Friday, May 8, 2009
I am starting a series of blog posts that I think will be great fun for me and of great interest to all of us. I'm going to pick other knitter's and crocheter's shops and spotlight them on my blog. If you would like to have yours spotlighted, contact me. My first post is an interview with Celeste Myers. Her boutique is the colorful and always creative CRICKETS CREATIONS.
My first contact with Celeste came about three weeks after I opened my shop on Etsy. I still hadn't had a sale and was trying to find out how on earth to get people into my shop. She had just had her beautiful green scarf featured in "Better Homes and Gardens" and it was almost always on the first page of the knitting listings. Being so knew, I still didn't know that you had to re-list to do that. She didn't know me from Eve, but being the jump-in-with-both-feet kind of person that I am, I just sent her a convo asking her how to do that. I know she must have giggled as she sent me a thread that she had posted in the forums about re-listing. She was very kind and informative, and we have been friends ever since. She has always been willing to share her experience and business sense with me and anyone else that might ask. So here is my interview with her about her talent, inspiration and very successful shop.
When did you first learn to knit?
I took an elective class when I was eight years old. From there, I studied knitting books and tried out patterns. Now I design all my own work and have tons of fun getting really creative!
When did you make your first scarf and why?
My muse, inspiration & support is my husband, Nicky. I made my very first scarf for him (see that first scarf, modeled by Nicky here). He loved it so much that he said, "You could sell these and people would love 'em!" And since that time in August 2007 this has become my full-time career, so I guess he was right. :) You can see some of our wedding pics (we’re newlyweds!) here.
What inspired you to begin making Fringies yarn photo props?
It's kind of funny how it all went down! :) I love to "get a little crazy" with the fringe for the scarves I design and create. To me, the fringe is the playful part of the scarf that dances when we move and I like to go all out with the fringe.
So, one day Bonnie Grist Johnson of Still Time Photography contacts me and asks me to make a scarf that's ALL fringe to use as a photo prop with women and girls; I was delighted! I made her my very first Rainbow Fringe-O-Rama...shortly thereafter another photog pro asked for a Bohemian Fringe-O-Rama...and I was on a roll!
Then another stroke of genius came from Jane Eaton Hamilton of Jane Photo when she asked me to make her a Rainbow Fringe-O-Rama in a blanket shape. I cranked my poor, little brain and measured and fretted and the Fringie yarn photo prop was born (see that very first custom request here and here)! Thank you, thank you, Jane!
What motivated you to move in the direction of fiber experimentation?
I love to play with texture and color, and will use up to 50 different yarns in a single scarf or Fringie. I often start with a special request to match a backdrop, outfit or some other purpose and then just start pulling out yarns and pulling out yarns that I think will add dynamic depth and texture and interest and contrast and....all of a sudden I've got a new piece that I’m proud of!
Has your style evolved since becoming a fiber artist?
Hmmmm…from the outside, it may look as though my style has evolved, because I’m continually launching new design lines, such as my See Through Lightweights and Fringe-O-Rama Scarves. Really, though, it’s more like the designs are already there, just waiting to be plucked from the ether and brought to fruition. It’s very fulfilling to facilitate a piece in its journey from idea to reality.
You once said that taking better pictures was the biggest step in your success on Etsy. What was the second?
I think a close second has been how very prolific I am. I now offer 200+ designs in my shop…and there are a lot more in my head that are waiting to be given life!
In addition to creating new designs at least weekly, I typically make 2-3 scarves a night (and 2-5 Fringies during the day) to restock my inventory, whether for custom orders, special requests from the many retailers I supply, to sell online or getting ready for craft fairs & expos.
How do you promote & find so many customers who love your work?
My online boutique is how most of my customers find me.
my blog and Flickr
The ways that I’ve been able to "go pro" and be so successful are to have fun, create a quality product, and cherish the customers I work for and with. It’s been a blast and I appreciate the opportunity! I so enjoy the chance to interact with my customers and get to know them as people or even friends. If you’re a professional crafter, too, please let me know if I can offer support or advice on how to succeed.
Isn't that just like her always helpful?