Polka & Bloom on Etsy

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Getting to know you - Stefanie aka Artsy Momma

It's finally time for another interview. I'm sorry that they keep disappearing and then coming back in this very erratic way. I need a proper routine for posting them. Heh.

Anyway, here we are. Today's interview is with Stefanie whom I got to know when she very kindly sent me an Etsy convo once, telling me that one of my things was on the frontpage of Etsy. How super-nice is that? Nice like Stefanie, that's how nice! She makes lovely, lovely things (at the moment she seems to be obsessed with bags with rounded corners), and once you've read the interview you should definitely go visit her blog + shop.

Your name
Stefanie aka Artsy Momma

Where in the world are you?
Wisconsin, USA

Briefly describe yourself and what you make.
I am a momma to a almost 2 year old girl named Leila. I have always been ”artistic” but only started sewing shortly after the birth of my daughter. I sew mostly purses/totes. I started my shop shortly after when I had already given a purse to everyone I knew and couldn't keep filling up my home with them!

Who or what inspires you?
Vintage linens, advertising and clothing inspire me immensely. My work has a strong Zakka feel which I just recently learned about and I am drawn to in so many ways. As far as people who inspire? Everyone online. The first blog I fell across though was Alicia Paulson's, she is the reason I started to blog, I love everything about her blog to this day and I am still a daily reader of her blog.

When / how did you learn?
I started sewing almost two year ago. My husband gave me a sewing machine for Valentines Day and after that it was all trial and error. Trust me there were A LOT of errors (and still are) but for me the best thing about teaching yourself is figuring it out. I have such a feeling of accomplishment when I have an idea on my head, think about how I have to put everything together to get the outcome, and after a try (or maybe two) I get it to come out as I pictured it. Its like acing a test for me the feeling is the best!

Why do you 'bother' to make things by hand?
Because I know I can. I like that I can create something for myself of others that NO ONE else will have. I like to be ”one of a kind” I am also trying to do my part to make a stand on consumption. I don't want to buy something that I know was not made with the love and care I could make it and it is mass produced and most likely will be tossed. I want to make things for people that they will have to years to come and will treasure daily knowing it was made with my two hands and is made to last.

What is your craft ”philosophy”?
Keep at it. The more I sew the more I grow. I am amazed daily at how much I have grown just by trying and doing.

How do you deal with crafty mistakes?
Sometimes I just walk away. I have learned you cant force it, if it isn't working walk away come back and somehow it magically all comes together.

Do you have a designated craft space? What does it mean to you?
My craft space has moved through our home. When my daughter was tiny it was the room that was designated to be hers, then I had moved it to our small walk in closet which was so claustrophobic, and now it is carved out in a corner in our dinning room that my husband has created for me. I love it though now that it is in public and doesn't have a door I have to keep it in in order which is the hardest part for me I am a messy sewer in general. Plus my daughter loves to climb so I have to make sure things that she can hurt herself with (scissors/pins) are locked away.

Do you use a sketchbook or journal?
Not yet but I keep meaning to!

Why is crafting good for you?
I just enjoy it, I like making things for my friends and family. Plus it boost my ego whenever I get a compliment. Oh and a sewing machine will never talk back so you can work out all of those bad days while your sewing machine just hums away.

Is your craft a business as well? Any advice on running a crafty business?
It is slowly becoming a business. I don't spend enough time on working the business while raising Leila. I have a logo, product, and the start of a website. I do a few craft shows though those have been good for me created contacts not so much for selling. I also have my product now in two stores which is where I seem to do the best. I hope one day to create a brand and maybe branch out to fabric design. Right now though I am happy with my things being on Etsy and creating more confidence in my abilities.

What impact (if any) has the internet had on your craft?
So much it is the whole reason I started sewing. I found Etsy in 2006 and I hit the ground running never looking back.

Do you make art or craft? Is there a difference?
I think mine is more craft, it is more functional. To me art is something that takes your breath away and is put on a pedestal if you will. Craft is something that may equally take your breath away but you use everyday and are ok if it gets dirty! I am proud to be a crafter.

If you could make any project without limits to cost, materials or even skill, what would it be?
A whole new wardrobe for me and Leila. Oh and a king size quilt. I have slowly started quilting and I hope to one day be good at it!

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