The first time I virtually met
Brittany -the awesome maker of
- was on one of the Etsy teams; In Your Face, in fact it was the same team where I met
(featured last week), and I instantly LOVED her shop
little green guy. I was
fascinated by the amount of looks she could do for it, and for all the artistic method she uses.
Then I got to know Mr.Little Green Guy (aka LGG) first hand in a crafty game called
my VERY OWN LGG, and it was customized with yarn and needles (how can I not FALL in love with it!)
Now over to
1. Tell us a little bit about your shop; how did you start? How did you learn your craft? Why did you start? What do you sell?
Little Green Guy features handmade plush toys, sculptures and paintings, all featuring an adorable green monster!
The first Little Green Guy plush was made as a gift on July 26th 2011. It was very random in creation, and later that evening I did a quick watercolor of my little monster. My art has always been serious in nature, I was drawn to precision and realistic paintings/sketches. So when I posted the first painting, people started responding and I was a bit surprised ! But I realized, I had created this painting and didn't stress over the details one bit. I enjoyed myself, I was relaxed, and pleased with the outcome. And my little green monster seemed to make others smile!
I had just taught myself to sew (trial and error) earlier in 2011, so my plush line grew as I did. The first Little Green Guy's (in plush form) were not very detailed. But as I have learned my plushies have become more detailed, and I couldn't be happier.
I have always loved painting and drawing, I focused heavily on it in high school, taking advanced art classes, and learning greatly from my favorite teacher. Then in college I dabbled a bit.
2. What inspires you? Is there a special place that you like to go to get inspired? What is it? Any favorite galleries or exhibits that inspire you?
My children inspire a lot of my paintings. If you look at some, especially when Little Green Guy is being mischievous, you can envision a child doing the exact same thing, with the same expression. I don't have to be any specific place to be inspired, the wonder of being a mother has trained my brain to function in all sorts of chaos, so I do not need "quiet" or alone time to be inspired. I carry a sketch book with me everywhere to jot down random ideas, that later may translate into a painting or sculpture of some sort. When I was writing my children's book I would use the recorder on my phone to remember lines that would pop in my head randomly.
3. Who is the biggest supporter of your craft/Art & business?
My husband by far. He may not always "see" what I see, although in his defense I do spout off at least 20 (not kidding) new ideas every day. Once I have created something he is very good at giving me honest feedback, and being supportive when my creating has once again spilled out of my work area, and has begun to eat the rest of the house.
4. Are you part of a crafting group?
hmm, no not exactly. Although I do believe I would be lost without my friend Tara, she is owner of Fuzzy Toes. We text constantly, bounce ideas off of each other, send countless pictures while we are creating, either asking for advice or as a sound board. I can honestly say, having her be so supportive is a real boost to my creating process.
5. What do you enjoy making the most?
This varies depending on my mood. I am so happy that Little Green Guy lets me use three different areas of art. For example, if I am bored of sitting at the sewing machine, I may hop over to clay, if I want to give that a rest I hop to a painting. I am not stuck doing the same thing over and over if I don't want to. I will get on a kick of just clay work, or just sewing etc for a while, then hop around until I've come full circle.
6. Do you craft in public? Where do you do it?
No, it makes me a bit nervous feeling, I don't like everyone watching me. Let me create without eyes on me, but I'd be happy to show it to you when I am done
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Well crafting and creating really is fun for me. I read nightly, it is the only way I can turn my brain off, otherwise I would (and have) work all night.
8. Do you have a crafty room?
YES! Well, a closet to be exact
. My husband had, what turned out to be a fabulous idea. We took everything out of our master closet (which I do believe is 6ftx5ft) and he built a second, smaller closet to house our clothes. Then turning the walk in closet into my studio area. I love it! I went all out funky when decorating. Bright walls, and fabulous wall paper. I also have an art wall, where I hang my favorite paintings from fellow artists, it is such an inspiration!
Although I LOVE my little studio, I would eventually like an entire room. I do at times still spill out onto the kitchen table to work
9. Where do you get your supplies; online, local shops, vintage stores, from friends, recycled materials or others? How easy/hard is it to get supplies & why? Are craft shops missing something?
I get my supplies mostly at JoAnns, Michaels if their clay is on sale. I try to keep my prices reasonable, and you really can't beat the coupons these stores put out! I am intrigued though by crafters that use reclaimed/thrift-ed fabric, it is something I may try in the future!
10. Do you participate in craft fairs or do wholesales? Is there enough support for these types of things?
I have done craft fairs. I have had good experiences and bad. I didn't participate in many this year mainly because I have been too busy to squeeze them in. My best advice would be to really research the fair you are signing up for. It is a lot to prep for, but worth it if you know that the people shopping are into what you are selling, and you are in the right price range for the area.
11. How do you find selling offline? How is it in comparison with selling online?
I am in 3 (soon to be 4) local stores. It is a joy to come in and see my displays at these business's, but I am still trying to find the balance between keeping them stocked and keeping my online store up to date. I like selling in a store and selling online. Both have their pluses and minus's, on one hand you are in complete control of your online store, but learning tagging tricks and marketing yourself can be time consuming. Where as offline the store you are in (normally) attracts it's own foot traffic, but you do have a store taking a percentage of your profit. I really would try both! See what fits you best!
12. Do you have any tips for people who want to start making their hobby into their business?
Research what you want to sell/make a bit. Look at the prices of others, don't low-ball yourself . Really dive into social media, I love interacting with people on Facebook, and it really is a great soundboard for an idea you may have. See if their are any government requirements (especially if you are selling children's items) and verse yourself on that right off the bat (for example, my plushies are required to have certain labels on them explaining content etc as required by the CPSIA). Most importantly love what you do! It's not easy really getting out there, you will put a ton of time in. But if it's something you love it won't feel like a chore!