typical day in the office like for you?

Let’s see…I just got a great new full-time job, so I’m no longer focusing on my art full-time. This is actually kind of a good thing — I think that this change will force me to be a little more focused on how I spend my time. When I was creating art full time, I would just sort of roll out of bed around 9:30 a.m., walk the dogs, and putter around the computer for a little while until I decided to begin working in earnest. And, of course, I’d be filling orders as they popped up.

Nowadays, I think that I’ll be compressing most of my design work into the weekends. This means I’ll probably be waking up earlier than I’d like in order to get things done. It’ll be tough, but success at anything never comes without some sacrifice.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, what advice or words of wisdom do you have for those that are just starting out?

When sales are steady, it’s easy to feel happy and confident. Conversely, it can be hard to keep your spirits up when sales are slow. While that’s certainly understandable, I know that I’ve benefitted a lot from separating my sense of satisfaction from the number of sales that I make.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive and also kind of difficult, but we have to remember that we are all artists at the end of the day. You’ll have periods of heavy sales and periods with very few (if any) sales at all. It’s important not to judge your worth on how many sales you make, but on how proud you are of the objects or designs that you have created.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy the good times when products are flying off the shelves. I’m just saying that, most likely, your art is somethng to be proud of regardless of whether or not you are earning a certain dollar amount off your products this day, this week, or this month.

For more of Paper Cuts Studio, check out the shop and the blog!