I first started listing items in June of 2008. My boyfriend at the time was a tattoo artist, and I would accompany him when he went to work at conventions. Watching people get tattooed is interesting for about 5 minutes...after that, the buzzing of the tattoo gun is enough to drive you crazy! I noticed that other girlfriends of artists brought along crafty things to sell to keep them busy, so I figured I would too. I wanted to be able to have my stuff for sale 24/7 as well, so I joined Etsy.
Did you open your shop right away?
Yeah, pretty much :) I got a sale the very first day I started listing things. I was so excited I could barely focus on the paper I was supposed to be writing! After that it was just a lot of trial and error, of course.
I've admired and even purchased from some of the members, and it's great to have a place to network with people who make and sell things similar to your own. I've vended at craft markets before, and it gets discouraging sometimes when people walk by and go, "Oh! Jewelry for little kids!" It's nice to have a group that understands you don't have to be a little kid to love cute things!
Easy one, what is your favorite color(s)?
I like bright, dark magentas and fuchsias. I love color combos too: turquoise/red, pink/gray, orange/purple...the list goes on.
How did you choose your shop's name?
I wanted to name the shop after my dog, as so many of us do, and she's a little orange Pomeranian. I played around with variations of "orange dog," and settled on TangerineDog. It's cute and catchy, and suits my shop well, I think. When I adopted my second dog, he has the same sort of coloring, so it's worked out so far :)
What is your favorite item that you have listed in your shop and why?
Right now, it's this deer necklace. I love things with a deer motif, and I like the way the colors came together on this one. After I purchased those blue beads, I was worried they wouldn't really go with anything -- glad I proved myself wrong! Plus, my camera was nice enough to get a decent photo of it ;) I had to put it away out of my sight so I wouldn't get attached and want to keep it! I wish there was a way to get a whole bunch of those deer so I could make tons of them with all kinds of colors! I also really like the HK apple earrings in my avatar. I'm not sure if I'm as in love with the actual earrings, but for some reason I just love the way the photo turned out.
Do you have any other hobbies besides crafting/creating gorgeous handmade things for Etsy?
I wouldn't say I have many other *hobbies*, but there are lots of things I enjoy doing, of course! I love decorating, cleaning, and relaxing in my apartment (hey, it's my biggest monthly expense, gotta enjoy it!), going to happy hour, spending time with my dogs, and when I can swing it -- seeing shows at the LA Opera or going out to a nice dinner. I also love tattoos, and while I'm not sure I'll be getting any more, I love showing off the ones I've got!
Do you have any pets?
Yup, my two dogs -- Mimi the Pomeranian, Leo, a rescue Pekingese, and two black/white/gray long-haired Guinea Pigs named Snoop and Dre who eat like horses!
What is your most cherished possession and why?
I've had two "blankies" since I was born. They are identical, except one is yellow and one is white. I am not embarrassed to admit that I still sleep with them every night, and I know I always will. Besides my dogs, the blankies are it!
What is/are your favorite item(s) that you bought from Etsy?
I bought these tiny flat silver stud earrings for my second earlobe piercings. I never really had anything to wear in them before, and now I wear these almost every day. I also got these tiny silver charms -- a Pom and a Peke, that put on some ball chains and wear often. I also have a great lightswitch plate cover that looks awesome in my bathroom, fun colored Pekingese magnets for my fridge...I could go on and on...
Tell us about your family members.
In a nutshell -- they're all really great, and I really miss them (I'm in California, they're in Michigan).
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring three things, what would they be?
Assuming pets don't count...I'd bring one of my blankies, a bottle of Frank's red hot, and a big oversized sweater (it probably gets cold at night).
What things inspire you to craft/create?
The HK charms I get...the figurines I turn into pendants...color schemes...at first I was very inspired by Tarina Tarantino designs. It's a great feeling to come into your own as a designer, and to be able to put your own twist on things that inspire you.
What advice do you have for fledgling Etsy sellers?
I guess just stick with it, and eventually you will figure out what works and who your customers are. Everyone always says to have great pictures. My advice on that: make friends with a photographer (or at least someone with a really great camera) and buy them lunch or a case of beer or something in exchange for nice photos. I've done that three different times so far and it's worked out!