Take 5 – Red Otter

When I saw the gorgeous handmade books and journals by the Red Otter, I just knew that I had to feature the shop in a Take 5! Check out what Jewels, the artist behind the masterpieces had to say!

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

The Red Otter shop was born out of a desire to make books by hand. Last February, I was working for a small children’s book design firm. It was fun, and challenging, but I missed the more hands-on aspect of building a book by hand. When I found Etsy, I swooned! It was the perfect forum for a wee little shop like mine! I don’t make huge quantities of journals right now, simply because I don’t have the time, but every journal I do make is special, unique and thoroughly enjoyable!

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

This is an exciting question for me! I love to plan and scheme for the future! In one year I want to have done at least two art fairs with Red Otter. I would like to have developed my own website for a more independent forum. In five years, I want to have evolved into something more refined, more independent. I’m not exactly sure what that will entail at this point, but I want to grow this little business, slowly.

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

I think I would have started my blog earlier. I never realized what a valuable tool blogging can be. It’s my way of saying hello to the art world. I’m able to tell people more of what is going on behind the scenes and I’m able to find my niche and support other sellers, other artists, other creators at the same time. It’s the most lovely thing!

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

Well, I just started a new job at an engineering consulting firm, so my Red Otter office time has pretty much halved. But, when I’m in my studio its usually for three or four hour spans. It usually involves me spreading my book making supplies all over my living room floor, mixing and matching papers. Getting glue over everything and then finally stitching the books together. It’s a fun process. And nothing beats that sense of satisfaction when I’ve finished sewing that last stitch and I turn the book over in my hands. It’s marvelous!

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

Be patient! Be patient with yourself. And then be patient with the art world. Especially as Etsy continues to grow, it’s easy to become discouraged at the beginning. But, if you keep at it, post regularly, hop on the forums or the chat rooms, it’ll happen.

For more on the Red Otter, check out the blog and shop!


6 Responses

  1. Wow, they have great items!! Thanks for featuring this artist, I’m going to have to check out their Etsy store now!

    I love your banner!!

    I’m running a contest on my blog I’d love you to check out!

  2. Oh, thank you, thank you! I’m so pleased I had the chance of meeting you and giving this interview! I’m quite excited about this 🙂

  3. Great artist and interview! I’m off now to check out her shop and blog, thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Wonderful interview with an absolutely great artist!

  5. Oops website name was wrong!

  6. I’ll never stop loving new information about my favorite little Otter! Her mind and spirit blow me away 🙂

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